Melissa Newman. Benches. December 16th , 2017.
The bench press is a three part movement. This may seem silly at first, but think about it this way. First you have the descent, the stretch of your pectorals, second you have the initial push, the engagement of the pecs, and third you have the finish, the engagement and contraction of your triceps. Three parts, two parts that really engage your muscles, and one part that is primarily your weakness. Personally the top of my bench press is my weak point. I can push a lot of weight halfway up from my chest, but finishing the movement has always been a struggle. The fix; floor press, close grip bench press, and Tate press.
In addition to the floor press you are going to want to hammer your triceps with a few other presses to really make them stronger. The close grip bench press is the same as the bench press, just with a closer grip. Your hands do not need to be extremely close to reap the benefits of this exercise, and going to close can actually cause wrist pain and inhibit you from going as heavy as you can. A width similar to that of the man below will work just fine for our goals. Keep your elbows in, and perform full reps. Train moderately heavy like above. The Tate press is a great finishing exercise for your bench training days. The Tate press simulates a bench press but only engages your triceps. We still want to go heavy here, but not quite as much, think 8-10 reps per set.
The piano bench industry grew from the desire of piano manufacturing companies to focus solely on the manufacturing of pianos. The bench was, for the most part, an afterthought. Many bench companies got their start in the early 1900s by contracting with the piano manufacturers to offer benches in multiple styles that would match the exact finish and leg style of the piano being bought and sold. As the piano would move from owner to owner the bench would not always make the trip, creating a need for the replacement bench manufacturer. The other primary reason for the piano bench manufacturers existence is the fact that the piano bench is typically handled very roughly by many teachers and students alike.
Bench Length and Width. There are three types of benches available to select from. The first is a stationary grand piano bench (Duet Bench) is 35 inches wide and 19 inches high. With the duet bench the width is proportioned to the size of the piano and the bench will easily seat two people. The traditional standard upright bench is 30 inches wide by 19 inches high and is a fine piece of furniture to use with all upright pianos. For smaller pianos such as spinets, I would consider a 25-inch-wide piano/keyboard bench to be just the right size. I will often recommend an adjustable bench for families (and teachers) with multiple players and pianists concerned with posture might select an adjustable or a high level Artists bench.
The most popular, elegant and well known pianos in the world are made by Steinway & Sons, who have a tradition of making their top-of-the-line instruments for over 150 years. Steinway however, is solely a piano bench manufacturer, and do not make their own piano benches to go along with their pianos. They in fact contract out to Jansen & Son exclusively to make benches for their products. Thus, if you are looking for a Steinway piano bench, you are in fact looking for a Jansen piano bench. A brief history about Jansen: they are an American piano bench manufacturer in Wisconsin, who have been in business for over 50 years. They are known across the globe for making the highest quality benches available, using superior maple hardwood (from the East Coast of the United States or Canada), and thick, furniture quality vinyl. Jansen is best known for their artist benches, which features their heavy-duty, silent "micro-adjustable" raising mechanism (which is the best adjustable mechanism on the market).
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