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gmen5681
07-14-2010, 08:20 PM
ive been really trying to get my form down for benching, and researching a ton along with video help. when they talk about tucking the elbows what exactly does that mean? does it mean tucking them into your sides and pulling them down into your lats to use your lats? because if i take a normal grip on the bar and tuck my elbows, it not only kills my shoulders but it puts my forearms in a weird angle and my wrist at a weird angle. so then my forearm isnt straight up and down for the most power transfer to the hands. so if anyone could chime in on this it would be a big help. thanks.

Jared R
07-14-2010, 10:47 PM
I'll be the first to say a video would really help. Also, 'normal grip' is subjective. I take it to mean pinky on rings.

You should probably wait for someone else to post and not read into my advice too much, but I've found that Dave Tate's six-week bench press cure videos in particular have helped my bench a lot. For me, tucking is natural as I lower the bar to just below my sternum (not in a straight line). I would define tucking to mean keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle relative to your body. I have learned that you use your lats to unrack and lower the bar, so I would describe the tucking portion of the bench press as squeezing your lats. As for the shoulder pain and awkward angles, it seems to me that you may be lowering the bar high on your sternum. Keep in mind that I bench in a huge arc (not arch) similar to Dave Tate's as displayed in the first video I mention later in this post.

Once again, I wouldn't take my advice as anything more than a personal preference and I would wait for someone else to post and perhaps correct me.

Now then, I don't mean to threadjack, but I have a question of my own I'd like to add. I have noticed that people recommend benching in a straight line, with their reasoning being that it cuts down on bar path (of course). I have also noticed that people recommend tucking elbows at the bottom and flaring slightly at the top (J-lift, I think it's called). It was my impression (and personal opinion) that the latter was better for powerlifters, but I am unsure after watching another video by Dave Tate.

First video - start at 6:20.
http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=Dh3t6T-nqP0&feature=related

Second video - watch from beginning, or skip to 4:23. This is the one that confused me.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP3g-I9Sf9s

Perhaps the second video is old and outdated, or I am somehow mistaken, but I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks on this matter.

Ryano
07-15-2010, 05:12 AM
With tucking, I try to think of it as pointing your elbows toward your feet at the bottom of the lift and out toward the uprights at the top. Elbows in-Elbows out. The more the better, with shirt benching. This automatically puts the barpath at an angle from your stomach, to your face. Not straight up. Again this is with a shirt.

AdamBAG
07-15-2010, 08:15 AM
If you are benching raw then the tuck will not be extreme. Watch a video of Vincent or Travis benching raw. They are tucking their elbows as they get down to their chest. It's not an extreme tuck, but they aren't keeping their elbow out either.

gmen5681
07-15-2010, 11:33 AM
thanks for the help everyone, i completely misunderstood the meaning of tucking. i have been doing it naturally then. ill try to get a video in the up coming weeks of my form so i can get some critiquing. thanks again.

vdizenzo
07-15-2010, 03:48 PM
I don't really think of it as tucking. I think about it more as lowering the weight to my sternum with my lats. That way the tuck occurs naturally for me.

gmen5681
07-15-2010, 08:06 PM
that is definetly a better way to explain it. because i always thought it meant to bring your elbows in so that your forearms were at an inward angle. but with the descriptions you guys gave i understand now. thanks a lot everyone.

robchris
07-15-2010, 09:10 PM
Think 4 o'clock & 8 o'clock reference to arm angle while benching raw... This always helped me remember.

When benching equipped tuck as much at the bottom as you have to to touch the shirt.

depotman
07-15-2010, 10:42 PM
If you are looking to up your bench or atleast looking for some great advice, take a look at this article by Dave Tate. It's one of the best you will find imo - http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/efs-classic-12-steps-to-a-bigger-bench/.



Here is another decent read - http://stronglifts.com/how-to-bench-press-with-proper-technique-avoid-shoulder-injuries/

Both articles cover a bit about elbow position.

SEOINAGE
07-16-2010, 12:58 PM
It helps for me when I try to bring the bar down without bending my elbows and then focus on bringing my body to the bar while pretending to bend the bar down around me.

gmen5681
07-16-2010, 07:20 PM
Think 4 o'clock & 8 o'clock reference to arm angle while benching raw... This always helped me remember.

When benching equipped tuck as much at the bottom as you have to to touch the shirt.

what do you mean by 4 and 8 oclock, i dont understand that reference.

Keith
07-16-2010, 09:13 PM
what do you mean by 4 and 8 oclock, i dont understand that reference.

Haven't you ever heard of holding the steering wheel at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock? Picture 12 o'clock as your head, and your left humerus at the angle of 4 o'clock and your right as 8 o'clock.

gmen5681
07-17-2010, 07:14 AM
Haven't you ever heard of holding the steering wheel at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock? Picture 12 o'clock as your head, and your left humerus at the angle of 4 o'clock and your right as 8 o'clock.

yes i have heard of it. but i didnt know where the reference was to. if 12 was your head or if it was up towards the ceiling.

Keith
07-17-2010, 08:08 AM
yes i have heard of it. but i didnt know where the reference was to. if 12 was your head or if it was up towards the ceiling.

Gotcha. With proper retraction of the shoulder blades and back arch, your humerus should be about parallel to the floor (depending on proportions and weight aka how distended your belly is).

Brian C
07-20-2010, 11:01 AM
A little thing I learned that helped get in the proper angle was after you unrack the bar and are holding the weight, flex your elbows which will twist them inwards and hold it. Then proceed with your press. This will place your elbows at the "4 and 8 O'clock" position.