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mike95763
03-12-2009, 11:34 AM
So I have a problem that when I bench I tend to let my hands come down behind my elbows so that when I push the weight back up it looks sort of like a skull crusher (not nearly to that extent but you get the idea). I have been told I have this problem by several people and I have seen it in video of myself benching. I try to think about correcting it, but for some reason I still do it. It not only makes it harder to lift heavy weight, but it also wreaks havoc on my elbows. I was wondering if anyone has advice on how to correct the problem. Thanks

Ben Moore
03-12-2009, 11:47 AM
Bench shirted or raw?

scott rowe
03-12-2009, 11:57 AM
i think u might want to start flaring alittle earlier. if u r in that position how r your wrists?

Travis Bell
03-12-2009, 11:58 AM
Tuck your elbows harder and bring the bar down lower

mike95763
03-12-2009, 01:04 PM
I bench raw, but the people I bench with all bench shirted and that is where I have been learning technique. I used to flare my elbows out pretty much the whole lift. When I started tucking my elbows is really when I started having the problem. I am pretty sure it is like Travis said that I am not touching low enough. I am still pretty new to powerlifting and when I switched to tucking my elbows I dropped a fair bit of weight off my bench (~25 lbs). I had been pressing pretty consistantly for ~12 years with the wrong form so it is really hard for me to bring the bar down correctly. I tuck my elbows on the way down then try to make the bar end up where it always did when I flared my elbows the whole way. Anyhow, I am pretty sure the problem is mostly mental, although I would like to know how low a raw bencher should be touching or if there are any tricks or things people think about to get them to the correct spot at the bottom of the lift.

mike95763
03-12-2009, 01:06 PM
i think u might want to start flaring alittle earlier. if u r in that position how r your wrists?

My wrists are fine, but my elbows and my shoulders hurt. I did reverse band presses last Saturday and my elbows have been hurting bad all week.

mike95763
03-12-2009, 01:10 PM
Also, when I do touch low I have a really hard time transitioning back to where I am in a powerful position at lockout. Probably because I was benching wrong for so long, I cant lock out hardly any weight if I press streight up, I have to make the bar travel back over my face/neck to get much strength at lockout. I know many people advocate pressing straight up and not up and back, but right now this doesnt work for me.

Travis Bell
03-12-2009, 02:05 PM
I normally touch right on or a little below my sternum when benching raw

bencher8
03-12-2009, 02:08 PM
If you are benching raw you shouldnt tuck the elbows real hard or touch too low. Benching with this form without a shirt will mess up your shoulders in a hurry. Now dont get me wrong...when you are benching unequipped, there is a certain amount of tucking elbows that is good, but too much is detrimental. Its really a personal feeling on how much tuck is too much, but when benching unequipped I would say around a 45 degree elbow placement would be good and touching right on or just below your sternum. I personally touch very high on my upper abs...in a shirt it is around 2" inches lower..

Now if you are trying to get equipped benching technique down...you should go lower and tuck elbows hard.

Your problem is you are overtucking your elbows and touching too high. You have to really pick what you want to do..bench equipped or unequipped. They are 2 different lifts and require 2 different techniques...

scott rowe
03-12-2009, 02:11 PM
if your shoulders are hurting u may be touching too high on your chest. i like to touch at the bottom of my chest basically at my sterum. tucking the elbows in on the way down, and gradually flaring on the way up. your shoulders my be strong so benching higher you may feel stronger but when your tri get stronger you will have a stronger bench. i like to do paused boards that should blast your tri's. hope it helps if i understand your problem correctly.

Detard
03-12-2009, 02:49 PM
Get the bar seated properly in your hand. It might be a problem due to your wrists bending backwards.

evilxxx
03-12-2009, 03:43 PM
Everyone gave awesome advice...the only thing I would say is concentrate on your form ... I had that problem a long time ago because I used to bench on a smith machine and when I switched to regular bar had a few close calls...just make sure you set up the same way all the time with everything from warmups to heavy weight.

mike95763
03-12-2009, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the great advice everyone. It is quite possible I am trying to tuck my elbows a little too much since I learned benching and do my workouts with equipped benchers. I will try some of the advice this weekend and see how it works out.

Brian C
03-12-2009, 09:10 PM
Your problem is you are overtucking your elbows and touching too high

This is your problem easily put

BigTallOx
03-12-2009, 10:14 PM
I am still pretty new to powerlifting and when I switched to tucking my elbows I dropped a fair bit of weight off my bench (~25 lbs).

