Shoulders, triceps, forearms, lats, pecs and rhomboids all get a look in with a bench press, but it’s much more than just upper body.
If you do the exercise correctly you’ll also use your lower back, legs and hips. Using dumbbells ensures stability in the shoulders and you can build up to it by starting with some bodyweight push-ups.
Start with a medium weight dumbbell in each hand and squeeze your elbows tight into your ribs.
Slowly lower your torso onto the bench and lie, face-up, with your dumbbells in front of your shoulders. Let your elbows open out to the sides and hold the dumbbells slightly wider than should width.
Press your feet flat to the floor and engage your core. Exhale and press the dumbbells away from your chest and straighten your arms so the dumbbells are directly over your shoulders.
Slowly lower them back to the starting position.
Start off with 10-12 sets and do three reps.
This exercise is a great all-rounder to build muscle and tone your abs and core. With practice you’ll start lifting heavier weights – your upper body will thank you for this one!
I definitely prefer the dumbbell bench press to the barbell bench press. It works my chest much better. and feels tougher.