The Smith Machine Bench Press is a terrific exercise for isolating your pecs (chest). One of the reasons I appreciate the Smith Machine is that I can work my entire chest quickly. Because I can modify the bench under the bar while maintaining the same weight, I can utilize the machine to target all chest regions (upper, middle, and lower) by fast moving from an inclination to flat to decline.
When working out alone, the Smith Machine’s integrated safety features can serve as a de facto spotter. Because you have a built-in spotter, you may push yourself further than you would otherwise by using greater weight or performing more reps.
What’s So Pressing About the Bench Press?
For a good reason, the bench press is the king of all upper-body workouts. It is a complex exercise, which means it activates many muscle groups in the body for total upper-body muscle activation.
It works not only the chest but also the shoulders and triceps, and it can improve other pressing activities like the overhead press and even tricep dips.
The barbell bench press is the most popular variation since it allows you to lift a lot of weight. It is also utilized in powerlifting events, with the squat and deadlift. Although it is the most common, there are other ways to do this activity.
MUSCLES WORKED BY THE SMITH MACHINE BENCH PRESS
The bench press is well-known for increasing upper-body strength and mass, but let’s focus on the key muscles addressed.
The pectorals, also known as the pecs, are placed on each side of your chest and are responsible for arm flexion, adduction, and internal rotation.
They become huge when exercised regularly, contributing to the beach body appearance.
The pecs comprise two muscles: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the muscle that gives the chest its puffy appearance.
Exercising the chest is beneficial for maintaining excellent posture, increasing the range of motion, and alleviating neck and upper back pain. The bench press is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the pecs and the entire upper body.
The deltoid muscle is the largest in the shoulder and is divided into three parts: the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoids. They control arm abduction, flexion, and extension, prevent dislocation, and correct rotator cuff damage.
If your shoulders are weak, you are more likely to be injured at the gym, and if you lift or reach for anything overhead.
It can also hurt your posture and range of motion.
The bench press primarily works the anterior deltoids, but the medial and rear delts also contribute. The angle of the bench can also influence which parts of the shoulder are addressed more.
The Smith Machine bench press works the shoulders but may be less engaged than a traditional bench press because they stabilize muscles.
The top of a bench press is the lockout phase when your triceps come in.
The triceps are three heads found in the arm’s rear.
- The medial
- Long head
Your bench press will suffer if your triceps are weak, especially at the movement’s peak.
Aside from a difficult lift, weak triceps can cause shoulder soreness, limited range of motion, and long-term shoulder problems.
5. Bench Press Performance Tips
- Concentrate on Form and Control. Start with light weight for this exercise or any lift you have yet to do previously until you have a full range of motion. You can start pushing your limitations after lifting with the correct extension and contraction. You must have a broad range of motion to fully develop your muscles.
- Bring your vehicle to a complete halt. When the bar contacts your chest, it should always come to a full stop. You mustn’t jeopardize your workout by jumping or yanking the weight up. Utilizing momentum takes the focus away from the chest muscles.
- Employ the Correct Grip Width. When the elbows are at the same height/plane as the shoulders, the recommended grip width is when they are 1 inch closer or broader. The proper grip will keep the exercise’s emphasis on the targeted muscle.
- Maintain a firm grip on the butt. Maintain your buttocks grounded on the bench and your back arch as low as possible throughout the lift. The key to this exercise is proper form, not weight.
- Elbows should not be locked. Do not lock your elbows at the apex of the movement to avoid injury and stress.
5. Common Mistakes While Performing The Bench Press
- You’re lifting too quickly. Moving up and down too fast means you cannot use all your muscle fibers. Utilizing a limited range of motion can result in larger-looking muscles but also decrease flexibility and range of motion.
- Your grip is too strong. A wide grasp limits your range of motion through the shoulders while your elbows are extended and through the elbows when your shoulders are in transverse extension or adduction. Several people use this to try to work the pecs on the outside. Sadly, the wide grip bench press does not work your outer chest as well as flys.
- Utilizing Excessive Weight. Many lifters make the mistake of attempting to lift too much weight. Use the proper weight to use the appropriate form and range of motion. Lift the weight without using your hips or arching your back. Poor condition (cheating) will prevent you from using all your chest muscle fibers.
- Bouncing. It would help if you always came to a complete halt when the bar struck your chest. It would help if you didn’t jeopardize your workout by using momentum to lift or bounce the weight off your chest. For example, using rate can shift the emphasis away from your chest muscles, undermining the aim of the exercise.
- You’re Restricting Your Range of Movements. Many lifters descend only some of the way or squeeze at the height of the exercise. As a result, if you do not use your entire range of motion, you will use fewer muscle fibers and see less muscular growth.
BENEFITS OF THE SMITH MACHINE BENCH PRESS
The Smith Machine bench press does more than increase chest size. It could assist you in lifting larger weights on the bench and in other places.
HEAVY WEIGHT LIFT
The barbell is attached to the Smith Machine, which increases the movement’s stability. Stabilizing the bar is part of a traditional bench press job, but the Smith Machine eliminates it.
This allows you to lift a heavy weight without expending energy merely trying to balance the bar. In addition to the Smith Machine Bench Press, you may gain muscle with the Ripped Stack, which will eventually allow you to lift larger weights.
The Focus is on the Pecs
The fact that the stabilizing muscles do not play as large a role in the Smith Machine bench press may be a disadvantage, but it could mean that the pecs get more work.
Because the Smith Machine does not rely as heavily on stabilizing muscles, the pectoralis major can be recruited more strongly to produce more force. Concentrating on the pecs aids in developing mass and strength in that area.
The Last word
The bench press is one of the most common workouts in the gym, and it’s easy to see why. The Smith Machine is useful for a motion like a bench press since it eliminates the need for a spotter, allows you to focus on your chest rather than the other stabilizing muscles, and gives similar advantages to a traditional press.