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Chest Exercise: Barbell Bench Press

The bench press is the "king" of the chest exercises and probably the most well known. The bench press works your pectoralis major muscle, often referred to as "pecs", while also targeting your shoulder and parts of your triceps muscles.

This move can be performed in many different ways and with different variations, however we will focus primarily on the flat barbell bench press.

To perform this move:

  • Lie flat and face up on a horizontal bench. If your legs are long enough make sure your feet are planted firmly on the ground throughout the movement. If you have shorter legs, try raising your legs up and placing your feet flat on the bench.
  • Grasp a suitable weighted barbell. Ensure that your grip is just more than shoulder width apart.
  • DOWNWARD: As you inhale slowly bring the barbell down to your chest, whilst controlling the movement. If you are a beginner it is a good idea to have a spotting partner to help you balance out the bar. Also, it is a good idea to use the provided clips to ensure that the weight plates do not fall off the bar.
  • UPWARD: Exhale and extend your arms upwards until they are straight and back in the starting position.

VARIATION: Incline Bench Press
To take some of the pressure off your shoulders, you can perform incline bench presses instead. These work the same muscle groups as your flat bench press with the inclusion of the serratus anterior muscle, which is located on the sides of your rib cage. They also focus more on the clavicular head of your pecs whereas the flat bench press targets the complete pectoralis major muscle.

Model performing a bench press exercise

Model performing a bench press exercise

Author: Dimi Ingle.
Copyright: Remedium. This article may not be copied, in whole or in part, without the written consent of Remedium.

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