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Does Bench Press Workout Biceps?

Does Bench Press Workout Biceps

Ah yes, the bench press — a staple exercise in the world of lifting weights.

It's the quintessential display of pressing strength, the king of chest workouts, and the default test of upper body prowess.

But amidst all this, a question lingers: Does bench press work out your biceps?

Today, we’ll separate fact from fiction and shed light on this debate. Let's address the elephant in the room straight away — no, bench press does not work out your biceps.

If you were hoping for those sleeve-busting gains solely from bench pressing, I'm afraid you might need to rethink your strategy.

Here's why:The bench press primarily works your chest, shoulders, and triceps. These are the muscle groups that receive the lion's share of the attention during this compound movement.

This is because the main action happening during a bench press is shoulder extension and elbow extension, both of which work your pressing muscles instead of pulling muscles. During the bench press, the biceps play a supportive role by stabilizing the shoulders and elbows. However, they don't contribute directly to pushing the barbell.

The biceps is primarily activated when there is loaded elbow flexion. While it's true that elbow flexion occurs during the bench press, it's essential to note that this flexion is primarily due to your triceps contracting eccentrically, rather than the biceps themselves being directly targeted.

In fact, the bench press recruits a whole host of secondary muscles to assist in executing the movement. These include the lats, rhomboids, and even your core!

Unfortunately for bicep enthusiasts, the biceps simply don't make it to the top of the bench press guest list.When it comes to building your biceps, you’ll want to look elsewhere rather than relying solely on the bench press.

For example, performing a mix of indirect pulling exercises and direct bicep movements should provide ample stimulus to make your bi’s grow.

Here are some examples of indirect pulling exercises:

And here are some great exercises that will directly pump up your biceps:

  • Barbell Bicep Curls
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls
  • Cable Bicep Curls

These are just some examples but you can also use different tempos, pauses and other training techniques to command your biceps to grow! A personal favorite of ours is pairing one of the bicep exercises above with an arm blaster for an insane bicep pump.In conclusion, if you've been hoping to sculpt those biceps by bench pressing alone, it's time to adjust your expectations.

While the bench press remains an exceptional exercise for building upper body strength, it won't specifically target your biceps because it primarily works your chest, shoulders and triceps, and the biceps are indirectly active instead of directly targeted.

Instead, focus on incorporating other exercises that effectively stimulate bicep growth to achieve those beautiful bicep peaks.