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The Bench Press

    

The Bench Press is one of the most popular weight training exercises for the upper body. It is the main exercise for developing chest muscles, but it also targets the deltoids, triceps, and more.

The Bench Press develops strength and increases the range of motion in the upper body. It is a functional exercise that helps in any daily activity that requires pushing or carrying.

This exercise is generally performed with a barbell, but dumbbells can also be used.

The different variations of the Bench Press work the muscles in different ways. Here are some examples: 

  • Flat Bench Press: This is the traditional Bench Press and it is called flat because it is performed lying on a flat bench. This exercise offers overall chest development.
  • Narrow-Grip Barbell Bench Press: Lifting the barbell with a narrow grip (hands close to each other but not together) works mainly the triceps and forearms.
  • Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press: Lifting the barbell with a wide grip (hands closer to the weight plates) works the chest muscles more than any other muscle group.
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: To perform this variation, the bench must be raised at an angle between 45 and 60 degrees. The Incline Bench Press focuses on the upper chest, the front part of the shoulders, and the triceps.
  • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press: To perform this variation, the bench must be declined so that the upper body is placed on a downward slope. The Decline Bench Press focuses on the lower chest but also targets the shoulders and triceps.

It is possible to lift heavier weights by performing the Bench Press with a barbell, but with dumbbells it is possible to get a higher muscle activation, achieve a greater range of motion and obtain a more symmetrical muscle development.

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