bench press range of motion

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xshawnxearthx
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bench press range of motion

Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:30 pm

everyone says something different. i see some people going all the way down to the chest, i see some people stopping where the upper arms are parallel with the ground. my friend who is a part time PT, full time sports medicine student tells me that i should go to parallel so i don't destroy my shoulders. so what's the deal....what is the correct info.


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Re: bench press range of motion

Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:46 pm

xshawnxearthx wrote:everyone says something different. i see some people going all the way down to the chest, i see some people stopping where the upper arms are parallel with the ground. my friend who is a part time PT, full time sports medicine student tells me that i should go to parallel so i don't destroy my shoulders. so what's the deal....what is the correct info.
It depends on your shoulder health, and the width of your benching grip. If your arms are close to your body, bringing the bar to the chest isn't usually an issue. But that's doing a close grip bench press, which is more of a triceps and anterior deltoid exercise than a chest exercise. A wide grip involves the chest more. But unless you have short arms and a wide, thick chest -like most good benchers do - your shoulders will be put under extreme pressure.

It is not a good idea for most people to bring their elbows below parallel when doing wide grip bench presses. Moving the arms to a 45-degree angle from the torso is a compromise most people can make if they want to bench below parallel.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:55 pm

for bench press, i'll usually have my ring finger/middle finger on the outer ring of an oly bar. i go to where the top part of my arm is parallel to the ground. i'll do this for bp, and incline bp. today an older dude said i need to "stop doing those half reps, i'll get more pump going all the way down."...this was the same dude who gave me a suggestion on squatting that has caused me to need an MRI on my knee(told me to start squatting with trainers and ditch the flat shoes).

anyway, i do cgbp for triceps, and i go all the way down on those, but with bp i've been going to parallel. i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").

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Post by nygmen » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:18 pm

xshawnxearthx wrote: i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").
Which means your pretty much at a disadvantage.

I touch the DB's to my boobs, which would put the bar an inch or so from my chest. And I try and avoid lockout at the top.

I also tuck my elbows as much as possible.

I know a few dudes with big ass pecs that don't go down "to get the pump".

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:47 pm

nygmen wrote:
xshawnxearthx wrote: i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").
Which means your pretty much at a disadvantage.

I touch the DB's to my boobs, which would put the bar an inch or so from my chest. And I try and avoid lockout at the top.

I also tuck my elbows as much as possible.

I know a few dudes with big ass pecs that don't go down "to get the pump".
because of the long arms it would put a lot more stress on my shoulders going that low?

with the exception of the small dudes who are just really sloppy with form(letting the bar slam onto their chest), and this one dude who was some body builder type dude back in the day, every large, muscular dude at my gym does the parallel.


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Post by KPj » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:20 am

It depends how you bench and as Stephen said it depends on your shoulder health. When I bench, I get the bar down to my chest and my arms don't go past the bench. So, the whole parallel argument is redundant in that case.

I must say I love it when a trainer or anyone comes and tells me it's bad for my shoulders to bench to my chest. In my first 1-2 years of training, I followed this advice. Despite that, I ended up with a screwed shoulder. Go figure... Now, I bench to my chest, full ROM, no problem. But, that's because i've learned to bench properly. As i'm finding out though, it's not strictly the trainers fault, that's just what they are 'taught' to teach.

You should watch this video on how to bench - it's great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3t6T-nqP0

If you have shoulder problems, the closer you get to your chest the more stress you'll put on them, so full ROM can deffinitly be troublesome in this case.

I have a rule that if you can't do wall slides then you can't bench to your chest (or OH press). If you can't do wall slides then you won't be able to pop the chest up enough and get the shoulder blades back. For people like this, yes, full ROM is 'bad'.

One thing that sort of riles me about this myth is - if it were true, then why we need benches? Just do floor press. Take away the BB bench press and people will have no choice. There ya go, problem solved. I get more ROM in my floor press than most in my gym get from 'bench press'. With floor press my chest is about 2-3 inches from the bar.

KPj

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:44 am

xshawnxearthx wrote:i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").
I'm 6-6 too, and I have a 39 inch sleeve. Benching has always been one of my worst exercises. But you have to bench in most gyms if you want to have any kind of street cred. Eventually, I worked up to 315 for a single rep - and ruined my shoulders in the process. Never again.

The cruel joke is that benching is supposed to be a chest exercise, yet they never gave me any results. It wasn't until I dropped barbell benching in favor of dumbbell presses and flies that my chest became halfway decent.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:34 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:
xshawnxearthx wrote:i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").
I'm 6-6 too, and I have a 39 inch sleeve. Benching has always been one of my worst exercises. But you have to bench in most gyms if you want to have any kind of street cred. Eventually, I worked up to 315 for a single rep - and ruined my shoulders in the process. Never again.

