The bench press or chest press with a barbell is a weight training exercise for developing your chest muscles. It is one of the most famous weightlifting exercises in the world. This compound movement targets multiple muscle groups of your upper body. To perform the bench press exercise you require a flat bench and a weighted barbell. Lifting the barbell upwards while lying on a flat bench contracts your pectoralis major and minor muscles. Building a strong chest can boost your performance in other compound exercises and sports activities.