Bench press - a basic exercise for developing the strength of the chest and arms. This is an indispensable element of any power and mass program. It is in this exercise that the athlete works with really large weights, as in a squat, deadlift.
The basic exercise is one that affects almost all the muscle groups in our body. For example, squats with a barbell load not only the legs, but also the back, shoulders and a little arm.
Let's take a closer look at which muscles the bench press makes it work.
So, the main working groups:
During the bench press, the athlete pushes the weight up. At the same time, the chest is contracting, the abdominal muscles are tensed, the legs are trying to push the floor, and the buttocks are pressed against the bench, not allowing the pelvis to come off. In addition, the shoulder blades come together, connecting the back muscles.
Bench press involves almost the entire body. And this is due to the fact that the press weights are quite large - this is the athlete’s body weight and higher.
Muscle growth is the result of enhanced protein synthesis due to increased testosterone production in response to constantly increasing physical activity. Only heavy basic exercises can trigger this process.
If you do not do exercises with large weights (base), there can be no question of any growth. We are talking about a natural way to build muscle without using exogenous testosterone.
Every time we lift weights in a basic exercise, our muscles work to the limit of their abilities.
This stimulates their growth and strengthening. The body is given a peculiar signal that the available hormonal reserves are not enough for such hard work. As a result, more testosterone is produced - the main reason for the growth of strength and mass.
Thus, the bench press, as one of the basic exercises, directly affects these processes.
You should know that bench press can be a very traumatic exercise.
This is due to large weights.
Situations are especially dangerous when an athlete tries to gain new weights without using the help of a partner in lifting the bar from the racks and bringing it to its original position. For experienced athletes, this is not critical. But beginners often expose their muscles to serious risk, taking giant steps to move to the coveted hundredth.
Another common problem is a frivolous approach to warming up before the bench press.
Some athletes immediately weigh working weight. While they are young, these guys are lucky. Their muscles are elastic and still strong. Over the years, such a tough technique can lead to lifelong shoulder injury. Some become "happy" owners of injuries after the first training.
To avoid becoming a victim of a shoulder sprain or rupture of the pectoral muscle, remember a few simple rules:
Ideally - 10.
Do not do a bench press lying at a maximum of times more often than 1 time per month. Also, do not work to failure more than twice a week. It all depends on the speed of recovery of your muscles. One hard workout of 7 days is enough for someone, someone will be able to work twice a day for failure.
So, let's figure out how to do the exercise.
The classic bench press lying on a horizontal bench is performed as follows:
The basic exercise is recommended to be performed in 6-8 repetitions of 3-4 approaches once a week.
Or alternate light and hard workouts, doing a bench press twice a week in total.
And again, a huge part of the mistakes in the bench press are made by beginners, although experienced athletes sometimes commit mistakes.
When you do the classic bench press, the fulcrum of your body 3 is the shoulder blades, pelvis and heels. The stool is more stable on three legs than on two. But the point is not only that.
When you lift the pelvis from the bench, lifting it up, your lower back gets a very strong load - this way you can tear your back. The weight of the bar is redistributed between the shoulder blades and legs.
Thus, lifting the pelvis from the bench during the bench press, you not only run the risk of losing balance, but also tear your back. From this situation, getting injured is the easiest.
One of the most terrible mistakes, leading to fracture of the ribs and stretching of the intercostal muscles.
As you all have noticed, the rib cage is quite elastic. When you lower it on a non-heavy barbell, your chest seems to cushion.From this position, the bar seems to bounce, returning back to its original position.
You cannot make your work easier in this way. The chest muscles, triceps and shoulders should work, and not the elastic resistance of the chest.
Consider this depreciation effect from an anatomical point of view. What is happening at this moment? And the following happens: in the chest, internal pressure rises sharply, the lungs experience shock, joints and ligaments also experience a shock condition.
It happens that one time is enough to get a serious injury and wake up at night from pain with every turn from side to side.
Therefore, do not allow the bar to bounce off the chest. The classic bench press must be performed smoothly while lying!
Incorrect breathing is very dangerous in the bench press.
When you lower the barbell on the chest and hold it there by the force of muscles, the internal pressure rises sharply in the chest. If you did this while exhaling, at the bottom, the lungs are empty. They have no air, respectively, they can not support the volume of the chest. And the chest, in turn, cannot fully depreciate if you accidentally sharply lower the barbell to your chest.
This is the first.
Next - to raise weight, you need to exhale. And you will inhale. What comes out of it is better not to try. Believe me - nothing good.
Breathe correctly during the bench press, gentlemen and athletes!
