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Befefits risk of injury proper form and more…
Don’t be intimidated by the gym bros in the weight room. Instead, consider adding the bench press to your weightlifting routine and see progress in a short period of time; that’s how efficient the workout is.
What are the benefits of bench press for females?
We’ve compiled all you need to know about the bench press; the benefits, the proper form, the risks of injury, and the safety precautions to convince you to add it to your workout routine and collect the results.
We often focus on the visible results, but what about the overall health benefits of bench press for females? Is there more to it than just sculpted arms and increased strength? The answer is yes.
23 Benefits of Bench Pressing
We want you to make educated decisions about your health, so we’ve compiled all the benefits of adding bench pressing to your routine.
1. Increases Muscle Mass
Increasing muscle mass means your body is working extra hard to build muscle. This causes your body to burn fat and energy. In addition, the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism works, which helps you lose weight.
2. Prevents Muscle Imbalance
Holding the barbell with both hands creates stability and helps develop balance in the upper body.
3. Increases Upper-body Strength
Within 3 to 4 weeks of dedicated training, you’ll be able to feel the gains, especially in your daily life. That is called functional strength.
4. Improves Functional Strength
It is training joints like shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles to strengthen them and focus on moves used in everyday life. For example, lifting groceries and babies, carrying heavy objects, jumping, etc.
5. Predicts of Upper-body Strength
It’s a way to measure strength, resistance, and endurance capacity and work towards a set goal.
6. Improves Bone Health
By adding stress to your bones from weightlifting, you improve bone density. The only kind of stress that’s actually good for the body.
7. Boosts Testosterone Levels
Testosterone helps create blood cells, stimulates other reproductive hormones, and increases libido in women. In addition, it’s essential for females trying to conceive as it regulates prenatal hormones. It also helps enhance musculoskeletal health in postmenopausal women.
8. Compound Movement
It uses several muscle groups to perform the movement, including your core. Get those abs, ladies!
9. Improves Grip Strength
Your grip strength is tested,, and as training continues it improves. This benefit is an excellent addition to your functional strength.
10. Strengthens the Pectoralis Major and Minor
The benefit of a strong pectoralis is the ability to do regular tasks like lifting, bending, holding, or pushing easier. It also helps to better your posture and improve your breathing.
11. Pronounced Serratus Anterior
Besides the fact that the serratus looks really good when flexed, it supports the upper body by controlling the pushing and pulling movements and any work done overhead.
12. Develops the Deltoids
Defined deltoids give you those cute tank top arms look and help strengthen the upper body.
13. Tones the Triceps
Working the tricep helps eliminate the loose muscles under your arms and tightens them so your arms look lean.
14. Strengthens the Core Muscles
Your core muscles are essential for better balance and stability. In addition, a strong core improves posture and breathing. This is especially important after giving birth since your center of gravity has shifted again.
15. Tones the Muscles Around the Breasts
While breast tissue laxity cannot be reversed, the pectorals can tighten and even shed extra fat from those areas giving the breasts the appearance of sitting perkier or a lift.
During weightlifting, muscles burn more calories than fat. When the body is at rest, more muscle helps burn more fat.
17. Burns Calories
A 30 -minute weightlifting workout can burn more calories in an hour than a cardio session.
18. Cultivate Friendships
The bench press exercise requires you to have a spotter. Call a friend to work out together or ask a staff member to help you; this small act helps with feelings of depression and loneliness. Once you are both done, get some well-deserved salad… or tacos!
19. Reduces the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Here is a quote straight from the Diabetes Australia Association. “The ability of your muscles to store glucose increases with your strength, making your body better able to regulate its blood sugar levels. Your body fat-to-muscle ratio decreases, reducing the amount of insulin you need in your body to help store energy in fat cells.”
20. Lowers the Risk of Getting Cardiovascular Diseases
“Lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 percent.” A new Iowa State University study of the relationship of weights and cardiovascular health.
21. Increases Confidence and Boosts Your Mood
Overall, you look and feel great, giving you a good dose of endorphins. These hormones help you manage stress and battle depression. Boost your confidence in your functional strength and looks. Get that feeling of accomplishment in your health goals!
22. Increases Strength and Resistance for Other Workouts Like Push-ups
Ladies, weightlifting is such a satisfying workout, especially when you look back and see how far you’ve progressed. When you lift heavier on your sets, last longer doing push ups, or do your first pull up, you feel confident in yourself.
23. Satisfaction With Breaking Personal Records Lifting Records
Once you become proficient at weightlifting, you begin to appreciate the small milestones on your journey. A lifting record is how much you can lift and for how many sets and then breaking that record. The whole point is competing with yourself. Now that’s a winning mindset!
Know that you know better. Save these benefits and add them to your list of reasons to add the bench press to your routine. If you are not familiar with the move, keep reading. We will cover all the questions you have about bench pressing!
What is the Proper Bench Press Technique for Women?
Women can perform the same bench press technique as men; however, if the bench is tall or the bar is too high for her reach, there are ways to adjust.
- Set your bench flat. If the bench is too high, rest your legs on the bench.
- Add weight to the weighted bar. Use the amount you are comfortable with when using dumbbells. If you don’t know, start with low and test the weight.
- Lay on the bench with your feet on each side and place your hands shoulder-width apart but not directly below them.
- Unrack the bar slowly on an inhale and bring it down directly over your chest on your nipple line. If you can reach it, ask your spotter. Keep your wrists neutral.
- With slow controlled movements, bring the bar down on an inhale, then pause, and then up on an exhale and pause, and don’t lock your elbows.
- Then repeat.
If you are a visual learner, here is a video on proper form, that can help you understand the movement better.
