fitness weight bench

how to use a weight bench?

Weight bench: In 6 simple and effective exercises, this practical guide will allow you to build muscle easily thanks to this essential device.

WHY USE A WEIGHT BENCH?

The weight bench is essential in the practice of weight training. It is a good complement to indoor training.

It is an effective equipment for sculpting your body, building power and muscle volume, lifting weights using a barbell, manually loadable cast iron discs or dumbbells. Its size is often minimal since most models are foldable and compact.

It allows you to perform various exercises to isolate muscle groups, among the most common: the bench press (pectorals), the chest lift (abdominals), the leg extension (quadriceps-hamstrings), the chest or neck pull (back ), curl (biceps).

A weight training session on a bench can vary from 30 minutes to 1h30. To get your body used to making new efforts, gradually increase the duration of your workouts. Likewise, don’t overestimate the weight of the loads to begin with. Remember to stick to your bodybuilding program as much as possible to obtain results over time. Finally, don’t underestimate the value of stretching after your workout.

BUILD THE PECTORALS

Discover the exercises to strengthen the pectorals

EXERCISE 1: PRESS PRESS WITH DUMBBELLS

Although you won’t be able to lift as heavy as the barbell, the barbell bench press will allow you to work your pectorals differently, thanks to better range and more natural movement.

  • Equipment required: weight bench, 2 dumbbells.
  • Main muscles targeted: pectorals, shoulders, triceps.
  • Performing the exercise: Lie down on the weight bench, arch your back slightly, and place your feet flat on the floor. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms vertically, bringing the dumbbells together. Consider pulling your shoulders back and contracting your pecs. From this high position, slowly lower the dumbbells to each side of the torso. Without rebounding, contract the pectorals and develop (push) the dumbbells upwards, bringing them together during the rise (the dumbbells must touch each other at the end of the movement = converging movement).
  • Breathing: inhale while lowering the dumbbells, exhale while pushing them up (you follow the movement of the rib cage).
  • Safety instruction: the head, shoulders and buttocks must necessarily remain resting on the bench. They allow you to “block”. Without this stability, there is no strength. When lowering the dumbbells, keep your elbows aligned with the axis of your shoulders. In the high position, remember not to lock the elbows, so as not to damage the elbow joint.

EXERCISE 2: INCLINED PRESS WITH DUMBBELLS

This exercise with dumbbells allows a more natural movement but also more complete than with the bar. It will be useful in addition to the bench press, to rebalance your pectoral muscles, since it works more on the upper part.

  • Equipment required: weight bench, 2 dumbbells.
  • Main muscles targeted: pectorals, shoulders, triceps.
  • Performing the exercise: lie down on your weight bench, tilted between 15 ° and 45 °. Arch your back slightly and place your feet flat on the floor. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms vertically, bringing the dumbbells together. Consider pulling your shoulders back and contracting your pecs. From this high position, inhale and then slowly lower the dumbbells on each side of the torso. Without rebounding, contract the pectorals and develop (push) the dumbbells upwards, bringing them together during the rise (the dumbbells must touch each other at the end of the movement = converging movement).
  • Breathing: inhale while lowering the dumbbells, exhale during the contraction.
  • Safety instructions: the head, shoulders and buttocks must necessarily rest on the bench. They allow you to “block”. Without this stability, there is no strength. When lowering the dumbbells, keep your elbows aligned with the axis of your shoulders. In the high position, remember not to lock the elbows, so as not to damage the elbow joint.

EXERCISE 3: SWEATER OVER WITH DUMBBELL

Although you won’t be able to lift as heavy as the barbell, the barbell bench press will allow you to work your pectorals differently, thanks to better range and more natural movement.

  • Equipment required: weight bench, dumbbell.
  • Main muscles targeted: the pectoralis major, the long head of the triceps.
  • Performing the exercise: Lie down on the weight bench. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands, then extend your arms above your head. Take a deep breath, then lower the dumbbell behind your head, bending your elbows slightly. Breathe out while returning to the starting position.
  • Breathing: inhale while lowering the dumbbell behind the head, exhale at the end of the movement (returning to the high position).
  • Safety instructions: the head, shoulders and buttocks must necessarily rest on the bench.

BUILD YOUR BACK

Discover the exercises to strengthen the back

EXERCISE 4: ROWING WITH DUMBBELLS

  • Equipment required: weight bench, dumbbell.
  • Main muscles targeted: latissimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoid (rear part of the shoulders), brachioradialis (long supinator).
  • Performing the exercise: Stand up next to the weight bench. Place one knee on the bench, the other foot remains on the ground. Take a dumbbell in one hand, stand on the bench with the other hand. Contract your back, then bring your elbow back, as high as possible, so that the dumbbell is raised.
  • Breathing: breathe in in a low position, then block your breath during the contraction (when you raise the dumbbell). Exhale as you lower the dumbbell.
  • Safety instructions: To protect your lower back, be sure to keep your back flat during exercise. With each repetition, raise the barbell without jerking.

 

BUILD THE TRICEPS

Discover the exercises to strengthen the triceps

EXERCISE 5: FRONT BAR TRICEPS

 Equipment needed: a weight bench, a straight bar 

  • Main muscles targeted: triceps.
  • Performing the exercise: Lie down on the weight bench, place your feet flat on the floor. Hold the bar supine (palms of the hands facing towards the face) or over pronation (more accessible for beginners), with a grip that is shoulder-width apart. Without locking the elbows, bend the forearms to bring the bar above the forehead. From this position, do an extension of the forearms, to raise the bar above your head.
  • Breathing: inhale in low position, exhale while raising the bar.
  • Safety instructions: control the descent of the bar by bending the forearms. Be careful not to spread your elbows too far to lower the bar to the forehead.

BUILD BICEPS

Discover the exercises to strengthen the biceps

EXERCISE 6: CONCENTRATED CURL (CONCENTRATED FOREARM BEND)

  • Equipment required: weight bench, dumbbell.
  • Main muscles targeted: biceps brachii, brachii (located under the biceps).
  • Performing the exercise: Sit on the weight bench with your legs apart and your feet flat on the floor. Grasp a dumbbell with the right hand, supine grip (palm facing up). With your back straight, lean forward slightly, bend your elbow slightly and place it on your right thigh. The other hand is resting on the left thigh. Take a deep breath, then raise the dumbbell to chest height. Then blow while returning to the starting position. Do the reps at your own pace then switch sides.
  • Breathing: Breathe in in the starting position, when the elbow is slightly bent. Exhale during the contraction.
  • Safety instructions: Lift the load concentrating on the biceps, without moving your upper body or legs. Be sure to control the movement when lowering the dumbbell.

WHAT IF YOU COMPLETE YOUR UPPER BODY WORKOUT WITH A FEW ABDOMINAL EXERCISES?

Do you need a weight bench?

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