What muscle groups work when performing this exercise. All the nuances of the technique of its implementation. What is better to do – bench press sitting or standing.
Beginners, and more advanced athletes try to learn from the experience of their colleagues. However, many exercises remain “overboard” because of their low popularity. For example, the bench press sitting behind the head or from the chest for some reason falls out of the program. This ignoring of the exercise is supposedly due to its danger to the joints.
It is believed that enthusiasm for the bench press from the chest can completely “kill” the elbow joints. Fearing such a fate, many athletes forget about the bench for a long time, pushing it into the distant “box”. Let’s see if there is really a risk to the body and whether to abandon the exercise.
Remember the anatomy
It’s no secret that the bench press sitting refers to multi-joint. Here, a whole group of muscle fibers is connected to work:
- synergists, namely the lateral bundles of the deltoid muscles, triceps, supraspinatus muscle fibers, dentate anterior muscles;
- the front part of the bundles of deltoid muscles take on the bulk of the load;
- the role of stabilizers is played by a muscle group that raises the scapula, as well as the trapezius muscles;
- the role of a dynamic stabilizer is assumed by the head of the triceps muscles.
But that is not all. When lifting the barbell from the chest while sitting, additional muscle groups are connected to work – the pectoralis major, biceps and even “cubes” on the stomach.
What are the benefits?
Practice has shown that a bench press with a chest has several main advantages:
- the maximum number of muscle fibers works;
- the entire upper torso is being worked out (the muscle groups involved have already been mentioned above);
- strength increases. If you regularly perform a bench press, you can count on a stable increase in strength indicators;
- developing power that contributes to better results in strength exercises. For example, excellent results can be achieved when working with the barbell lying down;
- musculature increases. After several months of training, muscle mass in the shoulder area significantly increases;
- the deltoid muscles are strengthened, and the condition of the shoulder is also normalized.
How to do the exercise?
Now we turn directly to the execution technique. Despite the fact that the exercise is performed while sitting, you need special attention to coordination of movements. In order not to lose balance and clearly implement the plan, stick to the following algorithm:
- Sit on a bench (you can do a bench press in two versions – sitting across or along). Next, take the shell from the rack or ask someone to feed it. Grasp the bar so that between the hands there is a length slightly wider than the shoulders. After that, put the shell on the upper chest. Watch your back and do not bend it. At the same time, try to firmly rest your feet on the floor so that they do not move on the floor. The position described above is the starting point.
- Inhale and exhale lift the projectile exactly above the crown. After that, return the bar to the starting position.
- Do the exercise as many times as necessary for your program.
As already mentioned, sitting bench press refers to high-risk exercises. To avoid personal injury and maximum effect, consider the following recommendations:
- hold the projectile in such a way that from below the shoulder and forearm are located relative to each other at an angle of 90 degrees;
- look a little ahead (do not rest your eyes on the floor). To make it easier – find a point and concentrate on it throughout the exercise;
- until the necessary technique is developed, do the bench press while sitting in front of the mirror (it is easier to control your movements). At the same time, sit not face, but sideways to the mirror surface;
- When working with medium or heavy weights, provide yourself with quality back support. In particular, wear a track and field belt or stand behind your partner;
- if there is no assistant, then you can use the bar on the racks for the bench press as an emphasis. All that is required is to lean against the bar when doing the exercise (the shell will not allow the back to go too far back);
- at the top point, try not to straighten your arms completely (a slight bend in the elbow joints should still remain);
- if you have pain in the shoulder joint or have previously had injuries, then the head press is best not to perform. In this case, the best option is to work with the chest;
- watch your back – it should be perfectly flat throughout the exercise;
- it is necessary to lift the bar without jerking and long pauses. Make the most smooth movements and always keep them under control;
- use the entire range of movement of the bar;
- do not use extreme points for rest. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the exercise will drop.
What are the options?
This exercise has many options that you need to not only know about, but also actively apply in practice. However, it is not always clear which method is better. Below, we consider the comparison of options in the field of efficiency and safety:
- Dumbbells or barbell? The main advantage of using the bar is the ability to take more weight, which allows you to quickly gain muscle mass and achieve strength. The downside is that a strong hand will take most of the weight onto itself. The result may be an asymmetry of muscles (it can be ugly). In 2013, large studies were conducted on this issue. So, scientists were able to prove that working with a barbell from the chest allows you to quickly develop strength and is best suited for working out deltoid muscle fibers.
Thus, the training process should include two types of presses – with a barbell and dumbbells, alternating between them. For example, one month you can practice using the barbell, and the other – with the use of dumbbells.
- Bench press sitting or standing? Few people know, but with an army bench press, the lower back gets a lot more stress. For example, the same office workers are literally exhausted from back problems due to constant sitting in one place. If the body is in a standing position, then the transverse force will be much less. In addition, buttocks and muscle groups of the cortex are included in the work. As a result, you can handle a lot more weight.
Do not forget about another important point – security. During standing work and the inability to complete the approach, the bar can be reset. If you perform the exercise while sitting, you will have to attract an assistant. As a result, a bench press from the chest is better (and safer) to do while standing. When planting a neck for a head, a sitting position is allowed.
- What presses up, and with what shells is better? This issue was once addressed by Norwegian scientists. They conducted an experiment and compared different types of exercises (different shells, positions, and so on). After that, they studied electromyography of muscles and the manifestation of strength. The study was conducted for all heads of the deltoid muscles, triceps and biceps.
The results are as follows:
- For the anterior deltoid muscle:
- when working with dumbbells (in comparison with the use of the bar) the activity of muscle groups is 11% more;
- dumbbell press is 15% more effective than standard work with a barbell from the chest;
- working with dumbbells while standing is 8% more effective than sitting.
- For the middle deltoid muscle:
- bench press with dumbbells gives 7% greater effect (in comparison with the use of the bar);
- standing barbell press is 7% more effective than sitting dumbbells.
- For the posterior deltoid muscle:
- when standing, the muscle receives 25% more activation than when working with the barbell;
- Using dumbbells while standing is 24% more effective than sitting.
- For the biceps. The results here are also quite interesting. When comparing the effectiveness of exercises with the use of dumbbells and a barbell, muscles are more active when working sitting with a barbell. If we compare two exercises with a dumbbell or barbell while standing, then the second option wins (the efficiency is 16% more). As for working with dumbbells, standing training is 23% more effective than a similar bench press, but sitting.
In addition, it is worth highlighting some more important points:
- performing presses over the head requires more stability from the athlete;
- in most of the exercises performed while standing, the deltas are loaded more;
- when standing, triceps and biceps work more actively.
Well, that was all there was to know about such a useful exercise. It remains only to take advice on arms, follow the technique given in the article and observe safety measures. Good luck.