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Most people think that working out is all about physical strength and endurance. However, there’s more to it than just that. To have a safe and effective workout, you must have the proper equipment and proper measurement using body shape calculator. For instance, if you’re going to be lifting weights, weightlifting belts and gloves come in handy. Gym gears and equipment help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout. You’re more likely to hurt yourself or fail to reach your fitness goals without the proper gear. One such piece of equipment is a flat bench.
A flat bench is an excellent tool for strength exercises because it allows you to stand, sit or lie down in the correct position. It is also called a flat weight bench. Some benches are adjustable and can be used at different heights, while others may only have one height setting, but they’re still handy. They are used mainly to target chest muscles, such as during chest presses or bench presses. Before we dive into some of the most effective workouts on flat bench, let’s look at the muscle groups that can be targeted.
Targeted Muscle Groups for Flat Bench Exercises
The major muscle groups that are targeted by the bench presses are:
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The Pectoralis major is the superior and greatest muscle of the front chest wall. It is a thick, fan-shaped muscle that creates the frontal wall of the axilla and rests beneath the breast tissue. The pectoral muscles are divided into three groups:
- Clavicular or higher pectoral fibres
- Costal or lower pectoral fibres
- Sternal or middle pectoral fibres
Bench presses that are flat impact all three pectoral muscles relatively evenly.
The ball-and-socket joint that joins your arm to your body’s trunk is where your deltoid muscles are. The deltoid muscles enable you to move your arms in different directions. Your shoulder joint is also protected and stabilized by them. The deltoids are skeletal muscles. Humans have three deltoids:
- Anterior for front deltoids
- Medial or middle
- Posterior or rear
During bench presses, your anterior deltoids are the most active.
The Triceps brachii is the only member of the arm’s posterior muscle group, covering nearly the whole humerus length. The triceps brachii muscle has a long medial and lateral head that arises from the humerus and scapula, respectively, and inserts into the ulna through a shared tendon.
As mentioned earlier, a flat bench is meant for presses. Let’s see how to do flat bench presses accurately!
How to Do Flat Bench Press
There are different variations of bench presses. For example, some use dumbbells, while others use barbells for bench presses. The steps are similar for both these variations, which are as follows:
- Pick up the dumbbells in your hands, maintain a neutral grip, and sit on the bench.
- Lie on the bench on your back and keep the dumbbells near your chest.
- Raise your arms and nearly lock your elbows while holding the dumbbells straight above your head.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells to around the chest level.
- Push the dumbbells back to the initial position by contracting the chest muscles.
- Repeat until you’ve completed the required number of reps.
Now let’s move to the exercises you can do on a flat bench other than the bench press.
Exercises You Can Do on a Flat Bench
The following are some exercises you do using a flat weight bench.
- One Arm Dumbbell Row
This dumbbell row variant is an excellent technique to increase strength and muscle mass. This well-executed workout can strengthen your back, arms, shoulders, and core. It can help you feel less uncomfortable in your daily routines and instill more flexibility into your routine.
- Hold the dumbbell in one hand while you stand.
- Hinge forward to some extent so that your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Pull the dumbbell closer to your body until the elbow is behind your torso.
- Return the dumbbell to its starting position.
- Rep each hand for the required amount of reps.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbell shoulder press is a similar technique to the barbell shoulder press, resulting in significant shoulder, triceps, and upper chest hypertrophy. Some aspects of the anterior, posterior, and entire shoulder region can be highlighted depending on the grips utilized, angles, and variants of the shoulder press.
- Sit on your bench with your back against the backrest if it is upright. With each hand, grab a dumbbell and set one on each leg as softly as possible.
- Raise the dumbbells one at a time to around ear level, just above your shoulders, using an overhand grip. If necessary, your thighs can assist in lifting. The palms of your hands should now be facing forward.
- Slowly exhale as you raise the dumbbells above your head until you have fully extended your arms. As you lift, keep your concentration on your shoulders to ensure that most of the effort comes from the proper muscles.
- Squeeze hard at the top and lower the weights to ear level, as usual.
- Decline Pushups
A decline pushup is a variation of a standard pushup. It’s performed with your feet on a raised surface, putting your body at a downward angle. You engage more of your top chest muscles and front shoulders if you do pushups in this position.
- Start with a pushup position with your chest on the floor. Your hands must be slightly wider than your shoulders. On your flat bench, elevate your feet. Maintain a board-straight posture.
- As you push up, consider which muscles you want to target. Throughout the movement, keep your core firm.
- At the top, firmly squeeze your major muscle, then slowly lower your chest.
- Concentration Curls
The concentration curl is a biceps-focused weightlifting exercise. You can also complete this workout with free weights or a cable machine. You’ll need to choose weights you can lift for 8-10 reps to complete the concentration curl.
- Sit at the end of a bench with your legs open in a V position.
