The bench press is a tried and tested exercise that is used in any variation of exercise, the bench press has so many benefits and they don’t just relate to body building.
If you are not utilising a form of bench press in your routine, here are some key factors why:
Upper body strength
The bench press is a compound movement and therefore recruits more than just the Pectoralis muscles, you will see a massive increase in strength by utilising a variation of the bench press.
Some of the muscles activated throughout this movement are:
Minor and major Pectoralis are the main movers and are heavily recruited throughout each variation of the bench press.
Anterior and Lateral Deltoid are heavily recruited throughout the movement and help lead towards a well-rounded shoulder.
Long, Lateral and Medial Triceps are another heavily recruited muscle group throughout this movement and help to grow the major muscles in your arms, the Triceps.
The core, lats, traps and rhomboids are all activated throughout this movement and lead to better posture and stance.
A major benefit that you can get from doing bench presses on a regular basis is that it helps to increase the health and strength of your bones. This is because the bench press is considered a weight bearing exercise, and weight bearing exercises have huge bone building benefits.
Weight bearing exercises such as the Bench Press forces you to hold up an increased amount of weight or pressure with your bones.
When you do a weight bearing exercise, the extra weight which your bones hold up, which in this case are the bones in your arms, shoulders, chest, and back, forces the cells in your bones to go to work. These cells are known as osteoblasts and they are what are responsible for creating new bone cells and laying them down both on and within your bones.
The Bench Press helps to maintain the health of your cartilage. As you age, the cartilage in between your joints starts to deteriorate and wear down, something that can cause a lack of motion, severe pain, and things like osteoarthritis.
This is partially due to old age, but it also has to do with a lack of motion. Your cartilage is like a sponge with fluid in it, fluid that nourishes your cartilage and keeps it healthy. There is a problem though, which is that the fluid needs to be replaced on a regular basis in order to keep nourishing your cartilage. Since your cartilage is like a sponge, the nutrient depleted fluid needs to be squeezed out, that is then replaced with brand new nutrient rich fluid.
If you want to prevent joint issues and cartilage deterioration, then bench presses are for you.
Pushing power is great for gym workouts as it helps with all kinds of exercises, which in turn makes you stronger and therefore helps you get more results, but the benefits run deeper than just more efficient and beneficial workouts.
Increased pushing power helps in everyday life, we push an array of things in everyday life, as simple as a shopping trolley through to heavy items. The Bench Press will definitely aid you in these processes.
Some of the different Bench Press variations include:
Flat Bench Press
The flat bench tends to build mass over the entire Pec.
Incline Bench Press
The Incline bench tends to have more of a focus on the upper chest and puts more emphasis on building this portion of the pec.
Decline Bench Press
The decline bench tends to have more focus on the lower pec and is key to bringing up a lagging lower chest.
Try these out next time you are in the gym and please ask for assistance if you are unsure of the correct technique.