The DB Bench Press and all of its variations is an open chain multi joint upper body movement that primarily recruits the pectoralis muscle groups along with contribution from the triceps brachii, anterior deltoid with assistance from all muscles attaching to the scapulae and abdominal wall to ensure proper movement of the scapulae and the humeral head within the glenoid fossa of the scapula. Yeah…a tonne of jargon that essentially means, it works a lot of stuff and you need to work hard to do the movement!
Ok, so why do we use this movement so often?
- Pretty much everyone can do it: unlike a push up that requires a very high degree of core and upper body strength, the DB Bench Press can offer a safe and effective way to train your pushing strength no matter your fitness level.
- It can be made shoulder friendly: a normal barbell bench press can have a tendency to lock your arms into internal shoulder rotation, which can cause all sorts of nasty stuff if you’re having some movement irregularities. The DB Bench Press allows you to turn your palms in towards your chest, which creates some more space in your shoulder so your shoulder doesn’t get cranky on you.
Of course when you are using any free weights, you need to be careful as there is a high degree of skill required to complete the movement, so here is a couple safety tips we suggest when doing this exercise.
- Have a spotter: especially if you are a beginner with this movement, we’ve seen DB’s collapse on people before. Have a spotter there with you; they should be ready to assist you at your wrists if things get a little wobbly.
- Clear your dumbbells under the bench. Seems obvious, but boy have we seen people forget this and pay for it. Make sure there is nothing around you when you do it.
- Progress slowly: this especially goes out to our high school teenage boys. Take it easy Maverick. Getting strong is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t just ramp up 15 lbs more when failing after 5 reps. Not smart.
In summary, the DB bench press and all of its variations is and always will be a staple in both our athlete and adult populations. Have some fun with some friends with it and enjoy the results you get.
The beauty of using dumbbells as a training tool lies in their versatility. No matter what exercise you select, the number of progressions, regressions and variations are endless. The dumbbells and benches offered at The Treadmill Factory are durable, cost efficient and also have a great grip on them, which allows for optimal training.
About Coach Hopf
Andrew attended the University of Waterloo and obtained both a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (2007) and a Master’s of Science degree in Exercise Physiology (2009). Andrew is currently the President of Next Level Performance Training Inc (www.nlptinc.com) which operates 2 training centres (Cambridge and Stratford Ontario). Andrew has been the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League for the past 6 years and continues to pursue his dream of reaching the NHL as a strength and conditioning coach.
To reach Andrew to inquire about consulting services please email him: firstname.lastname@example.org