The bench press is one of the key exercises for developing the pectoral muscles . A very versatile exercise due to the variety of techniques and equipment with which it can be performed. Whether with dumbbells or bars with discs or with a flat, incline or declined bench , each position redefines the focus , allowing you to focus on specific areas of the pectorals and generating different stimuli for muscle development.
Mastering the correct execution of the press not only maximizes the benefits of the exercise on pectoral development, but also acts as insurance against possible injuries , guaranteeing optimal effectiveness in the training routine.
Flat Dumbbell Press for Chest: The Correct Position and Technique
The flat dumbbell press is a key exercise for the development of the pectoral muscles. Depending on the opening of the elbows, the work will focus on different parts of the pectoral. If you keep your elbows closer to the body during the exercise, you work the inner portion of the pectoral more . By opening the elbows more widely, the outer portion and deltoids are more involved.
In any case, or even if instead of dumbbells you want to use a bar, the correct technique to perform the exercise is as follows:
- Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells at your sides or directly over your chest, with your elbows bent and slightly bent .
- Exhale and push the dumbbells up until your arms are almost fully extended, maintaining control and making sure not to lock your elbows . Maintain the contraction in your chest during the lift and avoid swinging the dumbbells.
- Lower the dumbbells slowly and controlledly to the starting position, maintaining control at all times and your elbows in a slightly open position. Maintain control of movement and avoid arching your back .
The most common thing is to lower the dumbbells to both sides of your chest with your elbows farther away from the body:
Other people, however, prefer to perform the descent movement with the elbows parallel ( closer to the body ) by lowering the dumbbells directly onto the chest:
Leg Position in the chest press:
Sit on the end of the bench with your feet firmly on the floor , shoulder-width apart to ensure a stable base and proper balance during the exercise.
Position of the back and shoulders in the chest press:
When you are on the bench, keep your back well supported and your shoulders back . Make sure your shoulder blades are in contact with the bench for a stable position and proper body weight distribution.
Position of the elbows in the chest press:
The elbows should always be slightly bent . Whether they are aligned with the shoulders or not during the exercise will depend on whether you do a standard bench press or prefer to do a closed or narrow chest press.
Tips for Good Bench Press Training
To get the most out of the bench press and develop the pectoral muscles
- Coordinate your breathing with movement. Inhale as you lower the bar and exhale as you push it up. This helps maintain stability and control movement.
- Warm up before beginning with shoulder mobility exercises, stretches and some repetitions with light weight to activate the muscles of the chest, shoulders and arms.
- Maintain a controlled speed throughout the exercise to maximize muscle activation.
- Prevents the dumbbells from bouncing on the chest, keeping the movement fluid and continuous.
- Be sure to select an appropriate weight to maintain proper form and avoid injury, and increase it progressively as your strength improves.
What Muscles Are Worked with the Bench Press?
The movements performed in the bench press activate a large part of the muscles of the upper body of the body, as it is a compound exercise that involves several main muscle groups.
As we have already mentioned, the focus and intensity with which the different muscles and their parts are worked depend on the opening of the shoulders when performing the exercise, but in general the muscles that are worked the most are:
They are the main muscles worked during the bench press. This exercise helps develop both the clavicular and sternal portions of the pectorals, contributing to increasing their strength and size.
The shoulders are also significantly activated during the bench press. The anterior deltoids , which are the portion of the shoulder at the front, assist in the pushing motion of the bar or dumbbells.
Although to a lesser extent compared to the pectorals and deltoids, the triceps work as synergistic muscles during the bench press, contributing to the extension movement of the elbows when pushing the bar or dumbbells upward.
Other stabilizing muscles
In addition to these main muscles, other stabilizing muscles also come into play to maintain proper posture during exercise. The muscles of the back, core, and legs help provide stability and support while performing the bench press movement.
The ideal frequency to perform the bench press
How often to perform this exercise to build your pecs depends on several individual factors, such as experience level , training goals , recovery ability , and the overall structure of the training program .
In general, for most people looking to develop muscle strength and size, a training frequency of two to three times per week is suggested for the chest muscle group, which would include exercises such as the bench press, although it is advisable to accompany The press along with other chest exercises to work the chest in a comprehensive and complete way.
Other exercises to train your chest and pectorals
There are a variety of effective exercises to target the pectorals in addition to the bench press. Here I present some:
Push-ups: A classic exercise that can be performed in different variations (hand width, foot lift, etc.) to target different areas of the chest.
Incline Press: Similar to the bench press, but with the bench inclined upward. This places more emphasis on the upper pectoralis and front deltoids.
Dumbbell or Cable Flyes: They can be performed lying on a flat, incline or decline bench. They help work the width of the chest and can be done with dumbbells or using a cable machine.
Parallel dips : They work not only the pectorals but also the triceps and deltoids. It is an effective exercise if performed with the proper technique.
Pull-overs : This exercise not only works the pectorals, but also the serratus anterior and core. It can be done with a dumbbell or barbell on a bench.
Low Cable Crossovers : Using a cable machine, crosses can be performed from a low position. They help stretch and work the pectorals.
Decline Press : Similar to the bench press, but with the bench declined to focus more on the lower chest.
Decline Pushups : By elevating your feet on a surface, decline pushups are more intense and especially work the lower chest.
These exercises are excellent complements to the bench press, as they help with balanced muscle growth.
Meticulous focus on technique , combined with the exploration of different angles, weights and material, are the key to unlocking the full potential of this indispensable chest exercise .Visit our online website and discover countless possibilities to train your chest and all the muscles in your body!