Bench press exercises have a reputation of being hardcore exercises that are apt only for body builders and those who want to build muscle-mass. But the fact is that bench press helps with weight loss as well. A little known fact is that while cardio burns calories while you’re exercising, bench press exercises help boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your last workout session. Not imagine how much faster your body can get toned and lean if you combine your regular cardio with some intense bench press exercises.
Let’s look at some basic bench press exercises that you can start with to tone specific parts of your body.
Tone Your Arms
Before moving on to heavier weights, start with a pair of basic dumbbells to ease you into the routine. Lie back on the bench with the dumbbells held in your hands and to the sides (parallel to your shoulders). Push down your shoulders onto the bench while contracting your stomach and pushing your feet onto the floor. Now raise your arms slowly till your arms are in right angle to your chest. Hold position for a second or two and then slowly lower the dumbbells, bringing it down to your chest level. Do this for a total of ten times. The dumbbells will result in toned arms, shoulder and chest muscles.
Tone Your Abs
While you can do crunches to tone your abs and burn any excess fat, there are a few bench exercises that provide more resistance, thereby burning more calories and speeding up your toning process. Let’s look at one such effective bench exercise for toning the abs called the leg raise. Sit at the edge of the bench with your legs hanging over and your hands at your sides (holding onto the bench for support). Slowly raise your legs first holding the position when your legs are parallel to the floor and then at the very top when they are perpendicular to the floor. Do this ten times, you will notice that your ab muscles contract and vibrate as you work them with this exercise.
Tone Your Legs
Your legs make up the lower part of your body. So working them out means you’re working the muscles of half your body. Bench exercises are a great way to work out your legs to gain the maximum result. Start with sitting at the edge of the bench and holding onto it with your hands on either side of you. Now raise your legs in front of you, keeping them parallel to the floor. Slowly bring them close to your chest by bending your knees. This exercise helps tone both your legs and abs. To add more resistance, try holding a dumbbell between your feet while doing it. Repeat this exercise ten times for best results.
Of course there are some great warm-up bench exercises that you could do at the start of every workout session. Do push-ups, lunges, and step-up-step-down exercises using a bench.
If you feel like your body has reached a plateau and is not losing weight no matter how much cardio you do or if your workout sessions are just not challenging enough, try adding bench press exercises to your routine. Do them thrice a week to start seeing good results. Consult with your trainer to see which exercises will yield optimal results for your body. It takes determination and a strong will to hit the gym regularly, so if you’re doing that already then why not up the ante and focus on heavier exercises in your upcoming workout sessions?