Bench Press and Its Variations: The Best Bench Exercise for Upper Body

The Best Bench Exercise for Shoulders & Arms : Bench Press and Its Variations

They say health is wealth. One of the necessary ways to keep up with your health is exercise. In this article, we are going to focus on the bench exercises for the shoulder and arms.

Press is one of the most effective movements for strengthening your shoulder and arms, and a workout bench helps you in isolated exercises, allowing you to target the exact muscles you want to work. So the bench press is a must-do exercise if you want to have a broader shoulder and stronger arms. Here, we will introduce the flat bench press and a series of its variations. You may pick one and add it to your workout routine!

Reminder: You can use different weights during the training. But if you are working out at home, a pair of adjustable dumbbells can be a perfect choice, which helps you achieve the goal while taking less space.

1. Flat Bench Press

It is a standard press style and it trains your whole upper body well.

Bench Press
Photo: Youtube@Mind Pump TV
  • First, lie on a flat bench (on your back) and take a barbell: grip it so that your hands are wider apart than the shoulder. Keep the feet on the ground and hips on the bench. 
  • Keep your spine in a neutral posture. Squeeze a bit on your shoulder, so there will be a natural arch on your back
  • Now, gradually lift the bar and bring that down to chest level. 
  • While taking the bar down, make sure your elbows go away from your body at a 45-degree angle. 
  • 5 to 10 repetitions of three sets are enough. 

    2. Inclined Bench Press

    It mainly targets inner deltoids, triceps and the upper chest.

    Inclined bench press
    • Place your feet flat on the ground and lie in an inclined posture on the bench ( which should be between 60 to 70 degrees). 
    • Make sure your spine is in a neutral position.
    • Hold the dumbbells or the barbell exactly over the shoulder and lift the weight slowly above the eye level or slightly higher. 
    • Take it down slowly to the chest level. Keep an eye on the elbow position. It should go 45 degrees apart from the body. 
    • 8-12 reps of three sets are enough. 

    3. Decline Bench Press

    It works to active the lower chest a little bit better, and it also works shoulders and arms.

    Decline chest press
    Photo: Youtube@ScottHermanFitness
    • Lie down on your back on the decline bench. The bench should be in a 15-degree downward position
    • Keep the spine neutral, and do not arch your back; place your feet on the stirrups for stability
    • Hold the dumbbells or the barbell (wider apart hands than the shoulder), and push it exactly above your shoulder
    • Lower down the weight after your hands reach a 45-degree straight. Make sure your elbows are going apart from the body while taking down. 
    • Three sets of 10 reps will do the job. 

      4. Narrow Grip Bench Press

      Compared with the standard bench press, the arms are closer together when doing this movement, so it can train the triceps and stability to a greater extent.

      Narrow Grip Bench Press
      Photo: Youtube@Jim Stoppani, PhD
      • Follow the flat bench press posture and keep the spine relaxed and neutral.
      • Now, hold dumbbells in your hands. Position the hands as wide as the shoulder and no wider than that. 
      • Push the weight above your eyes and take it down to chest level. 
      • Make sure your shoulder goes apart from the body while taking it down. 
      • Five reps of three sets will suffice. 

      Final Thoughts:

      Now that you have understood the different bench press exercises, what are you waiting for? Buckle up and start toning your shoulder and arms today. Keep the posture perfect, and you'll see results in no time.

       

      Related: The Best Chest Exercises with Bench


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