Race Walking Training
Upper Body Exercises
The bench press is not usually part of a traditional race walk workout, but I include it here to balance out those exercises that develop the back. As long as you avoid the temptation to lift large amounts of weight and bulk up, it provides a fine complement to my strength-training program.
Executing a proper bench press takes a little more focus than needed for many of our other exercises. As you do with all lifts, always make sure you control the weight throughout all movements. Begin with a light weight when first undertaking the press. Then, after you feel comfortable with the exercise, increase the weight.
- A good grip is key, so avoid laziness and use all your fingers and your thumb. The tighter the grip, the better your control over the bar.
- Position your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with the bar positioned in the middle of your chest.
- When lifting the weight, you can hold your arms at an angle between 45 degrees and 90 degrees to your body. I recommend holding it at 90 degrees. The closer your arms get to a 90-degree angle, the more you develop your chest muscles. While holding your arms at a 45-degree angle from your body allows you to lift more weight, you gain much less from the exercise.
- As you execute this lift, remember to exhale as you raise the weight and inhale as you lower it.
- Make sure you do not lock your elbows as you extend your arms upwards.