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The bench press is considered the king of exercises. It’s a time tested and proven exercise that has been at the forefront of fitness for hundreds of years. One of the first things a weightlifter will ask you when you tell them you’re also lifting is probably: “How much do you bench, bro?” and your answer will probably be the deciding factor in how much they respect you. Of course, most people will overexaggerate, and many will ask you jokingly. Even if you aren’t a gym bro, you can still get a ton of benefits from benching. It’s an effective exercise, and contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to bench 100kg for it to be effective. That being said, here are a few major benefits of flat weight bench pressing, and a few variations of the classic flat bench press you can do to build muscle.

What’s a Bench Press?

weight lifting on a flat weight bench
Source: swolverine.com

Before I talk about the benefits of bench pressing, let’s lay down what bench pressing actually is. It’s a simple, yet difficult exercise that is done by laying on a flat weight bench. It’s one of the three exercises that powerlifters do, alongside the deadlift and squats. You lie on your back and push weight vertically from your chest up until your arms are fully extended. Most of the time, it’s done using barbells to hold plate weights, but dumbbells can also be used. The reason barbells are recommended is because they can hold more weight and are more stable, helping you keep form. The great thing about benches is, you can get the entire setup at home without breaking the bank. All you need is a flat bench, a barbell, and as many weighted plates as you can lift.

Benefits of Bench Pressing

Upper Body Strength

The biggest benefit of bench pressing is gaining upper body strength. In fact, it’s the go-to exercise for people who want to work on their chest and their triceps. The chest contains multiple muscle groups, and bench pressing can target them all, as long as you know which exercises to do. The difference between the different exercises when bench pressing is mainly in how you hold the bar, and where. Having an adjustable bench that you can recline, for instance, opens up even more possibilities for different exercises.

On top of that, the bench can also hit shoulder muscle groups, the lateral and anterior deltoids, to be exact. These muscles surround your shoulders, and by exercising them, you can get bigger and broader shoulders.

As aforementioned, you can work out your triceps. The triceps consist of medial, lateral and long triceps, and by holding the bar with a narrower grip, you can easily target all of them.

Last but not least, bench pressing is great for strengthening your core. This is due to the fact that it takes a lot of core power to bench press heavy loads, and that includes flexing your abs.

Joint Strength

Source: bodybuilding.com

Another benefit of bench pressing is that it helps preserve the health of your cartilage. As we get older, the cartilage between our joints wears down and deteriorates. As a result, we experience joint pain, limited joint motion and osteoarthritis. While the main cause of all these things is old age, they also have to do with lack of motion. Think of your cartilage like a sponge with water in it. The fluid nourishes the cartilage and keeps it healthy, and it needs to be replaced regularly to keep things in proper working order. So, the fluid needs to be squeezed out every now and then, and replaced with new, more nutrient-rich fluid. The only way to squeeze out the old fluid is by exercising, and the bench press is one of the best exercises for doing that in joints used when bench pressing.

Feel and Look Better

The two main reasons people work out are so that they can feel better and look better. Exercising makes your brain produce more serotonin, which is an essential chemical in your brain that improves your mood, and sleeping/waking cycle. Of course, having muscles can greatly improve your confidence and the compliments that come with them even more so. Going to the gym a few times a week can do wonders for your social life, as you’ll get to interact with a lot of people, if you want to, of course. If you aren’t too keen on going to the gym, you can put together a home gym in your garage by buying a few different machines and equipment. While buying gym equipment may seem expensive at first, think about all the money you’ll save on gym memberships and gas. You’ll get to work out alone in the comfort of your own home, at any time of day you prefer. No more excuses as to why you can’t hit the gym today!

Cycling has picked up considerably in the past few years, urged on from the onslaught of the global pandemic, and now by the skyrocketing fuel prices. Though few people will forsake their cars, bikes have moved from the realm of recreation, and become viable commuting alternatives. There are more cyclists on the streets than ever before. And more kids coming back to bikes.

Playing tennis is a joy, and there’s little more frustrating than running into issues with your tennis racquet that messes with your game. There are so many different types of racquets out there, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Particularly if you’ve been playing for a while, odds are you’ve run into some sort of issue with your existing racquet.

Racquets are the essential tools of any tennis player. So it goes without saying, that your racquet should be in perfect working condition at all times. But in case you haven’t noticed, that isn’t always the case. If you’re like most tennis players, you’ll experience a racquet problem every few months. The good news is that most issues are easy to fix as long as you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Here’s a guide on how to identify and resolve racquet issues.

People have long sought relief from their busy lives in retreats that bring them closer to nature. Two popular pursuits of this pastime, overlanding, and off-grid camping, have gained significant traction in the recent years. Although in Australia, camping in the presence of a plethora of crawlies and dangerous animals can make you feel a bit uneasy.

Rock climbing is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and your blood flowing. It’s also a fun activity to do with friends and loved ones. The best part about rock climbing is that it can be done in many different settings, such as at the gym, outdoors, and even at home if you have the necessary equipment. Getting started with rock climbing can be intimidating since you’d need to get yourself what we like to call essential climbing gear. One of the fundamental items of a full climbing gear collection is a climbing harness.

