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Bench press exercise

Potentially one of the most beneficial exercises for the upper body, the bench press should be a core lift that you perform as part of your workouts.

The bench press exercise is going to predominately target the pectoral (chest) muscles as well as also calling into play the tricep muscles and the lateral deltoid shoulder muscle. Because you will need to use your abdominals in order to keep your back pressed down, your core will act synergistically as well.

When performing the bench press, you need to be sure you are breathing out during the concentric portion of the movement, which occurs when you drive the weight in the upwards direction. Then breath in while you are lowering the weight back down again.

If you are going to perform this exercise with a great deal of intensity, then you likely also should be looking into getting a spotter to watch over you as that will be critical to avoid injuries.

There are also a few variations of this exercise you can do such as using a set of dumbbells rather than barbells, doing it on a raised surface (using an incline), doing it on a declined surface and then also changing the type of grip you are using (overhand vs. underhand and also altering how far apart your hands are on the bar).

As this is a compound lift it should be performed as one of the first exercises you do for your upper body to make sure the other muscles involved are not already fatigued. For example, if you are also going to do some tricep work in that particular session, be sure to do that afterwards because if you don't, they will isolate and fatigue the triceps so then you will not be able to push as much weight.

Finally, be sure that you are only performing this exercise three times per week at most (assuming a full body workout) and have at least one day of rest between each session.

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