Bench press will work your chest, shoulders, and your triceps. The more you can bench press, the more muscle you will gain in this area (to a certain degree). This is the same with all exercises, not just this one specifically. A strong upper body means having more control of the bars when you’re racing on the track or even riding a dirt bike. As a rider, I noticed a big difference when I began engaging my upper body to control the bike rather than just using my arms. My arms don’t feel heavy and my wrists don’t hurt. Your burn out time will decrease when you stop controlling the bike with your arms and begin using your entire upper body instead.
Important tips to keep in mind:
- Lay on a bench with your legs bent backwards far enough that your feet still remain flat on the floor
- Create a slight arch in your back however this will vary depending on your training style and preference.
- Slight meaning you can fit a hand between your back and the bench.
- This is created by tightening your lats and contracting the shoulder blades
- Creating this arch will help to stabilize and drive the weight up.
- Grip the back of the bar approximately shoulder width apart. Use the rings on the bar to space your grip evenly.
- This position will help to lock your shoulders into place and give you more power. However, this will be different for everyone.
- When you un-rack the bar, rotate your hands are now on the bottom of the bar. Doing so will make the bar in-line with the wrists.
- When performing the rep, engage your lats, use your legs to stabilize and push your shoulders into the bench.
- Slowly lower the bar to your chest keeping your elbows in (to prevent strain and injuries with heavier weight) and push up until your arms are straight.
- Inhale when you un-rack the bar, lower the bar, breathe out when pushing the bar up.
Article By Cassandra Carillo