Gym Equipment For Home Fitness: The Bench Press
There is lots of gym equipment you can use at home to stay in shape and many different things that you can do once you’ve purchased a good selection. However while there are literally hundreds of pieces of home gym equipment, few of us can afford to stack our homes with them – and most of us wouldn’t have the space even if you could afford it. At least to start with you need to slowly build up the gym from nothing, and you need to start with a few essential basics that can let you get started without breaking the bank. That’s where the bench press comes in – as the single most useful piece of training equipment you can purchase and as a perfect foundation to build on later. Here we’ll look at what the bench press is, and why it is such a valuable training tool.
Firstly it’s necessary to know what a bench press is, which is a question that can be answered simply. Essentially a bench press is a bench that is flat and soft enough for you to lie on. At one end this will have a ‘rack’ and that’s what you then use in order to hold your barbell and to rest it in between exercises. When you buy the bench press, it’s important to get a set that has a barbell already included, unless you already own one – as otherwise you’ll have nothing to use on the bench press. Another consideration is to look for benches that have an optional recline/incline which means you can lean the bench forward or backwards in order to lift the weights at an angle so that you are targeting a slightly different area of your pecs and shoulders/triceps. This opens up a whole range of variations on your other exercises and so when you’re investing in a bench, it’s worth spending a little bit more up front to give you more things to do later down the line.
Once you have the bench press you will be able to do one of the big three ‘compound movements’ – that of course being the bench press itself. Here you lie flat on your back, lift the barbell off of the rack, then ‘press’ it by letting it come down slowly to your chest before pushing it directly upwards. This movement is an incredibly useful exercise as it trains a lot of different muscles in the body – the pecs, the shoulders, the triceps, the forearms and more. At the same time by using such a combination of muscle groups to balance and press the weight you will trigger your body to release lots of hormones that are conducive to building muscle and burning fat – such as growth hormone and endorphins.
This is only the tip of the ice berg though, as with the combination of bench and barbell you can also perform dips, shoulder presses, barbell curls, deadlifts, squats (if you squat a light-ish weight), pull overs, skull crushers and much more.