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fpr
12-17-2008, 11:22 PM
I've seen videos as well as people in the gym raising their head up (and upper back?) -- basically as if they were looking to see if the bar touched their chest -- as they bring the bar closer to the chest, and then 'reset' their head on the drive. Is this actually helping them put up the weight or is it just a habit of some people.

Ben Moore
12-17-2008, 11:40 PM
Helps bring the bar down lower when shirted benching.

drew
12-18-2008, 05:57 AM
I don't know why guys raise their head, it works for some people (see Mark Bell). If you bench with an arch, raising your head will flatten you out and make your belly go down, making it harder to touch.

smokinHawk
12-18-2008, 06:13 AM
I don't know why guys raise their head, it works for some people (see Mark Bell). If you bench with an arch, raising your head will flatten you out and make your belly go down, making it harder to touch.

not necessarily i can and have seen others keep their arch and belly up while raising the head., but you do have to remember to keep the belly up.

Kenny Croxdale
12-18-2008, 07:21 AM
I've seen videos as well as people in the gym raising their head up (and upper back?) -- basically as if they were looking to see if the bar touched their chest -- as they bring the bar closer to the chest, and then 'reset' their head on the drive. Is this actually helping them put up the weight or is it just a habit of some people.

Yea, this make sense. I posted information on it. http://www.wannabebigforums.com/search.php?searchid=1874650

Here some intersting information on how the Tonic Neck Reflex (Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex) and Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex increases strength. Most lifters/athletes do it without thinking about it, it is a reflex.

One of the prime examples of the Tonic Neck Reflex occurs in the bench press. (Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 5(4):188-191, November 1991.Berger, Richard A.; Smith, Kirby J.)

When most lifters bench, they drive their head into the bench as they push the bar up. Doing so elicits the Tonic Neck Reflex.

Driving the had into the bench causes the reflective response of the arms straightening. Thus producing a stronger pushing movement when bench pressing.

In my observations, many heavyweight lifters evoke an even more pronounced Tonic Neck Reflex by driving the head into the bench when bench pressing. These heavyweight lifters will lift their head up off the bench as the bar is lowered to the chest.

Just as the bar touches thier chest, they simultaneously drive their head in to the bench. This appears to increase the Tonic Neck Reflex, producing more drive in pushing the weight up.

In a bilateral (two hand) pulling movement, the Tonic Neck Reflex is elicited when the lifter pulls their head forward, tucking their chin into their chest.

An example of this is cable rows or barbell curl. As you pull the weight into you, tucking you head into your chest causes your muscle to flex. Thus, you pull more weight.

In unilateral (one arm) movements, the Assymetrical Tonic Reflex increase strength. This reflex is know as the "fencing reflex." The movement like that of a fencer with a sword.

Turning the head to the right side, extends the right arm while flexing the left arm, and vise versa.

So, when performing a dumbbell over head press with your right hand, turning your head to the right causes the reflex of your right arm straightening, increases you strength.

By the same token, when performing a dumbbell curl with your left arm, turning your head to the right cause a reflex of your left arm flexing (curling into you), thus increasing how much you curl.

You can see Asymmerical Tonic Reflex in bikers when they pull on the handle bars with their arms. Instinctively, as they pull with their left arm they turn their head to the right. Then as they pull with their right arm they turn their head to the left.

Kenny Croxdale

Brad08
12-18-2008, 07:58 AM
That's pretty interesting.

Kiknskreem
12-18-2008, 08:07 AM
Adults do not display the Tonic neck reflex... it goes away when you are an infant.

RhodeHouse
12-18-2008, 12:06 PM
not necessarily i can and have seen others keep their arch and belly up while raising the head., but you do have to remember to keep the belly up.

The only guy I've seen do it with real success is George Halbert. Keeping the head down keeps you tighter in the hole and your belly up higher. I would always recommend keeping the head down.

Travis Bell
12-18-2008, 12:32 PM
I'd be one of those guys who raises their head

butcher2
12-18-2008, 02:41 PM
I raise my head because it makes it easier to touch. Once I've touched I go back to normal with my head planted.

smalls
12-21-2008, 11:40 AM
Adults do not display the Tonic neck reflex... it goes away when you are an infant.


Exactly, except in cases of persons with brain injuries, or some severe developmental problems, so unless the person who wrote that article was talking about patients with brain injury then he should be discredited. How the hell did that get published?

