Bench press is an excellent exercise for upper body strength and size. Barbell bench press is one of the primary important moves in powerlifting sport beside deadlift and squat. The main muscles involved in the conventional bench press are pectoralis major, anterior deltoids it also uses triceps and elbow muscles to complete the total movement.
There are numerous benefits of bench press as it is a compound movement:
· Bench press helps to develop the pectoralis major the meaty part of the chest.
· Bench press helps to carry more weights on the pushing activities. A study shows that if someone can bench more he can also push more weight in shoulder press or other pushing activities.
· The anterior delts and medial delts grow stronger by bench press as it is primary muscle engage in the bench press movement. It helps to press more weights in shoulder exercises and will give you the jacked shoulder looks.
· The arms are also benefited by bench press. Our triceps made up to 2/3rd of the arm. Bench press also trains all the 3 heads of the triceps (long, lateral and medial).
Setup for conventional bench press:
For bench press, we need a bench press bench, an Olympic barbell and weight plates properly assembled.
The other setup which can make your bench press a lot more effective are:
· A pair of good footwear: A good pair of shoes can help you to connect your foot with the floor better. You need a shoe with a good grip and an elevated heel shoe will help you to keep the foot in proper form. Examples: Squat shoes, wrestling shoes.
· Wrist straps: you need to keep your wrists in a straight line to exert the maximum amount of force and wrist straps give the wrist joint support help to keep your wrist in a straight line.
How to perform:
·Set your foot flat and have a good grip you will draw power from your feet so it is a very crucial part.
·Position yourself under the bar
·Arc your back
·Get a good grip and grab the bar slightly wider than the shoulder width.
·Take a deep breath and unrack the bar
·Again take a deep breath in and lower the bar to nipple line
·Push with leg drive
Deadlifts is known as the father of all exercises. It is a strength training exercise that can be done for strength and size. Deadlifts are a compound movement which engages a numerous muscle group and makes them stronger. Deadlifts engage a large number of muscle groups and train them that is why it is the daddy of all exercises.
The muscle group is Torso, latissimus dorsi, Trapezius muscle, quads, hamstrings, arms, hips, forearms, glutes, etc.
There are a ton of benefits of deadlifts:
· Deadlifts fasten the fat burning process as heavy deadlifts burns hell a lot of calories. Even heavy deadlifts boost the testosterone levels in the body promoting a gain in strength and size.
· A lot of muscles is worked in deadlifts. The lift engages the entire primary muscle group in our body. If you need to do one exercise this is the one as it engages the upper as well as lower body including the back. Deadlifting also take your grip strength to the next level.
Setup for deadlift:
The deadlift doesn’t need fancy machines all you need is only an Olympic barbell and free weight plates according to your strength.
The other setup which can make your deadlifts a lot more effective are:
· Footwear is a very crucial thing when you are deadlifting. You need something with a good grip, hard sole and lower to the ground. So shoes with elevated heel and sneakers are not at all recommended. Deadlifts slippers or wrestling shoes are good for them.
· A lifting belt is important for giving support as it will keep you more upright during the movement. Wearing a powerlifting belt also can prevent injury.
· Deadlift strap or chalk is very useful for performing the lifts as by using it you will get a far better grip than bare hands the bar will not slip through your hands and it will be easier to lift the bar during the movement.
How to perform conventional deadlifts:
· Foot position should be normal where you can generate the most power. Stand with the midfoot below the bar slightly narrower than the squat.
· Grab the bar just outside your shins or in your shoulder width. Your shin should be 90˚ to the ground and scapula over the bar.
· Keep your chest up so that the back is in an upright position and take a deep breath and pull the bar in a straight line.
· Stand up straight with the bar and then slowly lower the bar by first unlocking your hips and knees. Lower the bar trying to keep the back straight once the bar has crossed the knee cups the start bending your legs more and you are ready for the next rep.
Squats are a lower body strength exercise in which a person lowers their hip from a standing position and stand up again. It is a very crucial exercise for gaining lower body size and strength. Squats have a lot of variation it is mainly done with a loaded barbell but can also be done with kettlebells and dumbbells.
Squats primarily hit the total lower body but the primary muscle engaged in the squat is quads and the glutes but engaged a lot other stabilizing muscles such as hamstrings, calf, core, etc.
There is a bag of benefits of squats:
· Squats strengthen and add some serious mass to the quadriceps which will make your lower body stronger and will give you those meaty legs looks. It also burns a lot of calories so your fat loss process will also be faster.
· Squats are an exercise that boosts testosterone levels in the male body, the primary hormone for muscle growth.
· Free squats can be done by an aged person or by females to tone up their body as it is not only an exercise for powerlifters and bodybuilders.
· Squats improve the mobility and balance of the body and help to maintain the joints of the body. It also helps to improve the speed and ability to jump higher.
· So if you want big meaty legs shut up and squat!
· Setup for squat:
· Squats can be done on the smith machine or in the squat rack by a free weighted barbell. Smith machine is better for the beginner as the form in the smith machine is corrected automatically as the bar is attached to the straight bar path.
The other setup which can make your squat a lot more effective are:
· Footwear is a very important component in squat the squat shoe must have a hard sole and slightly elevated heel. Tennis shoes are the worst thing you can wear during squat so avoid them. Powerlifting squat shoes are perfect.
· Lifting Belt is an equipment that will make your squat more safe and efficient. It will keep you in an upright position while performing the exercise minimizing the chances of injury.
· Knee wraps are also very useful for this movement as these will protect the knee joints and protect knee cups to some level.
How to perform barbell squats:
· Stand up with the bar in your back and your feet should be slightly wider than your shoulder width.
· Take a deep breath and squat down by pushing your hips back, chest up and knees to the side.
· Squat down until your hips and knees are in 90 degrees or your hips are lower than your knees
· Push up keeping your chest and back up and knees out
· Stand up straight and lock up your body at the top.
Happy lifting! :)