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If your goal is to become a stronger athlete, there is no denying the value of the bench press. Benching provides hard active work for the chest, shoulders, and arms and isometric work for the forearms. It trains novice lifters the fundamental skill of pushing on a very heavy load, perhaps its most useful function. Women in particular often struggle with lacking the gymnastic strength required for movements like pull-ups and full push-ups. The bench press is a movement that can aid in developing both upper body strength and tricep strength at a much lower percentage of one’s body weight. The bench press is a foundational lift that can build much-needed absolute upper body strength.

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