You yourself understand that it’s very unsafe to quickly squeeze a barbell weighing one hundred kg.
After all, you will need to dampen inertia when the barbell is lowered to the chest - this is an additional risk of breaking your shoulder.
The same thing happens in the clean and jerk - an excessive jerk can lead to exactly the same consequences.
Work slowly, pump muscles. Movements should be strong, but smooth. No jerking.
Even at bench press competitions, athletes do not.
If you are engaged in bodybuilding, the bridge does not need you. By the way, who does not know - the bridge with the bench press is the position of the body when the athlete flexes the lower back as much as possible to reduce the distance from the bar to the chest in its original upper position. This is a kind of officially authorized cheating.
It's about taking more weight.
But not about better muscle pumping. Experienced athletes say that for the chest and shoulders to work effectively, the barbell must be reaped with a small (physiologically correct) deflection in the lower back.
We conclude - if you do not chase the scales, the bridge is not for you. Work on your muscles. Of course, for those involved in powerlifting, the bridge is a standard element of the program.
And do the bench press lying only with him. Such a special technique.
Be sure to learn how to stand in this position correctly, otherwise reaping big weights does not shine for you. Sometimes you can see how beginners make the bridge due to the high lifting of the pelvis up. Buttocks in the case of the bridge touch the bench, and the main weight falls on the legs and shoulder blades.
Consider several variations of the classic exercise.
You can press the bar while lying in Smith Trainer. The bench press in Smith is well suited for those who have not tried working with a free barbell. On the one hand, it’s better not to start with this, but on the other, why not strengthen the muscles with such an isolated exercise.
The big plus of the bench press in the simulator is that you do not need to be insured.
At any time, you can lock the bar and stop the exercise.
The bar in the simulator is fixed in such a way that it moves only in a vertical plane. This is convenient, since you do not need to make any effort to keep the weight from vibrations in the horizontal plane.
To harvest in Smith, set up a bench under the bar. When you lie down, the bar should be above your eyes.
Think of an empty bar (usually in the simulator it weighs 20-25 kg). Then smoothly go to the working scale. The number of repetitions and approaches is similar to the classic version.
A separate article on our website is devoted to how to do the bench press correctly on the inclined bench. Here we only note that this option is needed for pumping the top of the chest and the anterior bundle of deltoids.
Weights in this exercise will be less than in the horizontal bench press. Such a bench press can also be done in the Smith simulator.
From this position, the shoulders can be damaged during the bench press. Often this is due to improper weight selection. The shoulder just twists, especially with bench presses at an angle of 45 degrees.
Do not forget about it.
Insurance is a must during the bench press. It will allow you to work to capacity, to hammer muscles, give everything out one hundred percent. Insurance is not just help in lifting the bar, you need to insure correctly. Let us consider in more detail how to do this.
Then put the bar back on the racks.
A common mistake during insurance is an excessive tilt over the bar. Sometimes the insurer falls forward with her. Be careful and keep your balance.
It is important not only to know how to do the bench press, but also how to properly insure.
Then this basic exercise will be as productive and safe as possible.
Denis Piklyaev. Russian elite, an international class master of sports in the bench press. Master of sports in powerlifting. World champion, two-time champion of Europe, Russia and Moscow.
Included in the top 20 best athletes in Europe in its category. A prominent athlete. Trainer of the network of clubs "Territory Fitness".
The bench press lying rightly is considered the king of exercises in the gym. What questions are asked to any guy who comes to the gym? True: "And how much do you press?" And now we can observe how a whole line is being built for the treasured bench for the bench.
This is a basic multi-joint exercise. I will add that when it is performed, the broadest muscles of the back and biceps work as a help, acting as stabilizers. Therefore, the bench press will be a salvation if you want to develop your upper body.
The technique of execution can and should be different for different people. This is primarily due to the width of the shoulders and chest, as well as the length of the arms.
But there are rules that should be followed:
This is also individual, and is determined empirically. The shoulder blades should be slightly reduced - this will help preserve the anterior deltoid muscles, which can take away part of the load on the pectoralis.
Complementing the chest bridge. During the bench, athletes strongly arch their backs. With this technique, the buttocks barely touch the bench, and the shoulder blades and legs become a support.
What does this give?
With this technique, the muscles of the legs and back are included in the work. Therefore, if the sole purpose is to lift as much weight as possible, then this is permissible. That is why the pectoral bridge is popular in professional powerlifting, when all means are good for winning competitions.
In this design, the bench press really does put too much strain on the spine. And if you just want to put yourself in order, strengthen the pectoral muscles and pump them up a little, then you do not need extra “helpers” (and extra load).