Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bench Press (BowFlex)


Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the chest muscles (pectoralis major). It also involves the front shoulder muscles (anterior deltoid, a portion of the middle deltoid) and the triceps, which are located on the back of the upper arm.
Pulley position: Wide or narrow (Wide offers a greater challenge throughout the entire range on specific movements, especially at the top of these movements. This can make these exercises even more effective. However, when both pulley positions are listed as options, do not attempt to use the same weight for each position).
Starting Position:
• Seated in the 45 degree position, reach straight behind your body, grasp the handles, and bend your elbows until your hands are near your chest. Rotate your upper arms away from your torso so your elbows are pointing outward and your palms are facing forward.
• Keeping knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lay your head back against the bench and straighten your arms to the front.
• Be sure your arms are directly "in line" with the cables (cables lying along the backs of your arms and center of the shoulders), palms facing forward and wrists straight.
• Raise your chest and slightly "pinch" your shoulder blades together. Maintain a very slight, comfortable arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Slowly move your elbows outward while simultaneously bending your arms so your forearms remain parallel to each other and the hands remain over the elbows through-out the movement. From the side view it would appear as if the forearms are in-line with the cables at all times.
• Stop when your upper arms are approximately straight out to the side (your elbows will be level with your shoulders or slightly below).
• Then, slowly press forward, moving hands toward the center. Return to starting position with arms straight to the front at shoulder width and in-line with the cables. Keep chest muscles tight during the entire motion.
Optional motions:
• Bilateral movement - both arms pressing forward at the same time.
• Unilateral movement – performing all reps with one arm before moving to the next.
• Alternating – performing one rep on one side and then the next rep on the other side.
• Simultaneously alternating – both arms moving, although in opposite directions (one pressing while the other is returning)
Key points:
• The upper arms will be 60-90 degrees from the sides of your torso at the bottom of the movement and approximately 90 degrees from the front of your torso at the top.
• Control the range of motion so your elbows travel only slightly behind your shoulders.
• Your shoulder blades may "float" forward and backward naturally with the arm movement. For increased pec involvement, keep the shoulder blades "pinched" together throughout both the upward and downward movements.