As Rhodes stated keeping your head down carries with it other benefits, not infantile reflexes.

Kenny Croxdale
12-21-2008, 01:42 PM
Adults do not display the Tonic neck reflex... it goes away when you are an infant.

The tonic neck reflex is displayed by adults in movements. I listed those in an above post.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-21-2008, 01:53 PM
keeping your head down carries with it other benefits, not infantile reflexes.

In my observations, many heavyweight lifters evoke an even more pronounced Tonic Neck Reflex by driving the head into the bench when bench pressing. These heavyweight lifters will lift their head up off the bench as the bar is lowered to the chest.

Just as the bar touches thier chest, they simultaneously drive their head in to the bench. This appears to increase the Tonic Neck Reflex, producing more drive in pushing the weight up.

One of the best benchers who did this was Doug Young. In this tribute to Doug Young, Young demonstrates it to perfection. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlmS1porR7E

Evidently, George Halbert utilizes this method.

Athlete's utilize the tonic neck reflex in movements without thinking about it, for the most part.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-21-2008, 01:54 PM
I'd be one of those guys who raises their head

Do you drive your head back into the bench as you push the weight up?

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-21-2008, 02:05 PM
[QUOTE=smalls;2059519]so unless the person who wrote that article was talking about patients with brain injury then he should be discredited. How the hell did that get published? QUOTE]

The National Strength and Conditioning Association published the article [Tonic Neck Reflex occurs in the bench press. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 5(4):188-191, November 1991.Berger, Richard A.; Smith, Kirby J.]

The National Strength and Conditioning Association is a reputable organization the examines effective methods of improving sports performance.

Research by other support the use of the tonic neck reflex enhancing movement in sports, as well.

Kenny Croxdale

vdizenzo
12-21-2008, 02:18 PM
I hate tonic and especially gin and tonic.

Kiknskreem
12-21-2008, 06:57 PM
The National Strength and Conditioning Association is a reputable organization the examines effective methods of improving sports performance.

The NSCA also put out a study concluding that squats don't work the hamstrings....

RhodeHouse
12-21-2008, 07:06 PM
The NSCA is a F@#$ing joke!

AJL11
12-21-2008, 07:45 PM
NSCA.....hahahahah...I remember thinking this was it for strength and conditioning in undergrad, and most of my GA.........I lost some good yrs training/training athletes like a dumbass!!!

Still certified by them thou,.... just in case a new job would open up.....There are still a lot of schools/gyms out there who still consider it gold.......

smalls
12-21-2008, 08:31 PM
NSCA.....hahahahah...I remember thinking this was it for strength and conditioning in undergrad, and most of my GA.........I lost some good yrs training/training athletes like a dumbass!!!

Still certified by them thou,.... just in case a new job would open up.....There are still a lot of schools/gyms out there who still consider it gold.......

Almost every organization considers it gold, because most organizations can't possibly think for themselves, but also because everything that compares to it is even worse, lol. The CSCS is one of the best training certifications out there, which gives you an idea of how crappy they all are.

Never judge a trainer, an article or anything for that matter just by the organization or the certification. Be smart enough to judge the material they are presenting.

If infantile reflexes persisted past childhood we would all do some strange and non-functional things. Using reflexes in sport movement is a theory, a bad one.

evilxxx
12-22-2008, 12:56 AM
I raise my head because it makes it easier to touch. Once I've touched I go back to normal with my head planted.

Same here

drew
12-22-2008, 07:18 AM
Kenny Croxdale,

How much do you bench?

Please answer in less than 3 words. Thanks.

Kenny Croxdale
12-22-2008, 08:04 AM
Kenny Croxdale,

How much do you bench?

Please answer in less than 3 words. Thanks.

Why?

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-22-2008, 08:05 AM
The NSCA also put out a study concluding that squats don't work the hamstrings....

Exactly, what study?

Kenny Croxdale

Kiknskreem
12-22-2008, 09:08 AM
Exactly, what study?

Kenny Croxdale

This will have to do.

http://www.strengthmill.net/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=6704


Rip-

I was curious if you saw the last NSCA Journal article on the squat titled “Optimizing Squat Technique” from December 2007. It was stated on page 12 in regards to hamstring activation on the squat “Research suggests that the squat, regardless of technique variation, produces minimal activity in hamstring muscles.”

My initial thought (without going through the references given), is what kind of “technique variations” were used in the studies? I unfortunately don't have easy access to the references so it will be some time before I can check them out.

