Bench Press Training

Bench Press Training – Powerlifting for Bodybuilding

One of the most often heard of bodybuilding exercises is the bench press. When most people think of bodybuilding or see a set of free weights, they think of a person prone on a weight bench, pushing up a barbell loaded with heavy weights. This particular exercise is one of three powerlifts used in weight lifting and bodybuilding to develop the muscles in the chest area. The idea is to have another person, called a spotter, lower the weights to chest level so that you can push the barbell up until your arms are straight and your elbows are in a locked position.

There are three variations of a bench press. The first is the standard position most people think of in terms of weight lifting. In this variation, the athlete lies flat on a weight bench and pushes the barbell up in a straight line. The second variation, called an incline bench press, requires the weight bench to be raised so that the athlete sits in a reclined position rather than flat. This exercise works the upper portion of chest, arm, and shoulder muscles. The third position, the decline bench press, moves the back of the weight bench so that the athlete’s head is slightly lower than their feet. This exercise works the lower portion of the chest area.

The purpose of a bench press exercise is to develop the pectoral muscles as well as triceps and deltoids. In order to increase the weight an athlete is able to press, care must be taken to position the body so as to offer stability and more lifting power. This is generally achieved by lying on the bench with the athlete’s shoulders pinched together and feet flat on the floor. Arching the back muscles and keeping buttocks on the bench provide more lifting power for the athlete.

Novice weightlifters and bodybuilders should always use care when initially learning how to execute a bench press. Improper form, poor stability, or overloading the barbell can result in injuries. Torn ligaments and tendons, wrist injuries, bone spurs, and injuries to the Rotator Cuff are commonly caused by bench pressing too much weight or without the right form. Additional injuries such as broken ribs result from a barbell being dropped or bounced on the chest. This can happen with too much weight, or by not wrapping thumbs around the barbell properly, allowing the barbell to slip and fall.

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