The bench press helps to develop overall strength and endurance. This is a basic exercise for the upper body. And any base includes a large array of muscles, which entails an increase in strength and body weight. Exercise can be performed in different ways, which helps to shift the emphasis on the load on certain muscles. Let's look at what muscles work with the bench press.
To begin with, we will list which muscles the bench presses in principle, and then we will analyze its variations (different grips, bench tilts, etc.).
So, when you press from the chest, the load gets:
Triceps always work with the chest.
Now let's look at the different types of bench press in detail.
Let's start from the standard horizontal position, without tilting up or down.
The usual classic version of the bench press from a prone position. This exercise is used as a competitive discipline in various championships, competitions. However, speaking about the work of specific muscles, we will not consider a power bench, but a bodybuilder.
So, a wide grip on a horizontal bench loads the middle part of the chest muscles as much as possible.
Depending on where you lower the bar, the emphasis of the load is shifted:
It is the most familiar and convenient. If you want to catch up with all the birds with one stone - do so.
In powerlifting, the bench press is performed from the bridge. The meaning of such a bend is to minimize the distance the bar travels from the chest to straight arms. Due to this, you can lift more weight than with bodybuilding equipment.
Lifting the barbell from the bridge does not give a significant increase in muscle mass, there is a completely different goal. They allow you to develop a large "explosive" effect of muscles, to squeeze the right weight at a time. This is a lifting technique, whose task is to show its strength in a single execution.
When it comes to bodybuilding, the bridge is not used. On the contrary, you need to give the movement a good amplitude so that the muscles contract and stretch to the maximum.
That is, for the chest, triceps to work qualitatively and the front bundles of vulnerable deltoids not to be overloaded, it is necessary to achieve the full range of motion.To do this, you can slightly bend in the lower back to a natural position, but not more than that.
If you take the bar so that between your palms is about 15-20 cm, press your elbows to the body, you will get a bench with a narrow grip.
A narrow grip slightly loads the top of the pectoral muscles, but at the same time the triceps shock, the deltoids are actively involved. This bench press is also called "triceps".
The lower you lower the barbell on your chest, the more work the deltoid muscles will do. Do not forget, the shoulders are very easy to damage, and they will heal for a very long time. If you decide to press with a narrow grip, then do it wisely.
And one more option of working with a narrow grip, when during the bench the elbows are moved apart (triceps bench refers to the elbows brought to the body). The exercise is designed to work out the inside of the pectoral muscles.
The huge minus of the narrow grip is the instability of the bar due to the fact that you hold it in the center. And if you take the bar wider, it is more difficult to focus on the center of the chest. Therefore, it is better to do this exercise with dumbbells.
When performing the medium grip exercise, you take the bar so that while moving your elbows are at an angle of about 45 degrees to the body.
Medium grip is a trade-off between load and triceps.
Some people believe that the upper and lower pectoral muscles can be pumped with a back grip bench press.
Perhaps this is so, but in fact this position for the hands is unnatural, therefore it is dangerous to health. A large load is created on the wrist joint and on the shoulders.
It is much easier and safer to work on the lower chest by tilting the bench upside down. We will talk about this later.
You can work on an inclined bench upside down at different angles and upside down.
A very popular version of the classic exercise. It is carried out with a wide and medium grip, because a narrow grip does not make sense here.
They press upside down at angles of 30, 45 and sometimes 60 degrees. The load is focused on the upper pectoral muscles.
The higher the bench is raised, the more the front and middle bundles of the deltoid muscles are included in the work. In fact, increasing the angle, we smoothly go from the press on the chest to the press on the shoulders.
The greater the angle of the bench, the higher the load on the chest.
Based on the foregoing, if you want a powerful top, press the bar on an inclined bench. It is advisable to work to failure and with insurance, since on an inclined bench it is often inconvenient to remove and put the weight on your own.
Exercise carefully, do not rush to gain working weight, follow the technique of the exercise. If your shoulder is injured, the bench press at an angle is likely to cause sharp pain, keep this in mind.
When pressing with the head up, try to lower the barbell to the top or middle of the chest. It makes no sense to lower it below - a very large load on the shoulders will appear. And the larger the angle, the stronger this load.
In order to develop the pectoral muscles harmoniously, attention should be paid not only to the top and middle, but also to their lower part.
It is customary to swing the lower part of the pectoral muscles with an inclined bench press upside down.
There are special benches for this. When they are not, visitors to the gyms use the Swedish wall and various devices that can be attached to this wall. Large angles are not used in this bench press. Thirty degrees is enough.
During the bench press, the weight must be repelled strictly perpendicular to the force of gravity (i.
e. the floor).
The starting position for this exercise is unusual for muscles and blood vessels. They do not know how to work in new conditions. The body is not used to being upside down.
Blood flows to the brain, noise may appear in the ears, and it may darken in the eyes. Someone's head starts to hurt. The older the person, the more dangerous he is in this position, the more he can reap weight.
Due to the unusual position, at first it will be difficult for you to keep the weight exactly perpendicular to the floor. The bar will walk now forward and backward.
So work in tandem with the insurer. It will help relieve weight, control proper functioning and help put the weight back. Alone, you can simply drop a lot of weight.
Thus, in this exercise it is important to work perpendicular to the gravity vector. This is true for all other exercises, but in other cases, the body position is more familiar and safe.