26 August, 2008

Bosu- Strength Training-Series 34

1. Bench Press

The bench press is a strength training exercise in which, while lying on his back on top of a Bosu, the person performing the bench press lowers a weight to the level of the chest, then pushes it back up until the arm is straight and the elbows locked (or close to this position). The exercise focuses on the development of the pectoralis major muscle as well as other supporting muscles including the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, and the triceps. The bench press is one of the three lifts in the sport of powerlifting and is used extensively in weight training, bodybuilding and other types of fitness training to develop the chest.

A starting position is to be lying on a Bosu, with the shoulder blades pinched together to avoid recruiting the anterior deltoid during the lift. Feet are kept flat on the ground or end of the Bosu. The weight is gripped with hands equidistant from the center of the bar, with the elbows bent to 90° and the elbows beneath the wrists. Movement starts by lifting the bar or Dumbells off the pins, and lowering it until it touches the chest. The weight is then pushed off the chest, terminating when the arms are straight, at which point the weight can be lowered again. After the desired number of repetitions, the bar is returned to the pins. Because of the heavy weight that can be used and the position of the bar, a 'spotting partner' increases the safety of the movement at heavier weights.

Angle The incline-version shifts some of the stress from the pectorals to the anterior deltoids and gives a greater stimulus to the upper pectorals, whereas the decline allows more weight to be lifted while using nearly the same musculature as the traditional bench press.
Hand position - Varying width grips can be used to shift stress between pectorals and triceps. A wide grip will focus on the pectorals. A narrow, shoulder width grip will focus more on the triceps.
Type of weight - Instead of a bar, the bench press can also be performed with dumbbells which incorporate more use of stabilizer muscles. Dumbbells may be safer to use without a spotting partner, as they may be dropped to the side with less risk of injury.


Different repetition patterns can be used to achieve different goals.[2] For instance:
Muscular endurance - 15 to 20 repetitions with a light weight (50–60% of 1rm), with a goal of increasing intramuscular stores of phosphocreatine and ATP, as well as speeding clearance of muscle contraction byproducts
Muscular strength - 2 to 6 repetitions with heavier weight (80–90% of 1rm) to build contractile proteins
Muscular hypertrophy - To increase muscle size, 6–12 repetitions with a weight equivalent to 60–80% of one's 1rm should be carried out.

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