Bench press is one of those essential upper body exercises that you cannot just pass up. In fact, it should be in your chest exercise routine because bench press is full of benefits no matter if you are a beginner or a pro. Check out the top bench press benefits below:
Benefits of Bench Press
1. It increases your upper body strength manifolds
The bench press has no parallel when you are focusing on your upper body strength. Even the new fitness enthusiasts can increase the strength of their upper body by 40% in just 6 months with this exercise. With a good quality weight bench, you can achieve even more gains. This extra strength will also help you get better with the shoulder or overhead press for wide shoulders.
2. Bigger and stronger pec muscles
There is no doubt that the bench press is a must for building your pec major and strengthening your pec minor. Pec major is the muscle that mainly gets bigger when you are benching and gives your pecs a stronger and bigger appearance. On the other hand, although your pec minor is not so much visible because lies under your pec major, it has a major role when we are talking about scapula downward rotation.
3. It increases bone health
This is another great benefit that the bench press can provide you with. This occurs because the bench press is a weight bearing and resistance exercise that works against the gravity. Such resistance exercises for bodybuilding are known to help strengthen bones and the heavier loads you push up, the more new cells are generated in your bones. This will especially benefit you when you will get older and your bones will start degenerating.
4. It improves your joint health
The bench press the exercise that helps you maintain your cartilage’s health. As people age, cartilage between their joints begins wear down that often results in severe pain, lack of movement, and even osteoarthritis in some cases. Heavyweight exercises like the bench press can help you keep your cartilage in a healthy condition that will support you for years as you will get older.
5. It boosts your testosterone levels
The natural production of testosterone in your body gets to a maximum level when you lift heavy weights. And we know the motto when we lie on the weight bench – go as heavy as you can! We all know more testosterone production means more muscle growth, which is the primary target of your exercising sessions. This is the reason why serious gym-goers keep the bench press in their exercise routine along with deadlift and squats. Women can also be benefited from weight lifting. It helps to increase strength, tones muscle and also helps to increase physical definition.
6. It helps you hit a lot of upper body muscles
When you are benching heavy weights on the weight bench, not only are you working your pectoral muscles, but you are also targeting a wide range of your upper body muscles, including your triceps, deltoids, abdominals, hand flexors, and shoulder muscles. This allows you to work up a large portion of your upper body with a single compound exercise.
7. It increases your grip strength
If you regularly bench heavy weights, this will help you increase your grip strength – one of the unique bench press exercise benefits. You have to squeeze the bar very tightly when you lift heavy weights to have control over the movement. This allows the adjacent muscles of your arms to contract that is called “Irradiation.” Such contraction of those muscles actually allows you to go heavy, ultimately increasing your grip strength. This shows how beneficial the bench press is as an exercise in helping you lift more weights for more muscle gains.
8. It helps you make your running efficiency better
This may sound weird to you but this is actually a fact. How? Well, you need to maintain the proper form of running so you need less energy, and you will be able to do that if you have the proper upper body mechanics. This means keeping your head up, looking upward, keeping your chest open, your shoulder muscles relaxed and your elbows close to you 90 degrees. Here, your chest muscles allow you to easily swing your hands forward when the elbows stay behind – a form that helps you run faster with reduced energy.
9. It helps you look good and feel better
A bigger chest attracts everybody’s attention around you and let’s be honest, who really does not want a huge chest. The bench press is one of the most effective chest exercises that can allow you to have a super large chest like Arnold if you put in the work. Such a big load of muscles on your upper body will definitely make you feel better and boost your confidence to a great extent.
10. It helps you prevent muscle imbalances
If you are a serious weightlifter that frequently uses pulling muscles like forearms or biceps, you will benefit a lot from this exercise because this will help you correct or prevent muscle imbalances. You probably know that strain can be caused on your joints by muscle imbalances and the bench press is there to help you tackle such a condition.
Incline and Decline Bench Press Benefits
The main difference between incline bench press and decline bench press is that incline lets you target your upper chest muscles while decline mainly works on your lower chest. So if you are looking forward to building your upper chest area, you should focus on inclined bench press instead of just the flat bench press. On the other hand, decline chest press will give your chest a complete look. One of the major incline and decline bench press benefits is that you can target specific pectoral muscle groups when you try either of them .
You may also wonder what the dumbbell bench press benefits are. Well, they are the same like barbell bench press benefits except there is one added benefit – you will have a wider range of motion when compared to barbell. That means you can hit your upper and lower pecs with fuller range of motion.
Now that you know the major bench press benefits, I am sure you will now be more serious about benching if you have never been before. Keep going heavy on your bench press, try incline, decline, and flat bench presses, and have a massive chest with extraordinary upper body strength.