Struggling to feel your chest when training? Lacking the growth despite consistently increasing the weights? Check out this week's blog to learn about key mistakes that might be inhibiting your progress!
Have you tried this before?
The bench press is one of the best chest exercises for building upper body strength. The bench press is a weight training exercise in which the person lowers the weight to chest level while lying on a weight training bench and presses the weight upward using either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells.
The chest press also helps you with any daily activities that require pushing or carrying. It can help maintain front-to-back muscle balance for athletes that primarily use pulling muscles.
Any exercise performed poorly has the ability to cause injury and damage to your body. Avoid the errors listed below to get the most out of chest pressing movements and prevent injury.
Losing natural back arch
Maintain the natural arch in the lower back; don’t force it back into the surface. This is called the lordotic curve and is a natural stability mechanism. You do not want your back flat against the bench; instead, allow yourself to have a slight curve in your lower back.
Arms too far apart
Don't allow the forearms to open wide so that the weights are outside the line of the elbows. Think about stacking your joints: wrists/elbows/shoulders. They should be slightly bent and move in an arc toward the center of the chest but don't slam the weights together at the top of the move.
If the weights are too heavy, they'll make it very obvious. You'll be contorting your upper body and momentum forces the weights upward. If you find yourself doing this, the weights are too heavy. It is not worth risking heavier weights for possible injury in addition to providing less actual stimulus to the target muscles.
Lifting too fast
Lifting too fast or relying on momentum can lead to dropping the weights, losing balance, and muscle/tendon/joint issues. Make sure to control the weights in both the negative and positive portions of the movement. Remember, you're moving the weight, not the other way around.
Not Using a Spotter
Having someone to assist you during a chest press exercise is always recommended, especially if you're advanced and using heavier weights. This person is called a "spotter" and many people at the gym are willing to spot you if asked.
A Tip From Brad!
"The chest muscles are responsible for moving the arms across the body and up and down, as well as other movements like flexion, adduction, and rotation. Try this movement at the top of your dumbbell press to get a better contraction. By pushing your thumbs up and together, you are not only utilizing the pressing function of your chest but also the adduction as it is bringing your biceps closer together. Hope this helps!"
Benefits of strength training include enhanced fitness levels, stronger bones, and better mental health.
You'll gain muscle and lose fat, helping to burn more calories even while at rest. These benefits can help you to look and feel better, which can increase your confidence and well-being.
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