The bench press is one of the best and easiest to do weightlifting exercises. It is also one of the most potent bench-pressing exercises that strengthen muscles in the chest, shoulders, and arms. Given that it is one of the easiest weightlifting exercises, it is perfect for beginners and for people who have home gyms. These days, more and more people are investing in home gyms because it will save them money in the long haul and makes working out easier and more accessible.

So, are you planning to set up a home gym? If you are, then you might consider starting with equipment for doing a bench press. You just need to buy a weight bench, barbells, dumbbells, gym floor mats, and maybe a lifting strap.

Now, if you want to make working out more exciting, here are a couple of bench press variations to try.

Hex press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and bring them together on top of your chest with your palms facing in. Spread your shoulders out and then lift the dumbbells up to arm’s length. Hex press is a bit challenging at first but once you got the rhythm and the right shoulder movement, you’ll master it in no time.

Close grip bench press

Instead of your grip placed slightly outside your shoulders, bring them closer together. With the arms near each other, you’ll be able to extend the range of motion. To execute the perfect close grip press, you must better maintain your bench press technique. Start light and familiarize yourself with the exercise. Once you got it, slightly increase the load.

Wide grip bench press

This is the total opposite of a close grip. The range of motion with this exercise is shortened. However, every rep places more strain on the muscle because of the grip position. It is important that you determine the ideal length for you because a small mistake can result in an injury. For this exercise, make sure to utilize force from your upper back. Keep in mind to always improve your grip strength.

Alternating dumbbell bench press

feeling the burn with a bench press
Photo by Ambitious Creative – Rick Barrett on Unsplash

While lying flat on the weight bench with two dumbbells in each of your hands, imagine doing a 1, 2 punch combo. It’s as simple as that. Bring the dumbbells above your chest and then start lifting one arm and then the other. It is important that you don’t rush with this exercise especially if you are used to doing a bench press. When lifting, make sure to fully extend your arm and slowly lower it back down. Figure out the rhythm that works best for you.

Spoto press

Named after the bench press master Eric Spoto from the US, this exercise is very effective. With the Spoto press, you just need to do a standard bench press. However, when you are bringing the barbell down to your chest, pause with the bar at least an inch or more above your chest. It sounds simple but actually trickier when being executed. Mastering this exercise would give you better bar control which is always a plus when it comes to weightlifting.

So, are you excited to try these weightlifting exercises once you get home? Before you do so, here are some important reminders. First, if you are a beginner, it might be good to have someone there with you to give you a hand or spot you. Bench pressing can be dangerous if not done right. Second, make sure that you are executing these exercises using the right form. Third, it is totally fine to start light at first. Don’t push yourself to take on heavier loads from the start. Work your way up and really feel the burn in every set.