One of the oldest upper body exercises performed with a barbell is the bench press. It is an excellent exercise for healthy and strong shoulders, but unfortunately a little forgotten in “modern” training. Currently, pressing the bar while lying on the bench is much more popular, which is a shame, because there is no more complete movement, apart from the top, but also the whole body, than pressing the bar on the head throughout the range of motion and maintain proper technique.
Let’s start with the fact that the more the body engages in an exercise, the more benefits it will bring. The effort on the barbell while standing builds strength in both the torso muscles (straight and oblique abdominal muscles, intercostal muscles, and back muscles) and shoulder and arm muscles. This exercise also teaches the whole body to maintain balance while standing and pressing heavy loads on the head.
As a result, it uses more muscles and nerve connections in the central nervous system than any other upper body exercise. After the bench press, the whole body works in a standing position, from the hands holding the barbell to the feet resting on the floor. The muscles of the torso (abdominal and back muscles), hips, legs, ankles, wrists and feet provide stability, while the shoulder muscles, upper actons of the pectoral muscles and the muscles of the arms push the weight above the head. The resulting kinematic chain is the longest chain that exists in our body and this is another argument that proves the effectiveness of this exercise.