PDA

View Full Version : Benching with lats



SoCoBarbell
06-19-2010, 08:40 PM
I've read over and over to press the weight with my lats. That makes no sense to me at all. How can you press with your lats when your lats are to pull your arms towards the body?

Obviously you can or guys like Frankl wouldn't always be telling me to do it. If you guys can explain how to do this or refer me to some good articles I would appreciate it.

MarcusWild
06-19-2010, 11:30 PM
I never learned it until I started taking the handoff lower so I was supporting the weight with my lats instead of shoulders.

AdamBAG
06-20-2010, 08:26 AM
I never learned it until I started taking the handoff lower so I was supporting the weight with my lats instead of shoulders.

This.

When you take the bar out it should be over the lats, not directly over the neck/shoulder. You should be flaring your lats and the weight is supported by the lats on the way down.

Some thing that worked for me is when I take the bar out I grip the bar tightly and just slightly twist the pinky fingers towards my feet. Just enough to feel the lats spread/flex. Sort of a mental cue I guess.

vdizenzo
06-20-2010, 08:59 AM
If you learn to lower the weight mostly with your elbows tucked into your lats, you'll have no choice but to start the press with them. Although this video will not show you how to press with your lats, it will teach you where the weight needs to be to do so. Plus it's a great back exercise.

Kre3xyQbqTI

Ben F Burgess
06-20-2010, 10:10 AM
Here's what i can never get about this technique...

I create a good arch and take a good 2" or so off my bench stroke by pinching my shoulder blades together and pulling them down, so that my chest is up and it is my upper traps that are in contact with the bench. Seems in line with what big benchers recommend.

The only problem i have with this is that if you do this, its more or less impossible to flare you lats, at least it is for me. Is anyone able to really arch the thoracic spine, pinch the shoulder blades back and down AND flare the lats?

Im guessing that the lats technique is more for the bigger guys who cant/dont have to arch as much anyway?

vdizenzo
06-20-2010, 10:22 AM
You are not flaring your lats, you are tucking you elbows and lowering the weight into your lats. There's a big difference. Do the exercise in the video with enough band tension where you can barely get the bar down and pull the bar too your belly button. You cannot flare your lats and do it. You tuck and pull low.

SoCoBarbell
06-20-2010, 10:56 AM
You are not flaring your lats, you are tucking you elbows and lowering the weight into your lats. There's a big difference. Do the exercise in the video with enough band tension where you can barely get the bar down and pull the bar too your belly button. You cannot flare your lats and do it. You tuck and pull low.

So basically you are lowering the weight with your lats? I get that and do especially when the shirt locks up and I'm pulling it down my lats are working hard and I'll be real tight. It just seems like they're always saying to press with the lats. The only way I could see to do that is to flare them out but then my shoulders wouldn't be pinched in any more?

Ben F Burgess
06-20-2010, 03:42 PM
You are not flaring your lats, you are tucking you elbows and lowering the weight into your lats. There's a big difference. Do the exercise in the video with enough band tension where you can barely get the bar down and pull the bar too your belly button. You cannot flare your lats and do it. You tuck and pull low.
RIIIIGHT! Ok i finally get it. F*@k; thats pretty straight forward, now i feel stupid!

Im gonna try that tomorrow night and ill let you know...

vdizenzo
06-20-2010, 04:16 PM
So basically you are lowering the weight with your lats? I get that and do especially when the shirt locks up and I'm pulling it down my lats are working hard and I'll be real tight. It just seems like they're always saying to press with the lats. The only way I could see to do that is to flare them out but then my shoulders wouldn't be pinched in any more?

Alright, so when your elbows are tucked and the weight is touching down below your sternum, how do you press it?

SoCoBarbell
06-20-2010, 08:36 PM
Alright, so when your elbows are tucked and the weight is touching down below your sternum, how do you press it?


