What is a Bench Press and What are the Benefits?
There are six basic compound lifts around which the majority of weightlifting routines are built. Most popular among them is the bench press. But what is a bench press, truly? Many believe they know what a bench press is, however they don’t truly understand it or the hosts of benefits it offers. Bench presses are popular with gym bros all around because they develop the “show” muscles, i.e. the pectorals, shoulders, triceps, and even a little bit of the lats. However, popularity often leads to imitation, and performing this basic compound exercise without properly understanding it can lead to potential injury.
What is a Bench Press?
Let’s begin by answering this basic question: what is a bench press, exactly? Well, the bench press is a strength training exercise targeting the upper body. You perform it by pushing weight upwards from a supine position. Traditionally, a bench press is performed with a barbell, but dumbbells can also be used to allow each arm to move independently of the other. This creates more stability and allows the arms to press upwards while following their own natural path.
Tips For a Proper Bench Press
Though there are many variations on the bench press to help isolate different areas, it’s essential to use proper form in order to avoid injury. To ensure you’re getting the most from the exercise, follow these basic tips:
- Use a weight you can control, especially if you’re exercising without a spotter.
- Keep your elbows tucked toward your body. Don’t let them flare out.
- Keep your feet on the floor to stabilize your body.
- Bring the weight to your nipples, not your clavicle. Do not bounce the weight off your chest.
What are the Benefits?
The bench press is one of the best compound lifts for developing both upper body strength and aesthetics. A “compound lift” is an exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at the same time. The bench press builds strength in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It also hits the latissimus dorsi muscles in the back, commonly referred to as “lats.” The bench press cultivates strength in pushing and pressing motions, which can be useful in daily life. It’s perhaps most beneficial for athletes in contact sports who are consistently pushing people off or away from themselves, i.e. football, rugby, and, to a certain extent, hockey players.
While all of the upper body muscles exercised by the bench press are key components of functional strength, there are aesthetic benefits to them as well. Men are especially fond of growing and defining these muscles, as large pectorals, shoulders, and lats work to broaden the frame of the upper body, helping develop the “V” taper look.
Bench Press At Home
As with most things, practice makes perfect. These basics will help you answer the question what is a bench press and help you to properly execute it. The great thing about this exercise is that you don’t have to be a gym member in order to do it. It can easily be done at home with the proper equipment. Home fitness equipment needs to be compact and versatile. Many people don’t have the benefit of ample square footage to devote to a home gym. For that reason, an exercise like the bench press often gets left out of many home gyms, as typical benches cannot be utilized for much more than the one exercise.
However, now there is a way you can perform your bench press while still having a versatile and space-saving piece of equipment. The bench press is just one of the many exercises you can perform on the VDip Power Station Deluxe model. The VDip Power Station Deluxe allows for an intense, total upper body workout. Simply stand the VDip on its side for easy conversion into a bench. Move seamlessly from dips to bench press for a killer workout to your chest and triceps.
To see the range of exercises you can perform all with one VDip Power Station, view our gallery. If you’re ready to get the best upper body workout you’ve ever had all while exercising from the comfort of your own home, pre-order your VDip Powerstation today!