Once you’ve reached a level of fitness at which you’ve finally learned about how your different muscles grow and the various ways that you can focus your energy on specific muscles, you may realize that you don’t even know what muscles the most common workouts focus on. For example, does bench press work biceps?
Many people might assume that the bicep is the most worked muscle while using the bench press exercise, but that might not be a completely accurate picture. If it’s not the biceps, what muscles does the bench press work?
Let’s have a closer look at the breakdown of what the bench press works on and when it is the right workout so that you don’t waste time on this workout if it is not what you need at this time.
What Is the Bench Press?
First, let’s talk about the bench press itself. What is this exercise and how common is it? The bench press is the typical picture that you probably imagine when you think about a guy lifting rack weights in a gym. Lying down on a bench with both feet on the ground, a bench press is when you then raise a weight with both arms.
This is called a press, and so it is called a bench press since this exercise is done on a bench! This is one of the most common types of strength training, but it can also be worked into a variety of cardio or CrossFit training routines to make for a great all-over-body training.
What Muscles Does the Bench Press Work?
Now that we know what the bench press is, let’s talk about what muscles the bench press is best at working out. That said, while the specifics of what muscles your body uses while doing a bench press will specifically depend on your technique, we will be talking about what muscles the press would ideally be working on if you use the proper technique.
Primarily, the bench press works on these muscle groups:
- Anterior deltoids
When you are going through the motion that the bench press moves your body through, the muscles in these areas are the ones that must move and contract the most. This means that they will be the ones that are most fatigued, and the ones that grow the stronger from this exercise.
Is That All?
You might be thinking to yourself that there is no way that such a huge exercise only works those three muscle groups, and to some extent, you might be right! Does bench press work biceps? Let’s break it down.
Like all exercises, you’ll never just be working one muscle. Even when you are laser-focused on growing a specific part of your body, the rest of your body has to do some type of balancing and stabilizing work, and that is also its own type of workout.
In the case of the bench press, your body will use the following muscles to keep you strong and stabilized while you do a bench press:
- Rotator cuffs
- Biceps…and more!
All in all, your body will put a significant amount of energy and effort into using these additional muscles to keep your body in place. Without this effort, it is likely that you would never be able to lift the bar at all!
Even if the bicep isn’t one of the primary muscles that are targeted while you do a bench press, it is still an essential factor of the overall workout, and you may see some biceps growing and toning through your efforts with bench pressing.
A.K.A. Compound Exercises!
This type of exercise is commonly known as a compound exercise. A compound exercise is one in which while you focus on a few specific muscle groups, there are many muscle groups which grow from the exercise.
Generally speaking, doing a good variety of compound exercises in your rotations every workout is the best way to make sure you see great improvement over your whole body. Adding the bench press in as a compound exercise will ensure that all of your muscles, biceps included, will keep getting stronger, bigger, and more toned.
The Best Exercise for Biceps
If you’ve previously neglected your biceps or you simply need to focus on building strength in the biceps for your next fitness goal, there are a few exercises that you can do that will push your bicep strength to the next level.
Simply put, the best way to grow your biceps is to do curls! There are a considerable variety of dumbbell curls that you can do, and so many of them focus on your biceps. From hammer dumbbell curls to barbell curls, you’ll find that curls are a huge way that people use to grow their biceps.
By doing one or two heavy-weight curl exercises a week, you’ll find that your biceps begin to show progress. The key is that you do an overload once a week, but continue to gently work your biceps with all-around compound exercises through the week beyond that.
This combination will ensure that your muscles get the proper amount of on-and-off that is necessary in order to see actual muscle growth.
As always, it is recommended that you do not only do one singular workout or focus on one muscle group. Even while you are planning to grow your biceps, doing a full rotation of all-body workouts will ensure that your whole body stays strong.
Doing this will actually boost your bicep strength more than only doing bicep workouts since the muscle will get used in a wider variety of ways once you do more exercises, even if they aren’t bicep-forward.
Biceps and the Bench Press
Does bench press work the biceps or is that just a common misconception? The confusing answer is yes and no. While the bench press does not specifically focus on working the bicep, you will see improvement in your strength and progress with your biceps when doing bench press workouts regularly because the bench press is a compound exercise. Keep up the hard work, and you’re sure to see significant progress in your biceps in no time!