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joelhall
11-05-2009, 10:39 AM
had a little shoulder trouble recently and bench press has decreased by around 20lbs. not only that but im finding it awkward to get the groove right. cant for the life of me figure out how to correct this, so hoping someone with eagle eyes can point out whats wrong here? (excuse the hairy belly)

have to post links cos ive no idea how to insert videos :confused:

http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/ee50/ocdpfan/?action=view&current=P1000775.flv

side view, seems to me my arms arent exactly parallel but im finding it difficult changing the angle here. if i correct it i just bring the bar down too low on my belly. and yeah before you say anything i did f*** up racking the bar hehe.

http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/ee50/ocdpfan/?action=view&current=P1000777.flv

another view.

any ideas on improving technique? ive never had this problem before and am pretty stumped. just feels my back gets too tight at the bottom, and my arms tilt back.

Sean S
11-05-2009, 10:51 AM
Get some video benching some actual weight. It's going to be hard to tell anything when you're only benching the bar. Everyone looks fine benching the bar, it's heavier weights where the technique flaws show up more prominently.

joelhall
11-05-2009, 10:55 AM
no problem, just left plates off so you could see from the side properly. to be honest though it feels exactly the same with or without weight.

post a couple more vids tomorrow after training.

douglasoh5
11-05-2009, 12:27 PM
your hands are not inline with your elbows....bring the bar a hair lower...and yes put some weight on there......99% chance your not going to look like that with 90% of your max

joelhall
11-05-2009, 01:25 PM
precisley what i thought.

when i get down it feels like im too tight at the back and the bars being forced back behind my elbows, a bit like being off balance. i dont reckon its the delt problem thats screwing things up - feels more like crappy technique. theres no ache or strain or fatigue in the area. usually happens around the third rep.

also notice this getting out of the bottom going heavy. not even especially heavy either - anything over around 220lbs seems to get stuck right at the bottom after two or three reps, like my elbows gone too far down. once its up an inch theres no problem, feels like its in the groove, no trouble at lockouts, etc. ill get down and everything just stops like im pushing against a wall. going heavier than this doesnt seem to make the problem worse except that it happens sooner, the rest of the movement feels just as good, just the bottom (literally around 1-2inches) gets stuck after the first two reps (on a set of 3-5). going to max ive not tried recently but will be next tuesday, so ill see how that goes then. pretty sure im losing form quickly.

trying de tomorrow so ill post the videos if i have time before im off to kent. shouldnt be a problem as im training early. ill try bring the bar down lower too to see if that helps.

Detard
11-05-2009, 03:33 PM
I think you need to go a little wider. Right now it looks like the bar is too far behind your elbows, and it looks like your flaring your elbows, but you dont have a wide enough grip to benefit from it. Just my observations though

joelhall
11-05-2009, 04:55 PM
could be right there.

i keep the elbows tucked in tight, but i can definitely feel the bar coming back. never really found a wider grip too comfortable going heavy in the past, felt like i overstretch at the bottom, but its worth a try to be sure.

joelhall
11-06-2009, 06:14 AM
:Dok you were right. i filmed the third set of de bench today. everything feels so slow compared to before my shoulder injury. cant seem to get the speed from the bottom. i still am not getting any pain or stiffness or anything, just seems that the right shoulder is slightly slower than the left.

i did lower the weight 10lbs the last few weeks for de to 175lbs (80kg) (20lbs off me), but even so as soon as i got to the bottom i noticed my elbows flare - not a little but a lot, especially on the right side (closest to the camera). even this light, i could feel the bar coming back during the lowering. whole technique screwed up after this i reckon because i focussed on it a little too much, like the sets before. lost my footing lost the tightness in the back - the whole caboodle! i went a little lower down the next set and failed at the bottom on the third rep.

shoulder started aching at the 5th set (also low) so i called it a day and went on to pull ups instead.

what do you reckon is the best cure? widen the grip? get used to bringing the bar lower? or should i give the delt a little more rest?

p.s. yeah i am wearing gloves, popped blisters on both hands from doing pull ups on a wooden shed beam :D

http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/ee50/ocdpfan/?action=view&current=P1000779.flv

all in all one of my worst bench days :mad:

Ron C
11-06-2009, 08:21 AM
you need to learn how to get tight on the bench. Watch some of the vids of Travis and Vin benching. You have to be very very tight on the bench. You move all over the place. Set your feet, squeeze the glutes, set your shoulders high on the traps as possible, flex everything, pull the bar out of the racks, don't lift it out. Fill your belly with air, bring the bar down and get tighter as you descend, most guys get really loose on the chest. Drive the heals down, keep the elbows under the bar, drive the bar up and back toward the face. Open up the elbows, keep the shoulders back and together. Keep your air and press all the way to lockout. Don't over extend and let the shoulders roll forward. I see a lot of guys do this too. Lock the bar out while keeping your scapula depressed and retracted the whole time.

