About where to lower the bar on benchpress

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Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:13 pm

He means that your upper arms should be at a roughly 45-degree angle to your torso, rather than perpendicular to you torso.


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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:18 pm

idunno11 wrote:You said to bench with about 45 degree grip (meaning not too wide, not to narrow, do you have a photo or an example to that sort of grip?

Please note the difference between a bodybuiding type bench press:
Barbell Bench Press

Instructions

Preparation

Lie supine on bench. Dismount barbell from rack over the upper chest using a wide oblique overhand grip.

Execution

Lower weight to upper chest. Press bar until arms are extended. Repeat.
And a powerlifting type bench press:
Barbell Bench Press (power lift)

Instructions

Preparation

Lie supine on bench. Grasp bar with a overhand and slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Arch back, extend hips, and position feet back flat on floor. Dismount barbell from rack over chest.

Execution

Lower weight to lower chest. Press bar until arms are extended. Repeat.
The takeaway is to use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Chances are that it will allow you to lift more weight than a wide or a narrow grip. If you aren't a powerlifter, the positionings of the back, hips and feet are optional.

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Post by idunno11 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:07 am

Thanks, understood.
(btw lifting more weight, meaning more tension on the muscle, meaning better hypetrophy right?).

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Post by KPj » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:57 am

Just to add to what you've been told already, the following article has an explanation and video clips of both techniques that are mentioned.

Go to "shoulder saver 3"

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ers_part_i

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Post by idunno11 » Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:56 am

Thanks for the info.
I just didnt completely get the way on training the soft tissue lol.


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Post by idunno11 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:18 am

About incline bench, to do the same grip and to lower the bar to the lower chest?, I mean to do the same technique like powerlifting flat benchpress?

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:48 am

idunno11 wrote:About incline bench, to do the same grip and to lower the bar to the lower chest?, I mean to do the same technique like powerlifting flat benchpress?
Yes on the grip, no on the lower chest. The incline bench is an upper chest exercise - the upper chest is where the bar lands. The incline would make lowering the bar to the lower chest a balancing nightmare.

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Post by idunno11 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:17 am

Okay, Thanks man, I tryed it today, worked on my serratus too, it was pretty tough since I didnt train it earlier, btw, I think I will lower my flat bench weight a little, since now, when doing correct form, and not half range of motion like earlier (it explains how other people do high weights lol), well yet, it is better to do full range of motion less weight, then a lousy range of motion, with lously form and let the muscle work 1:10 the job.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:51 pm

The key for all of the position elements is that for a "standard" bench, your forearms should be vertical (or close to it) at the bottom of the ROM. That will give you your grip width, the angle of the upper arm to the body, and the touch point on your chest. Just use an empty bar, or a broomstick, and move it around until you find the combination that achieves vertical forearms when the bar is touching your skin. Then for all the variants, vary it from that position. Narrow-grip is narrower than that for you. Wide-grip is wider than that for you, etc.

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Post by robertscott » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:51 am

i don't really understand why powerlifters use a narrower grip, i am just short of 6 foot and use an ultra wide grip for the bench. If i tried to make my grip narrower I'd be able to use far less weight. Am i doing something wrong or is that just the way my body's put together?

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Post by stuward » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:12 am

robertscott wrote:i don't really understand why powerlifters use a narrower grip, i am just short of 6 foot and use an ultra wide grip for the bench. If i tried to make my grip narrower I'd be able to use far less weight. Am i doing something wrong or is that just the way my body's put together?
A narrower grip allows you to pull your elbows in to the side. This reduces stress on the shoulder and allows recruitment of the lats. While you're adjusting, your bench may go down but in the long term, you will get stronger. Go back and look at Stephen's post again.

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Post by robertscott » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:14 am

lat recruitment? Weird. I still don't understand it but so it goes I'll give it a shot.

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Post by stuward » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:22 am

I'm not the best to ask as my bench sucks but this may help: http://www.criticalbench.com/benchpressarticles8.htm

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Post by KPj » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:39 am

robertscott wrote:i don't really understand why powerlifters use a narrower grip, i am just short of 6 foot and use an ultra wide grip for the bench. If i tried to make my grip narrower I'd be able to use far less weight. Am i doing something wrong or is that just the way my body's put together?
Just to stir it up a bit, you can easily flip that around. Well, I can, i.e. "i don't understand why bodybuilders bench with a wide grip, if I done that, I would use far less weight.."

You see what i'm getting at?

You get good at what you do, but what you do isn't always best....

Also, without trying to sound like an a$$hole, I always roll my eyes a little with discussions like this. In general, yes, there's normally a standard grip, but I think 'smart' PL's AND BB's will vary grip width. I know a lot of PL's don't train with their 'competition grip' until they get close to a competition, out with that time, they use a narrower grip. If you read the stuff available at Westside Barbell, you see that a lot of those guys rotate benching grip between SETS on certain training days....

If you stick to one way of doing things you just adapt and stagnate...

I don't mean that for the actual technique of the lift though. Personally I think what has become known as "PL Style" is just the correct way to bench. In my own little ideal world "PL Style" would actually be "BB Style" and "PL Style" would be the same as it always was, only, a blatantly bigger arch in the back.... Benching with a flat upper back and arms flared just doesn't make any sense to me.

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Post by Matt Z » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:02 pm

I think it's worth noting that many bodybuilders bench "Powerlifting Style", while I don't know of any powerlifters who bench "Bodybuilding Style."


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