What Muscles Does the Bench Press Work?
For all our visual learners, here is a video that explains the anatomy behind the move. We encourage you to watch it so you can identify those muscles worked and feel them as you replicate the movement.
- Bench pressing targets all the muscles in your upper-body. This includes the pectoralis major and minor, serratus anterior, triceps, and deltoids.
- Pectoralis major and minor – The largest muscles in the upper-body sit under the breasts.
- Serratus anterior – Located in your ribcage, it expands and contracts when you breathe.
- Deltoids – The anterior deltoids are skeletal shoulder muscles that connect your arm to your body and help move your arms in different directions.
- Triceps: The muscles at the back of your arms that help with the up and down motion of your arms and shoulders.
What Are Other Variations on the Bench Press?
There are many variations on bench pressing; here are 11 types of bench press listed and we’ve attached a video here that explains the anatomy of 5 of these moves to help you choose which one is better for your needs.
- Close-grip bench press
- Wide-grip bench press
- Tempo bench press
- Swiss bar bench press
- Dumbbell bench press
- Floor press
- 3-Count paused bench press
- Dead bench press
- Banded bench press
- Incline bench press
- Slingshot bench press
What Are the Risks of Injury for Bench Press?
Here are the common medical issues associated with bench pressing. We want you to be informed of the risks associated with these moves. If you suffer from any previous medical issues related to the upper body it’s wise to speak with your doctor. This will enable you to prevent permanent damage before adding bench press to your workout routine.
- Labrum irritation – A thick band of tissue that surrounds your shoulder socket and stabilizes the shoulder joint. If any of the three parts of the labrum tear, there is not enough cushion between the bones.
- Frozen shoulder – Unexplainable stiffness in the shoulder.
- Overuse or strain – Sudden intense activity on the shoulder without previous stretching or preparation increases the chances of injury.
- Clavicle dislocation or fracture – When a break occurs in one or two long breastbones connected to the shoulders.
- Rotator cuff tendon damage – Can be injured or torn by overloading weights with straight arms.
- Shoulder joint tear – Affects the soft tissue cuff surrounding the shoulder socket.
- Subacromial bursitis – An inflammation in the bursa sack of the shoulder that causes intense pain in the shoulder when it’s moved.
- Breast implant displacement – Displacement can happen when overexerting your upper-body muscles with heavy weights or if the breasts have not entirely healed from surgery. Speak with your surgeon before adding a bench press to your routine.
What Are Some Common Bench Press Mistakes?
- Starting too heavy – Use dumbbells to test the weight you can lift above your head with both hands. Start with small.
- Improper grip width – Hold the bar with your wrist past the with of your elbows.
- Improper arching technique – Proper back arching is necessary for lifting the barbell.
- No spotter – Always use a spotter to help you remove the weights, push you to break your PRs, or in case you reach failure.
- Elbow locking – Don’t lock your elbows when pushing up the barbell. Keep them a bit bent.
- Fast and aggressive repetitions – Bench pressing is about moving up and down slowly and in control.
- Head off the bench – Avoid head and neck injury by keeping your head on the bench and your neck in a neutral position.
- Improper wrist movement – Keep your wrists straight and neutral, don’t let them shift, and wrap your thumb around the barbell to stabilize your grip.
- Bouncing the barbell off your chest – Keep space the width of a thumb between the bar and your chest before bringing the bar back up.
- Butt off the bench – The butt and hips need to stay glued to the bench, and learn to arc your back correctly.
- Feet flying off – Ground your feet on the floor. If the bench is too high, place them on the bench.
- Barbell to clavicle – Bring the bar down to line up with your nipples.
- Protracting the shoulder blades – The shoulder blades or scapulas should be pulled back throughout the entire movement; otherwise, there is a risk of injury to the shoulders.
- Lifting too heavy during your period – While everyone is different, lifting during your period may cause cramps, excess blood flow discharge, and a feeling of weakness. Increase repetitions and lower the weights instead.
What Are the Safety and Precautions for Bench Pressing?
Once you know the proper form to perform the workout you will be able to recognize where the potentials of injuries exsits and to avoid them. Therefore study the proper form before you practice. Here are some safety precautions for bench pressing.
- Test the weight before lifting.
- Have a spotter with you.
- Distribute the weight evenly when loading the barbell and lock the weights.
- Never leave weight unattended.
- Learn proper lifting form before doing a bench press.
- Talk to your doctor or surgeon about adding weights to your routine.
- If you are on your period, you might not be able to lift the same weight load you usually lift, which is normal.
What Are Alternatives to Bench Press?
Don’t give up ladies!
If bench press is not your thing, then give this other variations without a barbell a try.
- Weighted planks
- Dumbbell chest press.
- Incline dumbbell press.
- Decline dumbbell press.
- Dumbbells fly.
- Bench dips.
- Floor press.
What Are the Side Effects of Bench Pressing?
We’ve covered the 23 benefits but if we must cut it short, here are the main side effects.
- Strength in the upper area of your body.
- Pronounced muscles of the arms and chest.
- Strength in the joints.
- Protect your brain from degenerative diseases.
We hope that from all the information we gathered for you, you feel compelled to add the bench press to your routine.
The bench press for females has more benefits than risks, and as long as you stay safe, know your limits, and consult your doctor, there is no reason you shouldn’t be bench pressing, especially when the results are great for your overall well-being.
We recommend you invite a friend to work out with you and be your spotter; make this person your accountability and become stronger together or at least get a new gym body by asking a stranger to spot you.
Don’t be afraid to be out of your comfort zone; you can also ask a gym staff member to spot you on your set. So get out there and start changing your health.
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