That's it, simple enough, right?!! I hate the bench. Only because it takes all of that and about 10 other things I'm forgetting, like grip the bar as hard as possible, pull the bar apart to help fire the tris, etc. etc.

skinny99
11-06-2009, 01:04 PM
you need to learn how to get tight on the bench. Watch some of the vids of Travis and Vin benching. You have to be very very tight on the bench. You move all over the place. Set your feet, squeeze the glutes, set your shoulders high on the traps as possible, flex everything, pull the bar out of the racks, don't lift it out. Fill your belly with air, bring the bar down and get tighter as you descend, most guys get really loose on the chest. Drive the heals down, keep the elbows under the bar, drive the bar up and back toward the face. Open up the elbows, keep the shoulders back and together. Keep your air and press all the way to lockout. Don't over extend and let the shoulders roll forward. I see a lot of guys do this too. Lock the bar out while keeping your scapula depressed and retracted the whole time.

That's it, simple enough, right?!! I hate the bench. Only because it takes all of that and about 10 other things I'm forgetting, like grip the bar as hard as possible, pull the bar apart to help fire the tris, etc. etc.

Look up Dave Tate's bench video! he cusses a lot but is pretty slick!

All these things you have to remember is hard! I have a hard time concentrating through all the reps! I miss #4 out of 5 most commonly! Usually it is not really strength related though! I can reset and do the weight most of the time! Once I learned proper form I have became dependent on it!

Ron C
11-06-2009, 03:19 PM
Look up Dave Tate's bench video! he cusses a lot but is pretty slick!

All these things you have to remember is hard! I have a hard time concentrating through all the reps! I miss #4 out of 5 most commonly! Usually it is not really strength related though! I can reset and do the weight most of the time! Once I learned proper form I have became dependent on it!

seen Dave's recent vid. I have the bench press exercise index dvd from Elite also. I've used these to "self teach" the powerlifts, as well as a thousand other vids from good lifters. I'm no expert by any means, but I'm not what I used to be either!!

OGROK
11-06-2009, 04:14 PM
could be right there.

i keep the elbows tucked in tight, but i can definitely feel the bar coming back. never really found a wider grip too comfortable going heavy in the past, felt like i overstretch at the bottom, but its worth a try to be sure.

Have you tried doing some rotator work? That might help you a lot.

joelhall
11-09-2009, 08:47 AM
you need to learn how to get tight on the bench. Watch some of the vids of Travis and Vin benching. You have to be very very tight on the bench. You move all over the place. Set your feet, squeeze the glutes, set your shoulders high on the traps as possible, flex everything, pull the bar out of the racks, don't lift it out. Fill your belly with air, bring the bar down and get tighter as you descend, most guys get really loose on the chest. Drive the heals down, keep the elbows under the bar, drive the bar up and back toward the face. Open up the elbows, keep the shoulders back and together. Keep your air and press all the way to lockout. Don't over extend and let the shoulders roll forward. I see a lot of guys do this too. Lock the bar out while keeping your scapula depressed and retracted the whole time.

That's it, simple enough, right?!! I hate the bench. Only because it takes all of that and about 10 other things I'm forgetting, like grip the bar as hard as possible, pull the bar apart to help fire the tris, etc. etc.

see this is usually how i bench. the last few weeks ive noticed all sorts of problems coming out on bench days, not least now that my elbows flare on the way down. the other problem seems to be my back. feels too tight and now starts going out a little half way through a set. not sure how much of this is related to the shoulder or not, but i definitely find it hard taking my concentration off it now.

i do grip work pretty much all the time so dont have a problem there. recently ive found i get a weird cramp in my hip on the bench too though, forcing me to push my legs a little, rather than being able to tuck them back enough. anyone else ever have this? i have had sciatica in this leg before for around 18 months - 2 years, and still get weakness in the knee so the cramp could be related to this. (not tucking back the feet and staying tight here has already cost me around another 20lbs on bench).

i hate bench too - as far as upper body stuff goes id rather do heavy back work, or o/h press.

im usually pretty focussed on technique, but somewhere i know theres a weak link thats pulling it all apart. i gave a wider grip a go and it just made the elbow flare worse, so i dont think its grip width. my arch feels pretty tight and solid when im down, but the leg drive is virtually non-existant for the reason above.

will check out travis and vins videos asap.


