Getting bored of bench press yet? Hopefully our challenge has been keeping things interesting enough you wouldn’t dream of getting bored of bench press… but maybe you want to work a few other muscles while you’re lifting. Here are some press variations you might want to try.
I’ve actually never done this one, because it looks slightly terrifying. Maybe I should try. You lie on a bench that’s slanted so your head is below your hips, and push the weight straight up to the ceiling. This works your chest and your lats (at the sides of your back) a bit more than a standard bench press.
Make sure to have a spotter, or better yet a rack set up with safeties, so there’s no risk of the barbell falling on your face. (You could also do this, or any of the other presses, with dumbbells instead.)
This one is the opposite: the bench is slanted upwards, so it’s like pressing from a la-z-boy. If you can’t decide whether you want to bench press or overhead press today, this is the perfect compromise.
This one isn’t exactly a bench press variation, but it feels like it belongs in the same club. You lift the barbell (or dumbbells) from your shoulders up over your head. You can do this press while standing up or sitting down. Standing requires more stability from your other muscles, but seated may make it easier if you want to really focus on working your arms and shoulders without help from your lower body.
So, how have you been working on your bench press? My current routine includes the barbell bench press, standing overhead press (sometimes barbell, but I’m finding I prefer the dumbbells), and occasionally I’ll do a circuit of the weight-plate machines including the shoulder press and incline press. What have you been lifting lately?