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View Full Version : Strength off the chest



Invain
11-20-2009, 11:23 AM
I have plenty of tricep strength when it comes to benching, but my chest has really been holding me back lately. If I miss a lift it's almost always within the first few inches after touching, lockouts are never a problem.

I've already had dumbbell bench suggested to help build chest strength. What other exercises can I do to isolate my chest more? Dumbbells in my gym only go up to 120 so eventually they won't cut it.

SEOINAGE
11-20-2009, 11:28 AM
some heavy back work and possibly dips could help.

Chris Rodgers
11-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Have you tried working on some paused reps? A lot of the bottom shove comes from leg drive and lats. Would you say you have a good tight setup on the bench?

Invain
11-20-2009, 11:40 AM
Yes my setup is good. I am having a problem with my elbows flaring too early though. I try to keep them tucked in but they pop out too early, due to my lack of strength at the bottom I'd assume. My back is not a problem, I have very strong lats.

I have been working on leg drive a little lately, as I normally get absolutely none. I bench with a pretty big arch and with my short legs my toes are barely touching the ground sometimes.

SEOINAGE
11-20-2009, 11:44 AM
Yes my setup is good. I am having a problem with my elbows flaring too early though. I try to keep them tucked in but they pop out too early, due to my lack of strength at the bottom I'd assume. My back is not a problem, I have very strong lats.

I have been working on leg drive a little lately, as I normally get absolutely none. I bench with a pretty big arch and with my short legs my toes are barely touching the ground sometimes.

Not doubting you have strong lats but maybe you aren't incorporating them, try to focus on pulling your elbows in, tends to engage the lats on the lift. But yeah working on leg drive should help too.

IronDiggy
11-20-2009, 11:50 AM
Does your gym have a camber bar?

Invain
11-20-2009, 11:56 AM
Does your gym have a camber bar?

No. It's a university gym so I'm somewhat limited on equipment.

Invain
11-20-2009, 11:57 AM
Not doubting you have strong lats but maybe you aren't incorporating them, try to focus on pulling your elbows in, tends to engage the lats on the lift. But yeah working on leg drive should help too.

Thanks for the advice. Definitely need to start working on form more.

Lones Green
11-20-2009, 12:01 PM
Making sure your lats are strong and DB presses are great, keep doing that.

Make sure your setup is good as well

Do you do speed work? If you do, up the sets. If you do 6 sets now, do 10. I think that'll have a huge impact.

Invain
11-20-2009, 12:05 PM
I used to have a DE bench day and I did notice a pretty big different in progress. Haven't done any speed work in quite a while, might start incorporating some in though.

Beverly McD.
11-20-2009, 12:33 PM
These guys are giving you some great advice Invain. As soon as you let your elbows flare on bench the lift is as good as over.
A big bench uses as much, if not more, back and legs as it does chest/shoulders/tris.

JSully
11-20-2009, 12:44 PM
are your heels on the floor? when I incorporate leg drive, I pull my toes up and drive with my heels.. I'm only asking because you said you've got short legs and your toes barely touch.. If this is the issue and your heels aren't on the floor, get some plates to stack up and put your feet on so you can get some good leg drive..

frankf79
11-20-2009, 01:38 PM
Things that have worked for me: Isometric holds ( Heavy max weight for 8 seconds ) few inches of chest, Pauses at chest ( 3 - 5 seconds ), Lower bar to pins ( inches off chest) rest for 5 seconds and then explode up, Hanging 30 lb dumbbells off of bar with bungee type cords with medium weight for 6 - 8 reps ( Crazy but works )

Lones Green
11-20-2009, 01:54 PM
I used to have a DE bench day and I did notice a pretty big different in progress. Haven't done any speed work in quite a while, might start incorporating some in though.

I think this would help a lot!

jbrin0tk
11-20-2009, 01:56 PM
I've found that barbell bench for reps has worked well to increase strength off the chest. I've also used dumbbell benches with good success.

Invain
11-20-2009, 02:47 PM
are your heels on the floor? when I incorporate leg drive, I pull my toes up and drive with my heels.. I'm only asking because you said you've got short legs and your toes barely touch.. If this is the issue and your heels aren't on the floor, get some plates to stack up and put your feet on so you can get some good leg drive..

No my heels aren't even close to touching. If I do try to get my heels down I completely lose my arch. I've tried putting plates down before but our gym has a slippery ass floor and they tend to move around if you're pushing with your legs very much.

JSully
11-20-2009, 02:49 PM
No my heels aren't even close to touching. If I do try to get my heels down I completely lose my arch. I've tried putting plates down before but our gym has a slippery ass floor and they tend to move around if you're pushing with your legs very much.

find a new gym. lol..

but seriously, I guess if you have no other option then keep doing it the way you're doing. So long as you're still getting good leg drive. Make sure to try to drive your heels downward, instead of pushing up off of your toes.. kind of hard to explain, I'm sure a few others can give you pointers on it. Or just search for leg drive on bench press.. there was a thread not too long ago on it.

Invain
11-20-2009, 03:43 PM
Yeah I know what to do as far as leg drive goes, guys I lift with have been helping me out. We're gonna take a trip to Detroit barbell sometime soon, hopefully I can pickup some pointers there as well.

JSully
11-20-2009, 04:38 PM
Yeah I know what to do as far as leg drive goes, guys I lift with have been helping me out. We're gonna take a trip to Detroit barbell sometime soon, hopefully I can pickup some pointers there as well.

how far are you from cleveland?

there's a PL meet there at the end of march I might be competing in, you should compete too

Invain
11-20-2009, 04:54 PM
170 miles from Cleveland. Wouldn't be a bad drive really, about 3 hours.