The humble bench press is an exercise that is perhaps over-used by the bros and idiots of the world, but is still one you ought to have in your repertoire. I myself was anti-bench pressing for many years, but I had my opinion on the matter changed by reading various publications advocating for it’s use, including one by the closest person I have to a mentor in fitness, Pavel Tsatsouline. Interestingly, he himself was anti-benching until being convinced otherwise by an Olympic shotput coach.
If I had to do a workout consisting of just two exercises, I—and most fitness gurus worth their salt—would say “The deadlift and any sort of press.” Those two combined will work the majority of muscles in your body. For today, I have deigned to do the bench press, mainly because it’s the only one I already had footage of myself doing.
The bench press will develop the pectorals, triceps, and shoulders predominantly, with some auxiliary work done for the forearms and hands. While I feel it is not the be-all-and-end-all-of upper body workouts (mainly because the overhead press is more likely to be something you’ll use in a practical real life situation), it is advocated by power athletes like Olympic level shotputters. Or, in the words of Pavel Tsatsouline, “For all the debate over the usefulness of the bench press, if you met someone with a 600 pound bench press, would you want to take a punch from them?”
You can read about how to do this exercise here