Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Bench Press - Part of The Big Three

Last Wednesday I started a little mini-series, where I'm explaining The Big Three and why it's important to do them.
The Big Three consists of 3 essential compound movements; the Squat, the Bench Press, and Deadlift. And here is the 2nd entry about The Big Three; 

The Bench Press

The bench press is a very popular exercise in the gym, and I think the majority of people lifting weights, either free weights or in machines, do Bench presses as well.

The Bench Press primarily works your chest, shoulders, and arms, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular, but also your core, lats, and even your legs.

But why is it important..
Well, first off.. It's important because it is a compound movement, and it works so many muscles. But that can't be the only reason, right.?
Right, though I would go as far as saying it's the most important reason..

Here's an exampleYou just got on a bus, and before you found yourself a seat, the bus started driving, and you end up losing your balance. You almost smash your head into the side window, but extend your arm so you don't.
That's a reflex your body has learned, but if you weren't strong enough in your triceps, you wouldn't have been able to keep your arm extended, and you would have smashed your head into the side window.
I know that is primarily the triceps brachii you use in this example, but you get the point, I hope.

How to perform the Bench Press:
  • Lie on your back on the bench, with your feet on the ground and the knees bend at 90°
  • Hold the barbell in a semi wide grip (55-70cm depending on your build) above your chest.
  • Lower the barbell to your chest (and let it touch your chest), and push it back up, arms completely straight.
I hope you learned something, if you are new to Bench Pressing, and if anyone has any thoughts they'd like to share about this post, please do so in the comments.