The cruel joke is that benching is supposed to be a chest exercise, yet they never gave me any results. It wasn't until I dropped barbell benching in favor of dumbbell presses and flies that my chest became halfway decent.
i've been getting that suggestion thrown at me a lot...db's in favor of bb's. i need to join another gym that has db's beyond 100lbs, because i'm already there for db bp.

my bench has been steadily progressing. this week i did 255lbs for reps, but then i have some dude telling me i'm not going low enough. go figure.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:35 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:
xshawnxearthx wrote:i have pretty long arms(i'm 6'6").
I'm 6-6 too, and I have a 39 inch sleeve. Benching has always been one of my worst exercises. But you have to bench in most gyms if you want to have any kind of street cred. Eventually, I worked up to 315 for a single rep - and ruined my shoulders in the process. Never again.

The cruel joke is that benching is supposed to be a chest exercise, yet they never gave me any results. It wasn't until I dropped barbell benching in favor of dumbbell presses and flies that my chest became halfway decent.
i've been getting that suggestion thrown at me a lot...db's in favor of bb's. i need to join another gym that has db's beyond 100lbs, because i'm already there for db bp.

my bench has been steadily progressing. this week i did 255lbs for reps, but then i have some dude telling me i'm not going low enough. i feel like if i go to my chest with the bb, my elbows are so far down it's not funny.

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:47 pm

KPj wrote:It depends how you bench and as Stephen said it depends on your shoulder health. When I bench, I get the bar down to my chest and my arms don't go past the bench. So, the whole parallel argument is redundant in that case.

I must say I love it when a trainer or anyone comes and tells me it's bad for my shoulders to bench to my chest. In my first 1-2 years of training, I followed this advice. Despite that, I ended up with a screwed shoulder. Go figure... Now, I bench to my chest, full ROM, no problem. But, that's because i've learned to bench properly. As i'm finding out though, it's not strictly the trainers fault, that's just what they are 'taught' to teach.

You should watch this video on how to bench - it's great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3t6T-nqP0

If you have shoulder problems, the closer you get to your chest the more stress you'll put on them, so full ROM can deffinitly be troublesome in this case.

I have a rule that if you can't do wall slides then you can't bench to your chest (or OH press). If you can't do wall slides then you won't be able to pop the chest up enough and get the shoulder blades back. For people like this, yes, full ROM is 'bad'.

One thing that sort of riles me about this myth is - if it were true, then why we need benches? Just do floor press. Take away the BB bench press and people will have no choice. There ya go, problem solved. I get more ROM in my floor press than most in my gym get from 'bench press'. With floor press my chest is about 2-3 inches from the bar.

KPj
well according to that guy my technique is off. i do get a slight arch, but my chest isn't nearly that high. i notice that when he is up against his chest, his upper arms are parallel. interesting.

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Post by caangelxox » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:27 pm

what is the difference between elbows in and elbows out on bench pressing? Its hard for me to keep my elbows in

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Re: bench press range of motion

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:16 pm

xshawnxearthx wrote:everyone says something different. i see some people going all the way down to the chest, i see some people stopping where the upper arms are parallel with the ground. my friend who is a part time PT, full time sports medicine student tells me that i should go to parallel so i don't destroy my shoulders. so what's the deal....what is the correct info.
Xshawnxearthx,

Your are getting some poor advice. Sounds like you friend was certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM.

The NASM is more of a cult with ultra conservative views that are not backed up with any scientific data.

With that said, ask you friend to show you scientific research indicating it is a problem.

Kenny Croxdale

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Re: bench press range of motion

Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:13 pm

Kenny Croxdale wrote:
xshawnxearthx wrote:everyone says something different. i see some people going all the way down to the chest, i see some people stopping where the upper arms are parallel with the ground. my friend who is a part time PT, full time sports medicine student tells me that i should go to parallel so i don't destroy my shoulders. so what's the deal....what is the correct info.
Xshawnxearthx,

Your are getting some poor advice. Sounds like you friend was certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM.

The NASM is more of a cult with ultra conservative views that are not backed up with any scientific data.

With that said, ask you friend to show you scientific research indicating it is a problem.

Kenny Croxdale
i will do that.

now, according to the video posted above, the guy gets the bb down to his chest, but his upper arms are parallel to the ground. all because of the method he uses to bench in. bottom line is, should i be benching this way?

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Post by xshawnxearthx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:21 pm

basically i need to work on getting my shoulder blades together, digging my feet in to make the arch, and i'll be able to "get down" without wrecking myself.

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:13 pm

xshawnxearthx wrote:basically i need to work on getting my shoulder blades together, digging my feet in to make the arch, and i'll be able to "get down" without wrecking myself.
That's done wonders for me at 6' 4" if that helps. I used to feel really uncomfortable with the weight on my chest. Some arch and elbow tuck and tight scapula and it's not a problem.

My bench is still pathetic, but it's not a big focus of my program, either.


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