- Lean forward and place your elbow on the inner of your thigh while holding the dumbbell in one hand.
- Curl your hands towards your shoulder, placing your other elbow on the opposite leg for support.
- Hold the dumbbell for a few seconds at the peak to feel the biceps working, then return to your starting position to complete one rep.
- Do not place your hand on the floor until you have completed all 12-15 reps.
- Dumbbell Flyes
The motion of this workout is comparable to that of a pec deck. Dumbbells provide the added benefit of training your secondary stabilizing muscles like your triceps and deltoids as they are less steady than a deck. The machine supports the weight of the pec deck. Therefore you do not need anything else to stablize your muscles
- In a flat position, lie down on your bench. With your arms almost totally straight, bring the dumbbells together immediately above your chest. The palms of your hands should be towards each other.
- Keep your arms outstretched as you lower the dumbbells in a wide arc to the sides. Go as low as you’re comfortable with, but don’t go any lower.
- Squeeze your pectorals together to return the dumbbells to their initial position without arching your back or bending your arms too much.
- Dumbbell Pullovers
A dumbbell pullover is an excellent way to strengthen your chest muscles. It also strengthens your upper body and targets your lats. This exercise should be included in your upper-body program because it works for many muscular groups. When completing a dumbbell pullover, it’s best to use a weight that feels comfortable to you.
- Place your feet firmly on the ground and sit at the end of the bench.
- Roll backwards, holding a dumbbell in each hand until you’re lying on the floor.
- Extend your arms towards the ceiling, crossing them over your chest. With your hands facing each other, bend your elbows slightly.
- Inhale as you extend the weights back over your head. Keep your core engaged and your feet firmly planted on the bench.
- Extend your arms fully behind you. Weights should not, however, be placed below your head.
- Return the weights to their initial position after exhaling.
- Lying Tricep Extensions
The skull crusher is a triceps-strengthening exercise that aids in mass gain and triceps strength. The isolation exercise lets you focus entirely on your triceps by allowing all your energy to go through one location. The diversity of the workout is defined by the fact that you can exercise your muscles unilaterally or bilaterally with the activity. It also strengthens your wrists and elbows, which enhances your overall technique.
- Sit on the bench with the dumbbell between your thighs.
- Lay down and hoist the dumbbell above your head with your arms extended. Keep it in an overhand grip.
- Raise the dumbbell over your head, up into the air. Maintain triceps tension by keeping your arms slightly bent. It is where you’ll begin.
- Lower the dumbbell to your forehead while keeping your elbows fixed.
- Push the dumbbell above the stretched position again after a brief pause.
- Continue with another rep without locking your arms.
- Rep until you’ve completed the required number of reps.
- Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are a triceps brachii strengthening exercise that isolates your triceps. It expands your range of motion and strengthens your upper body. The workout is also beneficial to your shoulders and arms. This exercise can be done in two ways: one focuses on your triceps and the other on your chest. The latter puts a lot of strain on your triceps.
- Sit on the edge of the bench with your feet flat on the ground and your hands behind you, palms facing down.
- Then, simply lower yourself down by bending your elbows until your triceps are parallel with the ground.
- To come back up, press through your palms and extend your elbows until you’re back in the starting position.
- Bench Reverse Crunches
The lying bench reverse crunch is a popular ab workout in which the knees are brought to the chest while laying on a bench. It’s a similar exercise to one done on the floor however, being able to press your lower back into the bench pad can assist, reinforce perfect technique and boost the abs’ burn.
- Face the ceiling while lying on your flat bench. Grasp the bench top overhead with both hands.
- Raise your lower torso and legs just above the bench using only your core muscles. Curl your back and bend your knees slightly to bring them to your nose as near as possible.
- Pause to grip your lower abs firmly, then gently descend your legs and torso.
- Bulgarian Split Squat
It is a fantastic exercise for developing powerful quads. It aids in the correction of muscle imbalances that can emerge as a result of extended bilateral leg motions. The workout is fantastic for challenging your balance, strengthening your core muscles, and improving control. It strengthens your legs and glutes while also improving your flexibility.
- Position yourself in a split stance. It would necessitate placing one of your feet on a bench behind you and standing upright with the other leg.
- With a neutral grip, hold a dumbbell by your side.
- Your front knee should be flexed to the point where your rear knee touches the ground.
- To get to the initial position, drive through the full front foot.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to working out on a flat bench, people often think of bench presses only. However, many different exercises can be done on a flat bench. For example, you can use a bench for crunches, tricep dips, and even push-ups. By varying your workout routine, you can target different muscle groups and create a well-rounded fitness routine.
In addition, using a bench can help you increase the intensity of your workout. For instance, you can work your abs more effectively by doing incline crunches on a bench. So next time you’re looking for a new way to work out, consider using a flat bench.
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