Bench Press Alternatives

The vast majority of weight trainers love the bench press. It’s a great test of upper body strength and it will help you build thick and powerful looking pecs. It’s also a relatively easy exercise to perform and won’t take as much out of you as heavy squats and deadlifts do. However, sometimes you may want to find bench press alternatives if you don’t have the required equipment available to do the exercise with or want to make some changes to your routine to kick start your body for more strength and size gains. You may also want some other exercises to do after benching.

The most obvious alternative to flat and incline benching with a barbell is to use dumbbells instead. Benching with dumbbells will allow you to get a deeper stretch at the bottom of each rep unlike a barbell which will stop when it hits your pecs. You can also move the dumbbells closer to each other as you complete a repetition, which you can’t do while barbell benching.

Another great bench press alternative is to perform the exercise (with dumbbells) while lying on a core ball. Dumbbell bench pressing on a core ball will force many small muscles to stabilize your body on the ball. You’ll activate many rarely used muscles by doing this. Just be sure not to use too much weight.

Dips are one of the best bench press alternatives. If you perform dips the right way, you can hit your pecs hard. Place your hands on dip bars (preferably wider apart) and tilt your body so you will use your pecs to do the exercise before lowering and raising your body. You can use a belt that allows you to add weight to it for a great strength training exercise.

Another one of the best bench press alternatives is the classic push-up. You can do normal push-ups or put your feet on a bench to make them more like an incline bench press. This is a great exercise for getting a lot of reps on and makes for a great finisher to a chest workout.

All of these exercises make for excellent bench press alternatives. At some point you will likely want to go back to the classic barbell bench press. However, if you only have so much equipment to lift with, you can get a great bench workout without doing normal bench presses.