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Thinking of adding a bench press to your home gym?
If you’re not entirely familiar with the bench press, with this equipment you’ll lie flat on your back, on a bench, and press weight vertically upwards from your chest while extending your arms fully. You can use either dumbbells or barbells for these exercises.
The bench press is a wonderful piece of equipment for building upper body strength as it allows you to work many different muscle groups. The more you lift, the more you use those groups and the more you increase their strength and size.
For example, the bench press will allow you to target shoulder muscles like your anterior and lateral deltoids. You’ll be able to work on your pecs as well as your serratus anterior, which are the muscles right around your rib cage. You can also build up your long, lateral and medial triceps on the bench press. Upper body aside, you will feel it in your core too, since you flex your abs when you bench press a heavy load.
Other benefits from using the bench press include preventing cartilage deterioration and joint issues, strengthening your bones and promoting bone health, improving your grip strength, burning lots of calories, and preventing muscle imbalances.
In short, the bench press is considered a functional exercise because it builds muscles and trains you for motion that you use in your everyday life, which makes it a highly useful and practical piece of equipment.
But before you decide which bench press you want to buy, you’ll have to figure out which type of bench press will best meet your needs.
You have the flat bench press, which is the model most commonly found in home and professional gyms. These are usually more wallet-friendly, they can be used with dumbbells and barbells, and they allow for increased muscle engagement.
The incline bench press lets you target those muscle groups that are generally harder to reach and is known for activating the most muscle fibers in the upper chest. The decline bench press, in contrast, lets you focus on the lower sternal pectoral muscles, and because of the weight distribution, people are generally able to lift heavier weights than usual.
Before you hit the “Buy” button, there are a few things to consider before you make your final decision.
Your lifting program: How often do you expect to use the bench press? Will you be using barbells and dumbbells? Do you want an incline, decline or flat model? What part of your upper body will you be focusing on the most? There are all questions you need to answer before you get started.
Materials and quality: Is the model stable and well built? You certainly don’t want anything that wobbles while you’re lifting your weights. Make sure the bench press is heavy and reliable.
Bench pressing weight goals: All benches should have a weight rating, so be sure to inquire about this before you buy. Depending how much you weigh and how much you plan to bench, your equipment must be rated to a certain amount for it to be safe.
Warranty: Make sure you read the fine print and you know what’s covered and what’s not.
Hopefully these tips and ideas have fully prepared you to buy a new bench press. Now it’s time to make a decision and, most importantly, to start pumping some iron.