What to use if you don't have a bench for bench press?

What to use if you don't have a bench for bench press?

The bench press is a highly effective exercise that helps improve the overall development of your pectoral muscles, shoulders and triceps.

However, there are several reasons to look for bench press alternatives. For example, you don't have access to a bench, you want more isolation for a single muscle group, you don't have a spotter, you have an injury, or you hit a bench press plateau and need variation.

Here are the some bench press alternatives:

Effective bench press alternatives seek to target the same muscle groups as the bench press. I've broken it down into "Focus on Muscles" exercises.This is not to say that these bench press alternatives don't incorporate all of the targeted muscle groups found in the bench press. Let's start!

Chest-focused bench press alternatives

The barbell bench alternative to his press should focus on the pectoral muscles, including the lower and upper pectoral fibers.The chest muscles are mainly used in the bottom range of the bench press. It helps you control the barbell as you bring it down and initiate a chest-to-midrange drive.

  1. Barbell floor press

The floor press is a great bench press alternative when you don't have access to a flat bench but want some barbell variation.This is a compound exercise and can target the same muscle groups as the bench press.

One of the downsides of this move is that you can't lift the barbell through its full range of motion because your elbows hit the floor before the barbell reaches your chest.

Floor put his press under the "chest-intensive" option because even with limited elbow involvement, the pectoral muscles are significantly activated. In other words, keep your elbows stacked directly under the barbell (don't tuck it in).

how to do

  • Locate the area on the floor in front of the power cage.
  • Set the pins so that you can release the barbell from the rack when you lie on the floor.
  • Bend your legs and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Perform bench press movements as normal, but limit elbow retraction as much as possible.

pro tips

If you don't have access to a power cage to set up the barbell version of this exercise, you can grab a dumbbell and perform the same move, keeping your elbows just below your wrists at 90 degrees to maximize chest activation. 

  1. Dumbbell bench press

The dumbbell bench press is a close variation of the barbell bench press.

Dumbbell bench can work the same muscle groups in the press. However, it cannot lift as much weight as the barbell bench press.

This is because the dumbbell bench press includes more stabilizer muscle groups, such as the pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and other smaller muscle groups in the shoulder.

The advantage of doing the dumbbell bench press is that the movement should be more stable. This should improve your overall strength and performance in other exercises.

how to do

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lower the weight to your chest. In the lowest position, the dumbbell should be just outside your chest.
  • To activate your pectoral muscles more, take a prone grip (palms facing away from you) so that your elbows are 90 degrees from your body to him when you place the dumbbells on your chest.

pro tips

There are several ways to manipulate this exercise to shift the load demands to a different muscle group or make it more difficult.

If you want to work your triceps more, you can consider a neutral grip (palms facing each other).

The bench can also be positioned at his 45-degree incline if you want to target your shoulders more.

A chest-focused variation involves holding the dumbbell against your chest for 2-3 seconds between each rep to create more tension in your pectoral muscles.


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