The bench press is one of the most traditional workouts for weight lifting that fitness enthusiasts regularly use. And for a good reason: It's a fantastic addition to your upper body strength routine because it requires many muscle groups in the arms and back to work together.
Your pecs, front delts, and triceps are the three muscles that the bench press primarily targets.
Let’s learn more about does bench press workout biceps or not.
Does Bench Press Workout Biceps
DOES BENCH PRESS WORK THE BICEPS?
Not in any way that would cause a logical person to bench press on their bicep day.
Once more, the triceps, the chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids, which are the front of the shoulders, are the muscles mainly targeted by the bench press. Secondary or tertiary involvement of some other muscles occurs, but it is more of an effect of the weightlifting movement than its direct focus.
In truth, the biceps' involvement is surface-level mainly because they have nothing to do with your ability to control the weight as it descends toward your chest or as you press the barbell (or dumbbells) back to their apex.
The bar would never move if some important supporting muscles were absent. As follows:
- Trapezius (upper, middle and lower)
- Rotator cuff
- Latissmus Dorsi
Although the biceps aren't engaged explicitly during the movement, they are indirectly worked because they are used to help stabilize the body.
These muscles get an incredible workout while you move through a bench press; it's not just an arm exercise.
1. Pectoralis Major
The pectoralis major and minor, or "pecs," are the chest muscles that the bench press works. These muscles are involved in the "pushing" motion that pushes the weight back to the starting position from your chest against gravity.
When you do the movement, you will feel your pecs tighten. At the movement's peak, you should feel the tightest squeeze; yet, when you press the bar back up, they will do the most work.
The triceps also engage during the bench press. When you reach the peak, your triceps take over to finish the exercise and lock the weight out. All pushing workouts include using these muscles on the back of your arm.
3. Anterior Deltoids
You're training your anterior deltoids, the little muscles on the front of your shoulders that support forward arm movement.
4. Serratus Anterior Muscle
You'll also work out the serratus anterior muscles, which are situated on the sides of your chest on your ribs. During pressing and pushing workouts, the serratus anterior is involved by supporting your shoulder girdle. Your rotator cuff is less stressed, enabling you to carry heavier weights.
5. Latissimus Dorsi
The latissimus dorsi, often known as the lats, in your back will begin to contract as the weight is brought back down. It helps the bar or dumbbells to slow down. This is why the bench press is considered a compound exercise. The bench press may not physically work out the lats, core, and biceps, but all of these muscles are engaged to keep you stable as you do the exercise.
Research by Clemons (1997) found that the biceps' activity in the bench press was 22% of their maximal voluntary contraction, which measures the force a muscle exerts. This is a comparatively low output, meaning the biceps minimally contribute to the lift.
Because they are not prime movers in the bench press and instead serve as stabilizers, the biceps are less active.
Although the biceps are more involved in the reverse grip bench press, it is advised that powerlifting competitors avoid using this in their training plan. This is because it is less appropriate to the competition bench press and is less sport-specific.
With other more isolating exercises, the reverse grip bench press may be another alternative for people who don't have any immediate plans to compete but still want to grow their biceps.
How To Maximize Bicep Growth From Bench Press
You can do certain things to maximize bicep growth if developing bicep strength and size is one of your main training goals and you want to include the bench press in your exercises.
When you drop the bar to your chest, focus on the first part of the movement. Your biceps are working the most actively at this time. Try lowering the bar gradually to increase the time under stress, which is linked with enhanced atrophy and strength gains.
Dumbbells can also be used in place of a bar since they place a greater demand on the stabilizing muscles. Making the exercise unilateral will increase the work done on the biceps. This stabilizes the movement during the bench press.
Why do I feel my biceps during bench press?
You're not the only one who feels biceps pain when bench pressing. Lifters face this issue more often than one might initially believe, frequently for different reasons. Fortunately, cleaning up and getting rid of it is usually very simple.
Common causes of bicep pain with bench pressing:
- A broad or narrow grip
- Insufficient tissue mobility at the bottom of the press
- High training volume passing down the biceps tendon
The below steps will get you back on track and help strengthen your biceps tissues for future pressing. If you're unsure how to start controlling your biceps pain and want to put a series of actions in place to get your pressing back on track, see the steps below.
These are the top 5 ways to reduce bicep pain while bench pressing:
- Learn the basics of bicep anatomy.
- Consider the rest of your workout.
- Check your grip breadth.
- Exercise particular press ranges.
- Change the angle of your grip by using different tools.
Although the biceps play a role in the bench press, they are not the most important muscle. Although, if the tendons are overworked or too tight, the biceps may pose problems during the bench press.
If developing the biceps is our ultimate goal, then exercising with the biceps as the primary muscle group is better.
We hope this article helps you understand whether does bench press workout biceps.