Taekwondo Strength Training Basics – The Benchpress

Tae Kwon Do Strength & Conditioning Training One of the best exercises a Taekwondo athlete can use in the gym as a part of their Strength & Conditioning program (and again even pretty much all year round!) is the flat benchpress.

In our last Strength & Conditioning articles [ Taekwondo Strength Training Basics – The Back Squat and Taekwondo Strength Training Basics – How To Perform The Back Squat ] we covered the Squat, it’s benefits and then how to do it. In this article I’m going to cover the Benchpress and in the following article, I will cover how to execute it best.

There are many variations of the benchpress movement and the flat benchpress is what is regarded as the ‘classical’ all round movement for lifting with your arms. In the rest of the article I will discuss how the benchpress movement works and what benefits you gain from performing it.

The benchpress is an excellent ‘all round’ upper body movement. It uses most of the major muscle groups of the front of the chest, namely the pectorals (major and minor), the deltoids (anterior), the triceps brachii (medial, lateral and long heads) the seratus anterior and the coracobrachialis all of which are major muscle groups utilised by Taekwondo athletes whilst punching straight. The benchpress has an excellent stabilising movement of the biceps brachii muscles and elbow joints and uses your core muscles to stabilise your torso too.

The benchpress itself actually replicates one of the most common martial arts techniques used in the world: the punch. Although punching has never really been of great importance within Taekwondo competition in the past, due to the use of new electronic hogu systems, now more than ever, punching has become a really useful tool to score points.

The biomechanics of the movement are distinctly similar to the punch in terms of extending and flexing the elbow joint and the powerful driving force of the pectoral muscles to complete the lift. The flat benchpress can be used to nurture a whole host of athletic abilities most namely flexibility, hypertrophy (muscle growth), strength, explosive power and speed. These variables are dependant on how the movement is performed and sets, repetitions, load, intensity etc.

If you have any questions about Stength & Conditioning or Strength Training at all, just let me know. Put them in the comments box below. If you have any comments at all, you can also put them in the box below. Let us know you’re alive! 🙂

8 thoughts on “Taekwondo Strength Training Basics – The Benchpress

  1. paul doran

    the bench is not going to be much use to any puncher,the amount of time it takes to throw a punch is amongst the shortest in sports and the resistance very low so there simply isnt the time to produce max strength.What you needis starting strength and explosive strength best produced by upper body plyos and med ball throws.Bench press could be used to build base strength and tissue integrity prior to explosive training but wont improve punch power.

    1. Carl Post author

      Hi Paul,

      I think that is quite a bold statement you make about the bench not being any use to the puncher and I think Im inclined to disagree with you.

      As you said there are a whole host of other exercises you could to to improve punching power including plyometric based upper body exercises and use of medicine balls. However the beauty about the benchpress is its variability. You can incline and decline the bench to target specific areas. You can use dumbells for individual gains per arm (especially given as most of the time there is a dominance) and you can train power. Have you heard of the bench throw? I suggest you look it up its a great exercise that mimics punch biomechanical properties really well.

      I hope this helps

  2. vikram

    sir im a taekwondo blackbelt 4rm india i wanna start weight training and wanted 2 gain some strength 2 my kicks and speed up my kicking techniques(kick combo`s)does weight`s slow me down.and wat can i do 2 avoid this.

    plz help me by this all i do weights 2 improve my core strength and seeking tat would help my sparring

  3. Todd

    As an older athlete, another advantage of the bench press I see (acknowledging the benefits of plyometrics) is less wear and tear on joints. Plyometrics share in common with high-impact aerobics the trait of being an excellent tool for improving aspects of athletic performance, but at the expense (for at least some of us) of gradual damage to joints as they are continually subjected to high levels of physical stress. I’d guess that if someone wants to be a tournament champion, a “best of the best”-sort of performer, plyometrics may provide an edge – but for the average person wishing to build a lifetime practice of martial arts, I’d opt for controlled weight training.

    1. Carl Post author

      Todd its all about how you marry the two together within your training. You dont get as many benefts when you do either independently.

  4. Pingback: Taekwondo Strength Training – How To Perform The Flat Benchpress :The Taekwondo Coach

Comments are closed.