Look up Dave Tate's bench video! he cusses a lot but is pretty slick!

All these things you have to remember is hard! I have a hard time concentrating through all the reps! I miss #4 out of 5 most commonly! Usually it is not really strength related though! I can reset and do the weight most of the time! Once I learned proper form I have became dependent on it!

saw some of his vids a while back - expert advice as always. oddly enough i often lose the fourth of five rep sets too, right at the bottom, but somehow always manage to get number 5 up. i know what you mean when you say it isnt strength related - as much as id like to deny it this is definitely a technical fault. i lose out aftewr the first few reps, best one is always my second on heavy benches so i never so singles. probably should do something about this too hehe.


Have you tried doing some rotator work? That might help you a lot.

yeah i do rotator work alot now, especially after having a tear - like toothache in the arm it was too :eek: do some light plate work on each arm, and ive also discovered something thats worked wonders on my rcs - chest expanders. not had anymore problems with them since using these.

joelhall
11-09-2009, 09:05 AM
heres a quick description of what happens on the bench, just in case anyone else could spot the problem.

when i get on the bench, lie flat, then push back with my legs and get my traps and shoulders back tight, and pull my arse in. my feet could be more solid on the ground of course (no doubt youll se my legs are all over the place).

breath in, hold, then unrack. i try to pull the bar out as straight as possible rather than pressing it out (at the moment i cant use my own rack as were moving house, so im using my dads bench and squat stands, so its hard to avoid pressing out the top on the lift off). his bench is the same height, length and width as mine so i cant use that as an excuse though.

as soon as i bring the bar down, my shoulders feel like theyre pinched too much and get loose, then my elbows flare out rather than down. i can also feel the bar 'tipping' back behind my elbows towards my head. a bit like theres too much movement in my right shoulder.

losing leg drive knocked my max down from 380 to around 360-365 (estimated as i havent done singles for a while), and after recovering from my shoulder injury, techniques gone completely tits up and this is now down to around 330-340. this is for a very slow double. going for more reps anything over 220-230 mark, i alsways lose the fourth rep, so i know during the set im getting looser, cos i can feel this behind the shoulders espin the back especially. i always focus most on the back of the shoulders and pulling the bar apart - ill assume this is the wrong way to prioritise, too much on the upper body.

oddly enough, my o/h press hasnt gone down at all, and has actually increased by 10lbs in the last month, which is why im puzzled as to how my shoulder could be the weak link.

when i fail at the bottom, it feels pretty much like ive gone to sleep. noticable more on the right side than the left (injury was to the right delt). everything just stops, and i need a spotter to get the bar moving through the first 1 or 2 inches, after which everything fine. i know my elbows are coming down too far behind me, but for the life of me i cant seem to correct this.

BigTallOx
11-09-2009, 09:53 AM
you need to learn how to get tight on the bench.

I agree. He's moving all over the place, and looks very loose.

NickAus
11-09-2009, 02:29 PM
Too loose, no leg drive and grip could move out to move more weight.

You will need to post a video with you benching some weight to give us a better idea.

joelhall
11-10-2009, 12:37 PM
taken on board guys. been practicing again with the bar and a couple of 20s each side for a few days, trying to find a groove with a wider grip and pulling the feet in a little more. feels a little odd after years using a narrower grip and still getting that weird crampy thing when i tuck my right leg back though, but i dont feel my hands coming back quite so much even though tucking the elbows in is taking some getting used to with a wider spacing.

ill be posting again soon (friday), and hopefully thisll be the end of my bench worries.

thewicked
11-10-2009, 12:41 PM
wider grip....elbows not inline with the wrist is the number one thing.


TOO..something I think alot of people miss..is to not PULL the bar DOWN AND FORWARD instead of breaking at your elbows and p ulling the bar STRAIGHT DOWN!


Seems that after people start pulling the bar from the j-hooks they tend to do the same on the descent. Your form looks exactly like my client's that had that problem and I watched and watched and watched and after much tweaking I discovered that was the problem.

All other advice was spot on.

joelhall
11-10-2009, 01:23 PM
i always pull the bar apart and down on the descent. should i be pulling down (towards the feet) more?