Bench push ups are a great exercise that strengthen and tone the upper body. While a basic push up can be quite challenging or even impossible for a beginning exerciser, this prologue to a push up is a great exercise to help strengthen the muscles that will be necessary to perform a traditional push up.
About Bench Push Ups
Bench push ups are a great exercise that target the chest and triceps muscles, along with other accessory muscles in the upper body. Unlike traditional push ups, which require the exerciser to lift his or her entire body weight, this exercise allows the weight to be redistributed between the legs and upper body, making it easier to perform the exercise. Be sure to use proper form when doing the bench push up in order to achieve optimal strength gains.
Positioning Your Body for Bench Push Ups
Before performing the bench push up, it is essential that you position your body properly. Start by finding a bench that hits your legs at the midpoint between your knees and hips. Place the long side of the bench firmly against a wall, with your hands spaced approximately one foot apart from each other firmly on the outer edge of the bench. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands. Step your feet around five feet back from the wall, so that you are now in a straight line from your feet to your hands. Look down at the space created between your hands.
Performing Bench Push Ups
Now that you are positioned properly, you can start performing the bench push ups. Begin by taking a few deep breaths. As you inhale, bend your elbows, lowering your body at an angle towards the bench and floor. Once your elbows are bent to a 90 degree angle, exhale and use the muscles in your chest and arms to push yourself back up to a starting position. Perform at least 10 bench push ups before taking a short break. Do another 2 sets of 10 repetitions of the exercise.
Increasing the Intensity of Bench Push Ups
Before moving on to a more advanced version of the basic bench push ups, be sure that you can perform at least 3 sets of 10 with ease. Moving on too early can result in injury or fatigue. One easy way to increase the intensity of the bench push up is by placing your feet on a Bosu. This makes the surface more unstable, thereby requiring you to engage the muscles in your core more completely. The exercise will therefore be intensified, giving you a more challenging workout. While this change is small, it can produce dramatic results.