Often you hear the question in gyms "how much do you bench?" It has been the stigma that lifters have always had to compare numbers and personal best's in the gym.
The bench press focuses on the lower and upper pectoral, deltoids (shoulders) and triceps. These components of the human body when lifting weight combined, will elevate your bench press significantly.
To improve your bench press, you have to mix up the grips. The wide grip, close grip and regular grip.
The wide grip is hand placement closest to the outer weights. This grip should usually be attained outside shoulder width and works the outside of the pectoralis. The close grip is obviously a narrower placement of the hands on the bar. Usually you would have a fist size gap in-between the hands so that you can focus on the triceps, shoulders and inner chest.
The regular grip hand placement is just outside shoulder width apart and focuses on the whole pectoral. Feet must be flat on the floor with your back flat against the bench. When you remove the bar from the rack you want to bring it over the upper chest. When you begin to lower the bar make sure not to let it drop and bounce off your chest as that could lead to injury. Slowly bring it down to the chest and let it touch slightly, then push the bar until your arms are extended.
Make sure to have a spotter with you as they can help make benching a safer environment.
The back squat focuses on the quadriceps, glutes, hip adductors and calves. There is quite a large variety of squats but we will focus on the back squat.
Bar placement and safety is important especially when squatting, if not done correctly you could seriously injure yourself. The bar should rest below the top of the shoulder and at the bottom of the traps. You must keep your head looking forward or up to the sky, with shoulders back and chest out.
The stance is also important and try to find your best suitable stance usually around shoulder width apart with a focus on your feet pointed out while distributing the weight to your heels.
When you take the bar off the rack make sure to limit the distance you move away from the rack. This will save extra movement and preserve your needed energy.
To complete a full squat you must be parallel at 90 degrees, you can go deeper but make sure you are not bouncing to complete the squat as this could lead to possible injuries. As always make sure to have a friend spotting especially at the beginner stages.
The deadlift is considered a tell-tell indicator of strength as you are using the full body to lift weight which involves using explosive strength and overall power. The regular style used for the deadlift is a shoulder width stance with the arms hanging straight outside the knees.
It is important to remember while doing deadlifts to keep your hips down and back straight. this will help prevent lower back injuries. Your feet should be slightly pointed outwards and your shins should almost be touching the bar.
You want to keep your weight on your heels to keep balanced. While you should be looking up to the ceiling and not at the bar.
A benefit that comes from doing these exercises is they are great for building size and strength which is what people are usually looking for. The fact that these exercises are compound movements helps incorporate the full body when working out which promotes more natural growth hormone so that the body will grow more.
Remember to always be safe while lifting and not to use too much weight to start off! Build the progression and lift smart!
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