But you've changed more than just tucking your elbows. You're also controlling the weight much better, and you pause at the bottom instead of kind of bouncing the weight off your chest like you did the first time I saw you bench. Maybe your max has gone down slightly, you're a much better bencher now IMHO ( ie, you'll be able to get a good lift in at a meet ).

If you haven't, talk to Scott next saturday and ask him what he thinks. He doesn't always bench equipped, and when benching raw he tucks his elbows more than you do, from what I've seen anyway, I can study the video to verify this. And CJ definitely tucks his elbows more than you do.

mike95763
03-12-2009, 11:00 PM
You are right BTO, Scott and CJ both tuck more than I do. I just wanted some ideas as to how to make my elbows stop hurting. Scott and CJ both have better technique than I do all around. I wish I could bench like Scott, both in the weight he moves and his form.

DrDudley-Robey
03-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Along with everyone elses advice, try some wrist wraps so your wrsts dont bend back during the lift. I use the 36in onse wraped tight but they also make 12 and 24 if the 36's are to heavy duty. Also if you can increase your arch then the bar does not have to come down as far making it less of an issue.

mikesbench
03-14-2009, 02:14 PM
There's already a lot of good advice here, another thing to consider is to make sure you are doing plenty of lat and upper back work to help with bar control. If you are thinking of doing everything correctly but still having difficulty doing it you may have a muscle weakness that is making it difficult to execute the lift correctly with weights you are used to handling.

Ryano
03-14-2009, 02:32 PM
If you are bending your wrists back at the bottom, putting the weight behind your elbows, that is very dangerous. I know of two people that have snapped their radial/ulnar bones doing that. Get wraps and prevent it.

mike95763
03-14-2009, 02:43 PM
Thanks again for all the advice everyone. I think I was just unsure of how low to bring the bar and felt I had to fight to keep my elbows in much more than was comfortable for me raw. I benched today and really tried to focus on bringing down the bar to my sternum and focused less on tucking my elbows and things went really well. I did a full pause at the bottom of my lifts and still had a 10 lb sort of PR (I had lifted the weight before, but not in several months) Hopefully things are back on track now. My elbows still hurt, but not as bad as last week and icing has helped a lot. Anyhow, thanks for the advice everyone.

mike95763
03-14-2009, 02:46 PM
If you are bending your wrists back at the bottom, putting the weight behind your elbows, that is very dangerous. I know of two people that have snapped their radial/ulnar bones doing that.

I don't ware wrist wraps, but I don't really have a problem with my wrists bending back. I have always been able to keep them straight pretty easily. Once I start lifting equipped I am planning on getting some wrist wraps (hopefully in a few weeks if I can afford a shirt).

Ryano
03-14-2009, 03:03 PM
Mike, you might as well get them now and get used to them. I wear wrist wraps with anything >300 lbs. Just might save you some problems down the road.

Travis Bell
03-14-2009, 03:53 PM
I agree with Roger, why would you not wear wrist wraps?

What kind of shirt are you planning on getting, single ply or double?

BigTallOx
03-14-2009, 04:43 PM
I agree with Roger, why would you not wear wrist wraps?

I guess Mike can answer that, but maybe it's because they aren't allowed in the AAPF if you're lifting raw.

Ryano
03-14-2009, 05:20 PM
BTO, I think APF and AAPF rules are the same, except the drug test. You're right though, if he is lifting RAW, wrist wraps may not be allowed. I'm not sure. I still think anyone should wear them if they're pushin' heavy weight. They don't help you lift the weight, just might keep some bones from snappin'.

BigTallOx
03-14-2009, 05:45 PM
BTO, I think APF and AAPF rules are the same, except the drug test. You're right though, if he is lifting RAW, wrist wraps may not be allowed. I'm not sure. I still think anyone should wear them if they're pushin' heavy weight. They don't help you lift the weight, just might keep some bones from snappin'.

I do know for a fact that in AAPF they are not allowed in the raw division ( neither are knee wraps when squatting ) , so I assume it's the same for APF ( although the APF meet I competed in, there was no raw division.) I wasn't suggesting that that was a reason to not use them in training though, but that may be Mike's reasoning.

So that brings up the question, if you can't compete with them, should you still be training with them?

Ryano
03-14-2009, 06:01 PM
So that brings up the question, if you can't compete with them, should you still be training with them?