Did you see this article and any thoughts on this statement?


This kind of **** is why I am no longer a member of the NSCA. It is literally impossible that this study was performed correctly, and a quick reading of the paper would reveal why, but since I am not a member -- and have not been since this time last year -- I do not have this volume of the Journal. If anybody involved with this "study" had ever personally done squats themselves using correct technique and as a result gotten sore hamstrings, this embarrassing paper would not have appeared in this poorly reviewed form. And if peer-review actually worked as it was supposed to, instead of merely functioning as peer-approval, it would have been sent back to the authors for revision. They probably used a Smith machine in the study. Seriously, I have read such things in their journals.

This type of thing has been a common feature of both of the NSCA's journals for quite some time now, ever since the Physical Therapists took over the organization. I commented on it specifically in an article for the CrossFit Journal entitled "Silly Bull****", and that appears in my book Strong Enough? . I fully expect a revised position statement on the Full Squat any day now. Bad for the knees, you know.

drew
12-22-2008, 10:02 AM
Why?

Kenny Croxdale

I'm curious to know how much of your research you have personally put into practice. If it is actual knowledge or just something that you read?

Maybe it isn't important to you, but you seem to contradict a lot of what I've learned. Now, most of the people I have learned from have practical knowledge regarding the sport of powerlifting (e.g. they are really strong and very good at powerlifting). I was just wondering, since you seem to be an expert on bench pressing, how much do you, yourself, bench? And further, what meets have you lifted in and how did you do in them?

Kenny Croxdale
12-22-2008, 11:20 AM
I'm curious to know how much of your research you have personally put into practice. If it is actual knowledge or just something that you read?

Maybe it isn't important to you, but you seem to contradict a lot of what I've learned. Now, most of the people I have learned from have practical knowledge regarding the sport of powerlifting (e.g. they are really strong and very good at powerlifting). I was just wondering, since you seem to be an expert on bench pressing, how much do you, yourself, bench? And further, what meets have you lifted in and how did you do in them?

Drew,

I utilize the research that I gather into my programs. So, I practice what I preach.

The majority of those who bench, drive their head into the bench. Doing so produces more force. That happens in the real world and the research indicates why it works.

Many heavyweights lift their head up as the bar is lowered and then push their head back into the bench as they drive the bar up. The first time I saw this was with Doug Young. Since then I have observed many other benchers do it as well.

Evidently, George Halbert does it. butcher2 and evilxxx posted they raise their head as the bar is lowered, then drive their head into the bench as they push the bar up.

Travis Bell stated that he lifts his head in lowering the bar, no word on if he drive his head back into the bench when pushing the bar up.

fpr started the post stating that he'd seen it in person an on video.

In regard to lifting your head and the driving it into the bench, I stated, "This appears to increase the Tonic Neck Reflex, producing more drive in pushing the weight up".

My use of "appears" meaning that from my observations, I beleive this will produce a bit more power. However, I don't have any data that back it up.

I personally have tried to lifting my head, then driving it back down into the bench. However, I can't quit get the movement down on a heavy bench.

I never have promoted myself as a "bench press expert." I am simply passing on information.

I am competitive in my age/weight division. My best bench press is 380 lbs. My best squat is 562 lbs. My best deadlift is 617 lbs. Those lifts performed at 205-210 lbs in the 50 plus age group.

How and if you utilize the information is up to you.

Kenny Croxdale

drew
12-22-2008, 11:38 AM
Drew,

I utilize the research that I gather into my programs. So, I practice what I preach.

The majority of those who bench, drive their head into the bench. Doing so produces more force. That happens in the real world and the research indicates why it works.

I agree.



Many heavyweights lift their head up as the bar is lowered and then push their head back into the bench as they drive the bar up. The first time I saw this was with Doug Young. Since then I have observed many other benchers do it as well.

Evidently, George Halbert does it. butcher2 and evilxxx posted they raise their head as the bar is lowered, then drive their head into the bench as they push the bar up.

Travis Bell stated that he lifts his head in lowering the bar, no word on if he drive his head back into the bench when pushing the bar up.

fpr started the post stating that he'd seen it in person an on video.

I've seen a few guys who do this with success. A few is not "many"; It's a few. Exceptions don't prove anything about anything. George Halbert does a lot of things that no one else can do, that's why he's George Halbert.



I never have promoted myself as a "bench press expert." I am simply passing on information.

