Whether you are a man or a woman, as gravity takes over the pectoral region of our body tends to begin to sag and look less youthful. One way to avoid having saggy pecs is through regularly adding a bench press routine to your workout. Here are some basic tips to performing any bench press routine safely while getting the most out of it.
Do’s and Don’ts
Working with the bench press is pretty straight forward in what to do, lower weight bar then raise weight bar. However there are some form mechanics that should ALWAYS be adhered to while working with any bench press equipment.
- Use a Spotter – When lifting at your max it is a very good idea to have a spotter work with you in case you cannot control the weight.
- Keep feet flat on the floor – Never lift feet off of the floor when working with the bench press. If you feel you need to lift your feet you have too much weight on the bar, decrease weight and try again.
- Avoid Arching Back – In order to work the intended muscles you must maintain a flat position keeping gluts, shoulders, back, and head in direct contact with the bench at all points within the bench press maneuver. Arching your back transfers the weight and strain to your lower back which could result in lower back injury.
- Include a Warm Up in your Workout – Before adding your real workout weight to the bar, take the time to do a warm up set of six to ten repetitions, using either a lower weight or just the bar. This helps prepare your muscles for the workout they are about to perform sending vital blood and nutrients to these muscles, before they are being taxed by heavy lifting. Warm up repetitions help avoid serious injuries and muscle tears that will take months to heal.
- Take a Breather – Remember to take a short rest period, ten to fifteen seconds, for your body to refresh and prepare for the next set of lifts.
Benefits of Bench Press
Working with the bench press works your pecs, biceps, deltoids, upper chest, and triceps, along with the smaller muscles of the shoulder’s rotator cuff. Maintaining this part of the body is not simply for the sake of looking good or being able to lift items. This part of the body is essential to good posture, and maintaining a healthy core. When these areas are week, we tend to slump more, and in turn put added pressure on our core and lower back.
Being healthy, having good posture, and looking good all go hand in hand. When your body is weak in one area it transfers the responsibility of that muscle or muscle group to other areas of the body eventually burning those areas out and causing injury or weakness. By including the bench press into your regular workout routine you build strong muscles in the upper body, especially the shoulders, arms, upper back, and chest regions so that they can function properly taking excess stress and strain away from other areas of the body