This is making me think. Thanks. I drive my legs forcing myself even higher onto my traps. I press as explosive as I can straight back up and lock out with my triceps. Really hard to say what muscles I'm using from the bottom but, my chest gets pretty sore even on shirted days. I keep my shoulders pinched together all the way up................ That really goes to my questioning because I don't know if that's right?

vdizenzo
06-20-2010, 09:10 PM
My chest rarely hurts at all from equipped benching. For me, my pecs are one of the last muscles in the lift. My legs, lats, back, shoulderss, and triceps are always much more sore than my pecs. Post some vid of various angles of your bench.

SoCoBarbell
06-20-2010, 10:06 PM
Will do Wednesday THANKS

Travis Bell
06-21-2010, 05:27 AM
One other thing that will help you is how you squeeze the bar. You almost have to flex them as if you were rowing the bar, not letting gravity push it down.

Squeeze the bar really hard with your pinkies and try to bend the bar. Obviously you're not going to actually bend the bar but it'll really help you flex your lats into it.

The movement that Vin showed really helped me with my setup. Highly recommend it.

Ruff Riff
06-21-2010, 02:00 PM
I think when you start learning how important your back set up is to a good bench you really start to understand it is more then just laying there and pushing weight! If my back, or base feels good my bench feels good just that simple!!!

Ben F Burgess
06-22-2010, 01:53 AM
You are not flaring your lats, you are tucking you elbows and lowering the weight into your lats. There's a big difference. Do the exercise in the video with enough band tension where you can barely get the bar down and pull the bar too your belly button. You cannot flare your lats and do it. You tuck and pull low.
Vincent, we tried these last night - you can really feel them. What surprised me is it's kind of a lower, deeper part of the lat that you use compared to the part you use in, say, chins.

Here's a question though if you don't mind: in order to use the deep lat to pull the bar in, we were touching very low. In comps our team have to touch no lower than the bottom of the sternum. If you pull the bar in with your lats and touch to the sternum it seems your forearms would end up angled back towards your head instead of perpendicular to the bar, because of the extreme elbow tuck...

Ok not exactly a question, but is that about right? If you have to touch to low sternum should you accept that forearms will be bent backwards or should you aim for some happy medium?

Thanks

C-Sobrino
06-22-2010, 05:55 PM
Does all this apply if you bench raw?

Travis Bell
06-22-2010, 08:33 PM
Yep

You just don't tuck quite as much when benching raw, but you still should squeeze your lats and upper back very hard

Gugunir
06-24-2010, 10:38 AM
I only learned how to "bench with my lats" after I really wrecked my shoulder up which forced me to have perfect form. Trying to bend the bar like Travis mentioned also helped tremendously along with experimenting a bit with width, grip, and bar position especially how and to where I lowered the bar.

mchicia1
06-24-2010, 11:27 AM
It happens automatically now as long as my lats/upper back are bearing all the weight (i.e staying tight). Don't even have to think about it.

IronDiggy
06-24-2010, 12:37 PM
I think I really need to focus on benching like this. Unfortunately my lats seem to be the hardest thing for me to strengthen and I'm pretty sure they're quite weak.

vdizenzo
06-24-2010, 06:03 PM
I think I really need to focus on benching like this. Unfortunately my lats seem to be the hardest thing for me to strengthen and I'm pretty sure they're quite weak.

Perform every back exercise like a reverse bench. I pinch my shoulder blades back and never release them forward when training back. That's why I never do seated pulldowns, you can't keep your shoulder blades retracted while doing so. I do them standing to the belly.

mastermonster
06-24-2010, 06:12 PM
Great advice from Vinnie as usual! I've also heard Scot Mendelson say that he feels competition benching is 75% lats as the primary mover. I agree.

IronDiggy
06-25-2010, 07:01 PM
Perform every back exercise like a reverse bench. I pinch my shoulder blades back and never release them forward when training back. That's why I never do seated pulldowns, you can't keep your shoulder blades retracted while doing so. I do them standing to the belly.

I'm going to start doing that. I tried the barbell with bands, didn't bring a heavy enough band with me though, choked was too easy, doubled I had to try setting up with the bar in my hands to pull it down, and it kept pulling my shoulders off the bench.

I also tried the standing lat pulldowns, those are awesome.