Today we’re going to be taking a look at several key bench press benefits for those of you who are looking to develop your chests.
If you take your lifting seriously, you’ll know that Monday is well known as being ‘International Chest Day’ at the gym.
In truth, it doesn’t matter which day you train your chest, as long as you’re training it and are working it hard.
To build an aesthetic physique, all major muscle groups need to be developed and in proportion.
It’s no good having a huge upper body if you’re constantly skipping leg day because your tiny legs will make you look ridiculous.
At the same time, if you have large arms and delts, but a flat chest, this can be detrimental to your physique, especially if you plan on competing on stage as a bodybuilder.
Without question, one of the most effective compound exercises for developing a massive chest is the bench press.
This is why we’re looking at several awesome benefits of the bench press in today’s article.
If you don’t bench, bro, you will after reading this.
Table Of Contents
The bench press is one of the most popular compound exercises in the world.
Many would argue that it is, in fact, the most effective exercise for developing the chest.
The bench press is an exercise that is very adaptable and there are subsequently a number of different variations for users to perform.
You can perform bench presses with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and other unique bars and pieces of equipment.
You can do the exercise on a flat bench, an incline bench, or a decline bench.
The exercise is a pushing movement that activates muscle fibers in the chest.
Flat bench presses are great for adding mass to the middle and upper portion of the pectoral muscles, whereas incline presses are notorious for enabling you to target the upper chest.
Decline presses work the lower pecs.
And it has been Included in many workout programs like Tempo training.
If you’re looking to develop your chest, or simply perform a function movement, the humble bench press is ideal.
No, that isn’t a typo, bench pressing really is great for the triceps.
We know that the bench press is an exercise designed to target and develop the chest, and it does that very well.
It turns out, however, that pushing the bar or the dumbbells up into the air will also work and develop the triceps.
Because of the mechanics of the movement, the triceps play an important role in the lift.
If you’re looking to develop your triceps and increase their strength in the process, be sure to implement plenty of bench presses into your routine.
To really help isolate the triceps, you can adopt a closer, narrower grip and perform close-grip bench presses which are actually for the triceps.
When talking about the benefits, we can’t overlook the fact that the bench press is an awesome compound exercise.
In fact, some would argue that it is perhaps the king of the compounds.
A compound exercise/lift is an exercise that recruits several muscle groups at once.
This is very useful because it means greater muscle fiber activation, and it means that you get more from the exercise.
With one exercise you can essentially target multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Bench presses for example, not only work the chest, but they also hit the triceps, they engage the core, and they even hit the front deltoids.
Primarily, when people lift weights, they do so because they want to build muscle.
The bench press is therefore ideal for anybody looking to get big and jacked.
Because of the stress, it places on the chest, you’ll find your chest responding incredibly well to the exercise.
It is considered one of the best exercises for building mass.
As an added bonus, because you’re working other muscles, you get to enjoy greater levels of muscle hypertrophy in the process, which can only be a good thing.
If strength and power are one of your objectives, these next benefits should prove to be particularly interesting.
Powerlifting competitions have three lifts.
They are Deadlifts, squats, and bench presses.
There’s a reason why the bench press is included as one of the main three compounds and it’s because it’s a great indicator of overall strength.
When you perform the exercise you are literally pushing a bar off of your chest or driving dumbbells up into the air.
This is not easy.
The more bench pressing you to do, the more strength you’ll develop.
Again, as you’re working the triceps, you’ll also find that generate additional pressing strength and power.
Not everybody wants a strong bench. Some people may instead want to increase other lifts, such as military presses perhaps?
If you want to improve your other lifts, especially pressing movements, be sure to perform plenty of bench presses.
Because the exercise is such a great compound movement, it really works wonders for helping people to lift heavier weights when performing other exercises.
If your pressing work is weak, try doing some more bench press variations and watch your lifts improve.
In terms of benefits, a lot of people also tend to love the fact that there are so many different variations for you to choose from.
There’s flat, incline, and decline.
You can do bench presses on the smith machine, you can use dumbbells, you can use kettlebells, you can use the Watson bar, you can perform chaos bench presses, and much more besides.
Having so much variety is very useful because it helps to ensure that your training doesn’t become stale and boring.
It’s also useful because each variation of the bench press offers something slightly different in terms of overall benefits.
