demonstration of the bench press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

The Dumbbell Bench Press is an exercise designed to strengthen the Chest muscles

The Bench Press also known as the Chest Press is probebly one of the best known strength exercises. This exercises is used to build up strength in the chest and triceps (although your front delt is one of the prime movers as well). There is a lot of room for variations with this exercise for both the resistance that you use and the posistion that you are in.

Resistance Variations:

  • Dumbbell
  • Barbell
  • Cable
  • Elastic Bands

Posistion Variations

  • Incline, Flat, Decline
  • Feet up or down
  • Shoulder angle (Abduction): Close, 45 degrees, Wide

Choosing the right posistion

Bench: Your strongest angle is the decline. After that every angle upwards will make the exercise harder. Eventually you will end up in a shoulder press being the most difficult posistion.

Feet up or down: Each will have its positives and negatives. Feet down on the floor is your strongest posisition. It provides more stability and it will help you to push higher weights. The disadvantage is that it is harder to encage your core. This will increase the risk of over arching your back.  So especially for those that have troubles with their lower back, I recommend having your feet up.  One of the other problems is that some of the benches are simply to high for people to have their feet planted firmly on the ground. Try both and test which one you find most comfortable.

Shoulder angle: The closer your elbows are to your side the more tricep muscle will be used in the movement.  Most people will find a 45 degree angle to work best for them. You will still use the pec major muscle to encourage chest development but the tension on the shoulder is reduced to a minimal.

How to do it

– Sit up straight with the dumbbells rested on your knees and roll back to get to starting posisition

– Your starting posistion will have your shoulder blades planted firmly in the bench.

– Place your feet either flat on the floor or on the bench

– Bring your belly button in towards your spine and activate your core muscles

– Press the weight towards eachother in a upwards motion until your arms are straight

– Return back to starting posistion so the movement looks like an upside down V

Exercise Tips:

  1. Your back must remain straight at all times and your torso should be kept still throughout the entire set.
  2. Don’t let your shoulders reach up from the bench when your arms are extended.
  3. Breath out when you press up

Alternative Exercises

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