Your winter adventure cannot start if you’re not fully prepared for the low temperatures, the wind, and the snow. Playing in the snow is all fun and games until you start freezing because you aren’t properly dressed. To avoid such rookie mistakes, make sure you have the essential snowboarding gear on you so that you’re protected from top to bottom.

Start by Acquiring a Pair of Snowboarding Boots

snowboard boots close up
source: snowlink.com

If you have a clear vision about what you want and what you need from a pair, choosing the right one won’t be a difficult task for you, although you have a lot of options. These adequate boots need to provide you with comfort but at the same time offer you support and warmth as well. Snowboarding is fun but the temperatures tend to go really low, and you need gear that will protect you from the cold.

The newest models of snowboard boots for sale have everything a snowboarder needs for a safe and fun ride. They are made from materials that are waterproof, have a 3D moulded shell tongue but are also flexible and cozy. There’s nothing worse than boots that limit your movements and make it difficult for you to operate the snowboard. So, you need to avoid that kind of boots at all costs.

A good choice are designs with EVA outsoles. EVA is a type of foam that absorbs impact and at the same time it offers comfort to the snowboarder. The lacing system plays a role too. You can choose between boots with a traditional lacing system, boa, and speed lacing system. They also come in various designs and colours, and you can even get ones that match the rest of your outfit, because why not. If you’re serious about the sport, you might as well snowboard in style.

Now, though each design has pros and cons, besides considering those, there’s one more aspect you need to get the right size – try them before you decide and buy or measure up the exact foot size at home. You can easily order snowboard boots for sale online without going through much trouble, but you still wouldn’t want to make a mistake and end up with a pair that’s either too tight-fitting or too loose. That can largely affect your performance.

Base Layers Are Very Important

The base layers are essential. Wearing only pants and jackets can’t protect you from the wind and low temperatures, but the base layers can. Base layers meant for this specific sport have great insulating and moisture-wicking properties. They are thin and feel like a second skin but will keep you warm regardless of how long you stay out in the snow. The best materials for base layers are either cotton-polyester blend or Merino-polyester blend.

Same as with the comfortable snowboard boots for sale, the point of the base layer is to keep the moisture away from your body, keep you warm and be cozy and pleasant to wear. It should fit you tightly but not to the point of being uncomfortable to wear and dysfunctional. The size of the base layers should be the same as the size of the clothes you regularly wear.

Snowboarding Pants and Jacket

man snowboarding wearing a warm jacket and pants
source: outsidepursuits.com

You can choose between getting insulated pants and shell pants. The difference between the two is the insulation. Both pairs are waterproof and breathable but the second pair is not insulating. If you’re someone who tends to get hot while physically active, the shell pants will be ideal for you.

After all, you do have base layers to keep you warm, so the insulating pants are not really necessary unless the temperatures are abnormally low outside. If that’s the case, you’d want to stay warm when playing hard in the snow. If you learn from the shopping experience for boots for snowboarding, you realize design is important too. With this in mind, you should get pants that are rather loose and comfortable thanks to features like fully taped seams.

Same as the pants, snowboarding jackets are either insulated or shell. Shell jackets are considered to be more breathable and ones that offer a higher level of mobility but if you want that extra warmth, the insulated jacket will be perfect for you. You can also choose a model with a hood and wrist closures. These special features will improve your snowboarding experience.

Snowboarding Helmet and Goggles

man wearing a snowboard helmet and goggles
source: snowbrains.com

The helmet is a very important piece of equipment since it can prevent you from getting seriously injured while on the terrain. As such, it’s not only meant for beginners but for all those who step foot on the snowboard.

Even the most skilled snowboarders fall off the board sometimes, so it is better if you don’t take your chances. The helmet is made from a couple of layers. The first one is the shell which is impact-resistant while inside there’s a foam layer that’s impact absorbent and soft and cozy at the same time. Much like the suitable snowboarding boots that keep your feet nice and dry, this piece keeps your head warm, so it’s a win-win.

Are goggles necessary for snowboarding? The goggles don’t just protect your eyes from the harsh wind and snow but from the UV rays as well. Long term exposure to strong UV rays can cause irreparable damage to your eyes. Damage that’s preventable. The specialized goggles are made from multiple lenses (polycarbonate) and are shatterproof. They’re designed to protect your eyes and allow you to snowboard unbothered.

Finally, the Gloves Will Keep Your Hands Warm

man wearing snowboard gear including gloves
source: therugbycatalog.com

Do you need gloves for snowboarding? There’s no other answer but yes because your hands need protection too, same as your feet with proper snowboard boots, body with insulated jacket, pants, and layers, and head and eyes with helmet and goggles.

The cold can make your hands go numb and that’s not something you want while you’re having fun in the snow. Snowboarding gloves have an innovative design as they’re made of waterproof materials, and consist of an internal layer that keeps the hands warm.

You need to be aware of the fact that you can’t do absolutely everything with the gloves on because they do restrict your movements to some point. But you can get used to that quickly. Remember that the cold also restricts movements, so choose wisely. You can pick between gloves made of pure leather or ones made out of synthetic materials. Both options are good although leather is known to be a material that’s ideal for gloves considering it lasts longer.

Skating is a fun hobby that has been around for ages. Who doesn’t remember their first time getting on the board or lacing up their skates? It’s an exhilarating feeling, and it never goes away. It’s a great way to get your exercise or just spend time with your friends skating around.