bench press range of motion

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KPj
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Post by KPj » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:29 am

frogbyte wrote:
KPj wrote:You should watch this video on how to bench - it's great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3t6T-nqP0
That seems to be a video on how to bench competitively? Ie, all he cares about is upping the weight safely, as opposed to general strength? Rippetoe doesn't advocate nearly that extreme of a back arch.
Maybe. A lot of people say that but, powerlifters bench a lot of weight for a lot of years. The strongest powerlifters are aged average 40-45 (O-lifters it's 20-25). So, yes, they're more concerned with upping the weight but, in my view they're also experts at benching safely i.e. preserving their joints to keep them lifting a lot for a long time.

Rip does advocate a tight back and popping the chest up so, you can take a middle ground and get a tight upper back but not push the arch too much. The biggest danger in the PL-Style competition bench is more on the lower back when an extreme arc is used than anything else. Just keep the lower back in it's natural arch.

Personally I always teach a tight arched upper back with elbows tucked. With the beginners that train with me, when they set up and say they're ready, I either shove their ribs with my hand or I shove my knee into their ribs to push them (not hit them!). If they wobble I make them re-set.

I honestly don't see any reason to bench with elbows flared and a flat back.....

KPj


caangelxox
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Post by caangelxox » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:22 pm

what is the difference between elbows out (wide grip, which is the regular bench press) and elbows in (power bench press)? There are 2 different versions on exrx. The regular bench press has the elbows out and the power bench press has the elbows in.

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Post by Jeannay » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:18 pm

what is the difference between elbows out (wide grip, which is the regular bench press) and elbows in (power bench press)? There are 2 different versions on exrx. The regular bench press has the elbows out and the power bench press has the elbows in.
If your elbows are out, the triceps brachii is more focused , if they are in , anterior deltoid shares the work with the triceps

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:31 pm

I think most people consider a medium grip (hands just outside shoulders) to be "regular" bp. Wide grip is done to help isolate the chest a bit.

Someone I've read (or seen their video or something) suggests starting with the elbows at a middle angle (about 45 degrees) and rotating them out as the bar goes up.

With the elbows out (flared) at the beginning of the range puts the shoulders in a sub-optimal position, but keeping them tucked avoids this. However having the elbows out at the top of the movement allows more of the triceps force to be transferred directly to the bar (remember the "stretch the bar" cue), whereas with elbows tucked at the top the tris are mostly tending to push the bar toward the toes rather than up, and the "stretch the bar" cue is just adding external rotation to the movement, which doesn't seem good to me.

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Post by frogbyte » Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:31 pm

Long ago I always struggled with elbow angle on bench press when I used the Smith, but when I switched to DBs it all seemed very natural.


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Post by xshawnxearthx » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:32 pm

it seems everyone has something different to say. approached a few of the gym heads that were in a group and asked them what they thought.

the one guy had some interesting advice. he said you have to train full rom, but do so on your warm ups. once you go heavy, go to parallel because one wrong movement could wreck your shoulder. always end with a "burn set" going full rom.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:32 pm

Parallel? Like with the humeri parallel to the floor? So basically only do a floor press? That really doesn't make any sense to me.

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Post by nygmen » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:38 pm

Here is my form for a top set. My warmup/TUT sets are much more controlled.

I found doing rear delt flies, and making those stronger made most of my shoulder discomfort go away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCP47fDzMqY


EDIT: I also DON'T LOCK OUT OVERHEAD unless it is a top set and I'm resting between reps because they are very heavy.

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Post by hoosegow » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:49 am

At first I thought you had either a football or hockey jersey on. I was going to call you out on being "that guy" in the gym. :lol:

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Post by nygmen » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:23 pm

hoosegow wrote:At first I thought you had either a football or hockey jersey on. I was going to call you out on being "that guy" in the gym. :lol:
Ha ha, hell no...

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Post by frogbyte » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:43 pm

I was expecting a suit and tie.

Interesting that on the last rep the left DB was struggling towards your head - if anything I usually struggle to with it going more in towards my belly on my last rep.

KPj
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Post by KPj » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:29 am

Jungledoc wrote: the "stretch the bar" cue is just adding external rotation to the movement, which doesn't seem good to me.
I love the stretch the bar the cue. I think encouraging external rotation is a benefit. One of the problems with benching for people with shoulder problems is being locked in internal rotation. Although pulling the bar apart doesn't change this, you do appear to get some isometric support. Also, pulling the bar apart places emphasis on the upper back muscles providing more stability.

I never really 'got' the cue of 'pull the bar down to you, don't let it fall' until I started pulling the bar apart.

Some people do think it's wrong. When doing an instructor course we were asked to bench. It was to experience 'pyramiding' sets, working up to a 1 rep max. Because there was no chalk in the gym, and the bar was greasy, whenever I benched my hands would just slide out. The tutor came and told me that action was 'wrong', then proceeded to slate my arch, which I expected anyway. I never realised how much pulling the bar apart helped my stability until I benched with no chalk and a greasy bar.

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Post by KPj » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:36 am

xshawnxearthx wrote: the one guy had some interesting advice. he said you have to train full rom, but do so on your warm ups. once you go heavy, go to parallel because one wrong movement could wreck your shoulder. always end with a "burn set" going full rom.
That makes no sense at all. Again, I love it when people tell me stuff like this because I 'wrecked' my shoulder benching DESPITE benching as that guy suggests.

Also, most injuries don't happen from 'one wrong movement'. This is a myth. Most happen from various subtle screw ups over a long period of time. You'll ache some, then some more, then all the time, then you'll either accept you have a problem, or you'll be stupid (like me), and keep training anyway. Then it's just a case of finding the straw that will break the camels back.

I've trained in my gym for 4+ years and i've never seen anyone get injured from 'one wrong movement'. I don't mean to sound like i'm attacking you, i'm not. I get this arguement on benching all the time so it touches a nerve. You can just use a little common sense though.

Going by that logic then I should DL and Squat with half ROM, too. And pull up, ROW, curls, etc... Infact maybe I'll just train 2 inches of each movement just to stay extra 'safe'...... What i'm saying is - It just doesn't make sense...

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Post by KPj » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:49 am

caangelxox wrote:what is the difference between elbows out (wide grip, which is the regular bench press) and elbows in (power bench press)? There are 2 different versions on exrx. The regular bench press has the elbows out and the power bench press has the elbows in.
As well as what you've been told, when the elbows are out, you are also slap bang in the impingement zone. This is a position where your rotator cuff is under a lot of stress. It's not 'bad' to be in this position, but being in this position under load, a lot, is asking for problems. As well as this, but related, it changes how the upper back stabilised the shoulder joint. .

Sort of like if you see someone lifting a heavy box with a rounded back. It makes you cringe because you know that this is one of the most 'at risk' position for the lower back. Elbows out bench press is kind of the same, for me atleast. This will bother some people more than others depending on structure of the shoulder and the state of the surrounding muscles. You'll get some guys who'll bench a tonne, for a long time, with the elbows out style. People with an RC injury history will generally find it troublesome.

KPj


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