You don't have to promote it. It's just how it comes off.


I am competitive in my age/weight division. My best bench press is 380 lbs. My best squat is 562 lbs. My best deadlift is 617 lbs. Those lifts performed at 205-210 lbs in the 50 plus age group.

Kenny Croxdale

Those are respectable lifts and I salute you for it. I'm sure many people find your research interesting.

I am concerned with one thing when it comes to research and studies: Will reading this make me stronger? The answer is usually no. I just think that too much time is spent on research and not enough time is spent on actually trying to get stronger.

Kenny Croxdale
12-22-2008, 12:10 PM
This will have to do.

http://www.strengthmill.net/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=6704

Kiknskreem,

I appreciate you providing me with the name of the article. I wasn't able to access the web site you provided but was able to pull of the article.

It stated that “Research suggests that the squat, regardless of technique variation, produces minimal activity in hamstring muscles.”

As the poster (craigrasm) stated, "...what kind of “technique variations” were used in the studies?" It doesn't appear that a powerlifting squat was used, since there is a more hamstring involvement. I question that part of the article, as well.

Mark makes a good point that is somewhat akin to what Vince Goranda (former bodybuider and bodybuiding coach) once said in regard to EMG studies.

As per Gironada, "Do ten sets to failure of one exercise. The next morning when you wake up, you will know what got worked."

However, Mark stated that he did not read the article. That at times can be a problem, you get a snap shot of the facts.

I don't agree with every article from the NSCA, group or person. However, the information present, overall, is good information.

Kenny Croxdale

Kenny Croxdale
12-22-2008, 12:37 PM
I agree.

I've seen a few guys who do this with success. A few is not "many"; It's a few. Exceptions don't prove anything about anything. George Halbert does a lot of things that no one else can do, that's why he's George Halbert.


I am concerned with one thing when it comes to research and studies: Will reading this make me stronger? The answer is usually no. I just think that too much time is spent on research and not enough time is spent on actually trying to get stronger.

Drew,

I look at those who successful utilize this method and question is it productive. In my view it is.

The next question is how can I make it work for me.

Other sports do this, as well. Researcher often work backward. They examine successful athetes to determine why something is working for them. Can it be learn or taugh to others to make them more successful?

A example is the Fosberry Flop in high jumping. Another now being examined is Michael Phelps under water movement, that in part make him so successful.

As you noted, some lifters just take to it like a duck to water. It does appear that I am going successful make lifting the head and driving it into the bench work.

Reading will make you stronger if you can make it work for you. Some of it take experimentation, which take time.

I guarantee you that nothing will work for you if you never try it.

As Einstein said, "Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing."

Read the information. Determine if it makes sense. If so, then how can you apply it to be successful.

Kenny Croxdale

Travis Bell
12-22-2008, 01:49 PM
Drew,


Travis Bell stated that he lifts his head in lowering the bar, no word on if he drive his head back into the bench when pushing the bar up.

Sorry I missed this. Haven't been watching this thread.

I do raise my head when lowering the bar (both when in a shirt and when raw) and then slam it back when I push back up.

It seems to work for some, not for others. Rob Luyando keeps his head down. I believe Ryan Kennelly does as well. With me, I've been doing it so long, it'd be very difficult to change and would end up screwing me up trying to focus on keeping my head down.

I have seen guys say that it loosens up the shirt and whatnot when you do it equipped, but thats really not true. If your shirt loosens while doing it, you're not only raising your head but probably sacraficing your arch and upper back placement as well. I don't lose these things when I raise my head

Travis Bell
12-22-2008, 01:56 PM
As for the research aspect of Kenny's arguments, I think he looks for research that backs up what works in the real world. I respect that. it doesn't interest me in the least bit but it does interest Kenny so thats why he quotes it.

Even though I've argued with him over the application of research in the past, I believe I better understand what he's trying to use it for and my arguments with him were the result of my misinterpretation of his position. He looks at what works (by seeing those who are strong and what they did to get strong) and then finds research that puts it in a scientific perspective for him.

Some people who are NOT like Kenny place research ABOVE the real world which is ridiculous. They'd rather read a book than go out and practice it. They'll sit and stew over minute details for hours on end and then tell the strong guys that they are doing it wrong. I don't believe thats what Kenny is trying to say. The book worms who'd rather read than lift don't usually end up achieving their maximum potential in lifting. I do have respect for Kenny's lifting accomplishments and think he's done very well for himself at his age.