Flat Bench Press
The Bench Press is the core upper body routine at the center of most workouts. The Flat Bench Press, or “Bench Press” for short, is the core of any upper body workout. Although it is mainly a chest exercise, the flat bench press works multiple body parts. It is important to have good posture throughout the lift. Keep your back straight, not arched, as you perform the flat bench press.
- Main Muscle Group: Chest
- Secondary Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps
- Exercise Type: Strength /Push Exercise
- Equipment: Barbell or Dumbbell or Kettlebell
- Experience Level: Beginner
To do the exercise:
- Set your feet firmly under the bench
- Squeeze your shoulder blades as you lower the weight down.
- Lower the weight until the barbell or dumbbells are and inch from your chest.
- Explode the weight upwards and extend the weight until your shoulders are locked out.
It’s important to keep your chest up and shoulders back as seen in the video below:
The bench press is used in a wide array of upper body workouts. Celebrities and athletes who use the bench press exercise include the following:
- The Rock, aka Dwayne Johnson workout does dumbbell bench press in a pyramid routine. In a pyramid routine, you go up in weight and down in reps each week. The Rock does 2 variations: (both arm) dumbbell bench press, and (alternating arm) dumbbell bench press.
- Chris Hemsworth workout used this exercise for the Thor movie.
- Jason Momoa workout used the bench press as part of the AR-7 routine he used for Conan the Barbarian and Game of Thrones.
- Albert Pujols workout utilizes the dumbbell version of the exercise. Baseball players use dumbbells to make sure their arms are equal strength and for the added stretch and flexibility.
- Brad Pitt used a Nautilus Machine version to work his chest for Fight Club. This allowed him to perform more reps quickly, while allowing the machine to work his pecs harder.
- The Aaron Rodgers Workout and the Drew Brees Workout both incorporate Kettlebell Bench Press. This means that you use kettlebells instead of a traditional barbell. Kettlebell Bench Presses improve the emphasis on joint strength and flexibility that a quarterback needs. Hold the Kettlebells over your chest, with your palms facing out. Perform the traditional Flat Bench Press, only with kettlebells.
- The Jessica Alba Workout uses the Dumbbell Bench Press exercise, mixed in with cardio circuits, as part of her 40-minute 3-2-1 workouts.
- The Mario Lopez workout uses the Dumbbell Bench Press when he is short on time. He likes the fact that it is a compound exercise that works a ton of different muscles all at once.
- The Jennifer Garner uses the Dumbbell Chest Press version. Her celebrity trainer, Valerie Waters, likes to put her on a Stability ball. This way, Jennifer Garner works her abs while also working her chest muscles.
- The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the bench press exercise. Marco Borges, their trainer, has them do the Resistance-ball chest press. In this modification, you work your hip and knee joints. This way, you’re working your legs and core, while doing the chest press.
Marco Borges, the Jay-Z and Beyonce workout trainer, says when doing the resistance ball chest press:
Place your back on the resistance ball, your legs bent, feet on the ground. Slowly press the dumbbells over your chest until your elbows are almost locked. For better balance, keep your back straight and pull in your abs.
Dumbbell Bench Press
The Dumbbell Bench Press is the variation where you use dumbbells. The advantage to using dumbbells is that you can’t favor one arm. Typically, your dominant arm will do more work when you use a barbell. Push your hands together, as you come up, so you work your inner chest.
It is very good to use if you have an injury. You can twist your elbows or wrists if you have an injury, and you want to avoid an When doing the dumbbell bench press, pick a weight that you’re sure you’re going to be in control of.
Here is a video illustration proper technique for the Dumbbell Bench Press:
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