Classic bench press with the barbell, incline bench press or dumbbell bench press – if you are strong and want to build broad chest muscles , there is no way around the bench press in any form during chest training . In this post I will tell you valuable information and tips, how the real bench press works and much more!
Important to know – function, structure and training of the chest muscles
The bench press, together with squats and deadlifts , is part of the so-called powerlifting and is therefore one of the basic exercises in bodybuilding.
The task of the chest muscles is to move the arms forward ( anteversion ), bring the arms closer to the body ( adduction ) and turn the shoulders inwards ( Rotation ).
Generally, the muscles in the front area of the upper body, like the back muscles, serve to relieve the spine. The muscles in the chest area should be about one and a half times as strong as the upper back muscles.
But be careful: If the chest muscles are exercised disproportionately often, they appear to be slightly shortened, which often leads to a slightly bent posture with slouching shoulders in strength athletes. To prevent this, the upper back muscles and the rear shoulder muscles should also be trained regularly.
Which muscles are trained during the bench press?
As with all basic exercises , the bench press also trains several muscle groups:
- Pectoralis major – pectoralis major
- Triceps – musculus triceps brachii
- Front shoulder muscles – Musculus deltoideus (pars clavicularis)
- Elbow muscle – musculus anconeus
- Anterior saw muscle – serratus anterior muscle
10 steps to the correct technique for bench press
You should print out the following 10 points and read them over and over again! If you observe these points, you will hit the chest muscles perfectly when bench press and also avoid injuries:
- When bench press, you lie down on a ne weight bench flac h, inclined, or in a negative position on your back.
- The legs are bent, the feet are pressed firmly against the floor.
- The head is also on the bench, the gaze is directed upwards.
- The shoulder blades are pulled back to stabilize the shoulder joints.
- Your hands hold the bar a little more than shoulder width apart.
- The elbows are bent approx. 70 degrees from the body. Not anymore, otherwise the load on the shoulders will be too high.
- The weight is lowered down towards the upper chest. The breast is tapped lightly – don’t cushion!
- Then push the weight back into the starting position against gravity. The upward movement exhales, the downward movement inhales.
- If you can’t get the weight all the way down for five reps and then push it back up, it’s too hard!
- During the execution, the lower back area is automatically tensed, so a slight hollow back with heavy weights is not bad and quite common.
Which weight bench is suitable for chest muscle training at home?
If you train at home, you should definitely buy a high-quality weight bench, because it represents the center of your home gym and is used for a lot of exercises .
A weight bench is ideal, with which both flat bench presses and incline bench press are possible. A barbell rack should not be missing either. However, if there is no weight bench with a barbell rack available, the exercise can also be performed with dumbbells on a normal weight bench.
In this weight bench test article , you will find an overview of the best weight benches! My weight bench recommendation is the following …
Multifunctional weight bench with dumbbell set
- foldable weight bench for effective muscle training at home
- incl. butterfly, arm and leg curler
- Backrest adjustable in 4 levels
- Dumbbell rack loadable up to 140 kg
- incl. barbell and dumbbell set of 38 kg
5 tips on how to get stronger quickly with the bench press
1. The bench press is a basic exercise and uses a lot of muscles, so you should always do this chest muscle exercise at the beginning of your chest muscle training .
2. For maximum chest strength, the heavy weight bench press is most effective with few repetitions. However, it should be 5 to 8 repetitions.
3. If you can’t manage 5 clean repetitions, then the weight is too heavy – so put the weights down!
4. If you can bench press about 8 clean repetitions without any problems, then you can increase the weight by 1.5 to Increase 2.5 kilograms .
5. Anyone who bench presses on a free weight bench should always have a training partner, also known as a “spotter”, nearby. This can support or support the weight in an emergency. He should also observe the course of the exercise and correct it if necessary .
Bench press training plan for beginners
You can use this training plan as a basic training plan for your chest training. The following bench press training plan is for a one-rep. Maximum weight of 60 kilograms:
- Set of 12 reps with 40 kilograms
- Set of 8 reps at 45 kilograms
- Set of 5 reps weighing 55 kilograms
- Set of 6 reps at 45 kilograms
- Set of 8 reps at 40 kilograms
bench press training plan for advanced
Example training plan for a one-rep. Maximum weight of 100 kilograms:
- Set of 12 reps with 70 kilograms
- Set of 6 reps with 80 kilograms
- Set of 8 reps at 75 kilograms
- Set of 4 reps with 90 kilograms
- Set of 6 reps at 75 kilograms
- Set of 4 reps weighing 82.5 kilograms
- Set of 10 reps at 70 kilograms
Bench press for women? Does breast training make sense for women?
Definitely yes! Why? Unfortunately, in the gym it is mostly men who train their chest muscles. The female breast consists mainly of connective, adipose and glandular tissue, but it rests on the large pectoral muscles.
When these muscles are exercised, they support the female breast. Especially with the simultaneous training of the upper back muscles , a good posture develops and that in turn ensures a smoother and firmer chest!
Conclusion: The bench press is also absolutely useful for women! More information on this also here …
Finally, the 3 most common mistakes when bench pressing
In order to avoid injuries when pressing the weights on the bench, you should absolutely avoid the following 3 mistakes:
1. One of the most common mistakes is to enter with a too heavy weight . Injuries in the shoulder area occur very quickly here. Choose your weight so that you can do at least 5 repetitions with full range of motion.
Excessive weight on a free weight bench can even be life-threatening without a training partner. For example, if you no longer manage to push the weight up!
2. A grip that is too wide or too tight is also a common mistake. Reaching too far only puts unnecessary strain on the shoulder joints. Also, a grip that is too tight is not ideal for chest training, because here the stress on the triceps and the wrists is increased.
3. Another mistake I see a lot is taking your legs off the floor . Please keep your legs on the floor for more stability and strength when bench pressing. Especially if you train on a free weight bench, you can quickly lose your balance without a safety heel and a training partner, with bad consequences!
The difficulty of the flat or incline bench press is achieved by increasing the weights or reps, not lifting your legs off the floor!