Incline dumbbell presses, for example, allow you to go deeper and get a better stretch, whereas flat barbell bench presses are considered ideal for mass.
Okay, we know that there’s no room for ego in the gym, but if you do have a strong bench press, you’ve every right to feel proud.
The bench press is one of the most impressive lifts in existence and it is also a great lift for bragging rights.
After all, when people find out that you lift weights, one of the first questions you’ll be asked is ‘how much do you bench, bro’?
Assuming that you lift safely and know with confidence that you can handle heavy weights when benching, one of the best things about the bench press is the fact that you get to brag.
If you can bench 315lbs or more, for example, this is an impressive lift and you’ve every right to brag to your buddies, and maybe even get a quick vid for your social media channel.
Another reason why there are so many benefits is because of the fact that it helps to prevent muscular imbalances.
Because of the basic body mechanics of the lift, if people primarily use their pulling muscles such as the biceps, you’ll find that they can suffer from muscular imbalances.
With the bench press, the exercise essentially helps to cancel it out.
Having muscular imbalances can result in painful joints and tendons.
Another reason why the various benefits associated with this exercise are so revered globally is the fact that the exercise has been found to help to build a strong mind-muscle connection.
A mind-muscle connection is basically a mental process in which you visualize yourself and your muscles as you perform an exercise.
You focus solely on the exercise you’re performing and drown out all other thoughts and distractions.
This is ideal for training because it helps to increase the intensity, it improves your form, and it helps you to squeeze out another couple of reps here and there.
The bench press is a relatively easy exercise to perform with great form so you can focus on the exercise without having to think about what you’re doing.
For establishing a mind-muscle connection, this is very useful.
So far when focussing on the various benefits in our list today, we haven’t actually addressed pec development all that much. Well, that’s about to change now.
You see, when it comes to chest development, many would argue that the bench press is the king of the pec world.
If you want a thick and massive chest, you need to be doing your bench presses.
With different variations of the exercise, you can target different portions of the chest.
Some people, for example, will perform 4 working sets of flat bench barbell presses, before jumping straight onto incline dumbbell presses and hitting the upper chest with those.
You can use bench presses for overall chest development, although to get the most from the exercise, it’s best to ensure that you work the upper, lower, and middle chest by performing several variants of the exercise.
Another great thing about bench pressing is the fact that there are so many different variants that you can adopt if you suffer from joint issues.
People with rotator cuff issues in the shoulder, for example, may struggle with incline barbell pressing.
Incline dumbbell pressing is slightly more forgiving on the shoulder, or you can simply skip the exercise completely and perform flat bench presses or decline presses instead.
The point we’re making here is that, even though you may be suffering from issues with the joints, there are other bench press options that you can utilize to get the most from the exercise without causing any further damage, or pain.
It isn’t just the triceps that also benefit from bench pressing.
Another very useful benefit of this exercise is the fact that it also helps you to develop strong and sculpted deltoids.
The deltoids are key movers when executing this exercise and as a result, they become bigger and stronger as you do more of them.
Your medial and anterior deltoids, in particular, will benefit from bench pressing.
This isn’t just great for shoulder development, it’s also useful for pressing because your shoulder pressing movements will also increase, as we mentioned a little earlier on.
Having strong and developed bones is also worth mentioning when talking about the various benefits this exercise will provide.
As we grow older we often find our bones become smaller and weaker.
Sometimes people simply suffer from calcium deficiencies in which case their bones again become weak and brittle.
This can put you at a greater risk of bone fractures, plus you may find yourself at risk of osteoporosis.
The bench press is a great exercise for bone health as it creates very tiny microfractures in the bones which are healed via calcification.
To attempt to prevent these fractures from occurring again, the body repairs the bones and builds them up bigger and stronger than they were previously.
If you repeat this process over and over, the end result is strong and thick bones that are less susceptible to injury.
We’ve all seen when big jacked dudes make their pecs pop, and we all secretly wish we could do it.
In order to make your pecs dance, you need to have muscle tissue there in the first place.
In terms of bench press benefits for the pecs, you can’t overlook the fact that bench pressing will help to get your pecs developed so you can indeed make them dance.
You know, if you want to that is.
So, we’ll probably wrap things up now as we know you want to head down to the gym and start benching away.
There are plenty of benefits as you now know, so if you are looking to build up your chest, you probably know which exercises we suggest you perform.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.