The chest bench press is a classic strength training exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. It is a compound movement, meaning it works multiple muscle groups at once. The bench press is a popular exercise for those looking to build upper body strength, increase muscle mass, or improve their athletic performance. Here’s how to perform a chest bench press exercise.
- Weight plates
- Set up the bench at an appropriate height and position it in the center of the squat rack.
- Load the barbell with an appropriate weight.
- Lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and your head positioned directly under the barbell.
- Grip the barbell with both hands at a distance slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it above your chest, with your arms fully extended.
- Lower the barbell slowly towards your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in and your forearms perpendicular to the floor.
- Touch your chest with the barbell or lower it as far as possible without bouncing it.
- Push the barbell back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Keep your back flat on the bench throughout the movement.
- Keep your shoulders down and back, and your chest lifted.
- Breathe in as you lower the barbell towards your chest, and exhale as you push it back up.
- Use a spotter if lifting heavy weights to avoid injury.
- Incline bench press: Adjust the bench to a 30-45 degree incline to target the upper chest muscles.
- Decline bench press: Adjust the bench to a 30-45 degree decline to target the lower chest muscles.
- Close grip bench press: Use a grip that is shoulder-width apart or narrower to target the triceps muscles.