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Bench Press

Bench press -- chest and triceps

The bench press is a primary exercise for building strength.

If you are not a bodybuilder you might think that strength exercises are not for you. But no matter what you do, no matter how old you are, being strong is part of being healthy.

Stay healthy and active

If you maintain your strength you will look better and feel better. You'll be able to do more activities, whether it's playing with the kids or carrying in groceries.

And you are much less likely to get hurt when you do things around the house like moving boxes, re-arranging the furniture or digging in the garden.

Start lying on bench holding weight with arms outstretched

Bench press -- starting position

Bench press -- starting position

The bench press is done with a bench and a special rack that holds the weight. The weights that are used with the bench press are too heavy to get into position without a rack to hold the weight.

Start by lying on your back. Grasp the bar a little wider than shoulder width. Lift the weight off the rack. Hold it with your arms outstretched to make sure it is steady.

Lower the weight to just above your chest

Bench press -- second position

Bench press -- second position

Then slowly lower the weight down to just above your chest.

Don't bounce the weight off your chest. You will see people in the gym do this -- because when they bounce the weight they can use heavier weights and it's good for their ego.

But it's dangerous. Use a weight you can control.

Now, press the weight back into position.

Don't arch your back

Improper bench pres form -- arching back

Improper form -- arching back

You might see someone in the gym arching their back doing the bench press. They do that so they can lift more weight. It's an ego thing.

But don't do it. You can hurt your back.

When you do the bench press you want to be as stable as possible. And the most stable position is with your back flat on the bench.

If you do that it's a great exercise and you won't get hurt.

Use a weight you can control

Make sure you use a very light weight when you start. You want to practice your form before you actually start moving any weight.

You'll want to use a spotter with this exercise. A spotter can help you get the weight back up if you can't do it yourself. Otherwise you'll be lying there with the weight on your chest and that can be embarrassing.

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

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  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

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