Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bench Press (Incline BowFlex)


Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the chest muscles (pectoralis major), especially the upper portion. 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 that your elbows are pointing outward to each side 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.
• You may also utilize the alternate incline bench press position by placing your feet on the forward leg of the Bowflex® Ultimate™ Home Gym and using your legs to slide the torso upward on the bench so that your head is near the lat tower. This will allow a greater incline of the arms without losing alignment of the cables.
• From this position, raise your arms 10-15 degrees (cables touching the tops of your arms/shoulders) above the regular bench press position (cables lying along the backs of your arms and center of the shoulders).
• Be sure that your arms are directly "in line" with the cables, palms facing forward and wrists straight. If the cables are "above" the arms, too much elevation was introduced.
• 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, simultaneously bending your arms so that your forearms remain parallel to each other and the hands remain over the elbows throughout the movement. From the side view it should 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 sides (your elbows will be level with your shoulders or very slightly below).
• Then, slowly press forward/upward, moving hands toward the center. Then return to starting position with arms straight to the front at shoulder width and in-line with the cables. Keep your chest muscles tightened 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 slightly more than 90 degrees from the front of your torso at the top.
• Limit and control the range of motion so that your elbows travel only slightly behind your shoulders — if at all.
• For normal pressing/pushing patterns of movement you may choose to allow the shoulder blades to "float" forward and backward naturally with the arm movement, or for increased pec involvement you may keep the shoulder blades "pinched" together throughout both the upward and downward movements.