I say train as you compete. If they aren't allowed in competition, don't do it in training. Just don't bend your wrist back lifting. That's what causes the problem, wraps or not.

mike95763
03-14-2009, 08:00 PM
I agree with Roger, why would you not wear wrist wraps?


I really just haven't gotten around to purchasing them. I figured once I started lifting equipped, or started lifting heavier weights, that I would get some. Since I am going to start training in a shirt after my meet in April I will probably get some then.


What kind of shirt are you planning on getting, single ply or double?

I was thinking I would go with a single ply Titan Katana or maybe an F6 as that is what most of my training partners use. Another local lifter has several Inzer shirts that he said I could borrow so I will probably try those as well and see how I like them. Thus far I have only tried a Titan F6 that was too big, but I really liked the way it felt.

Travis Bell
03-14-2009, 09:07 PM
I would stick with the F6 or even a Fury if you bench more flat backed (I realize you didn't ask though so take this for what it's worth) the Katana is a more advanced shirt, although something to keep in mind as you move down the road.

The best thing about getting your own shirts is they are fit for YOU, not your training partner or someone else.

mike95763
03-14-2009, 09:25 PM
I would stick with the F6 or even a Fury if you bench more flat backed (I realize you didn't ask though so take this for what it's worth) the Katana is a more advanced shirt, although something to keep in mind as you move down the road.

Thanks for the advice Travis. If I had to pick now it would be the F6. I am trying to develope an arch, although with my flexibility it seems to be a loosing battle. It is hard not to want to use the Katana though with all the success that my training partners have had using it. Although there is one guy who is fairly new to equipped benching who tried the Katana and could not get the hang of it. After a few weeks he gave up and just got his F6 altered instead. I will probably try the Katana before I make a decision though as my wife doesn't really understand spending money on lifting weights I will only get to buy one shirt and I want to make sure it is the right one (I am really not looking forward to telling her about squat suits or deadlifting suits or knee wraps or wrist wraps or elbow sleeves, etc. etc. etc. This sport is depressingly expensive). Anyone want to sponser me? :D

Beast Genetics
03-16-2009, 06:10 PM
I had the same problem, this was my solution (may or may not work for yours).What really helped me starting out was I would bring the weight to above where I knew it had to land, so I didnt have to worry about where it was going to hit while I was bringing the weight down and I could just focus on just letting the weight come down straight. In other words before you begin your descent be sure the weight is already directly above the landing area then just control it straight down and your arms should be able to keep straight.

Travis Bell
03-16-2009, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the advice Travis. If I had to pick now it would be the F6. I am trying to develope an arch, although with my flexibility it seems to be a loosing battle. It is hard not to want to use the Katana though with all the success that my training partners have had using it. Although there is one guy who is fairly new to equipped benching who tried the Katana and could not get the hang of it. After a few weeks he gave up and just got his F6 altered instead. I will probably try the Katana before I make a decision though as my wife doesn't really understand spending money on lifting weights I will only get to buy one shirt and I want to make sure it is the right one (I am really not looking forward to telling her about squat suits or deadlifting suits or knee wraps or wrist wraps or elbow sleeves, etc. etc. etc. This sport is depressingly expensive). Anyone want to sponser me? :D

If you have an opportunity to try a Katana that fits you for free, it's worth a shot, but if you have problems with your form raw, going to a advanced shirt would only be worse. Your form has to be spot on for a shirt to work correctly.

This sport is about taking steps. One step at a time. Too many people try and skip steps because they want to be a superstar today. That is when it gets expensive. You spend your money on a shirt or suit that is over your head and it'll bite you in the butt. Then you have to buy another one that fits right.

I've worked with a ton of people who get in a huge rush to make things happen NOW. They usually get frustrated and quit

mike95763
03-16-2009, 07:32 PM
If you have an opportunity to try a Katana that fits you for free, it's worth a shot, but if you have problems with your form raw, going to a advanced shirt would only be worse. Your form has to be spot on for a shirt to work correctly.

One of my workout partners has a katana that is probably about 1 size too big (probably the size I would order since I want to be able to grow into it a bit) so it should be a good size to try out. I am really excited to try out some shirts next month once my raw meet is done. I really need to work on my lockout. I know for starters I probably wont get much out of whatever shirt I get just because I am not strong enough at the top of the lift. If I can't lock out 500 no shirt in the world will help me press it short of one with hydrolics built in.