View Full Version : Where to Lower Bar When Bench Pressing

09-01-2002, 01:24 AM
Should I lower the barbell to above the nipples or below them when flat bench pressing?

09-01-2002, 01:53 AM
go for your face, so in case you drop it you could catch it with your teeth. <JOKE> :)

i lower mine about an inch above my nipples (inch up towards face)

Chris Rodgers
09-01-2002, 08:51 AM
Do you want to move the most weight possible or attempt to work your pecs?

If you choose strength, lower it to as low as possible and tuck your elbows. Should be hitting your abdominals with the bar.

If you want to hit your pecs harder I would bring it up higher. Actually, I probably wouldn't even use the BB for hitting the pecs.

09-01-2002, 09:31 AM
I would say around your sternum or maybe nipple level. Somewhere in there. I dont think it matters much as long as you dont lower the bar to your neck or face.

09-01-2002, 09:54 AM
i do like the lowest part of my pecs. like at the attachments

09-01-2002, 10:28 AM
I agree with Latty.

Saturday Fever
09-01-2002, 11:25 AM
Yeah, but be sure to keep the bar in a straight line.

09-01-2002, 11:29 AM
if you dont think that PL benching works the pecs at all then why do big PLers have those big pecs

Saturday Fever
09-01-2002, 11:31 AM
Well, size is more a result of diet, and PLers generally eat a lot and are usually big guys to begin with. But I'm in your camp. Elbows in, etc may not be optimal for growing your chest, but I think it does.

09-01-2002, 11:36 AM
Yes... as LATMAN said, what is the goal of your benching? For chest size or bench strength?

I train bench with WSB/PL form, keeping the forearms perpendicular to the ground, elbows in, and bar to my upper abs.... hard to get used to, but the this form will focus much more on your triceps and the potential for strength is much much higher this way than the traditional "pec press" with your elbows out and the bar coming to your upper chest....

09-01-2002, 12:30 PM
hey give me some feedback please...

on incline bench i lower the bar until the bone RIGHT below my neck.. i guess the top of my chest..

Monstar - what's wrong with lowering the bar to your neck on flat bench? not that i do it - i'm just curious.

09-01-2002, 12:47 PM
I lower the bar to my nipples on the flat bench and to the top of my pecs on the incline bench. I have heard of people lowering the bar to their neck on the flat bench in an attempt to hit the upper pecs more. IMO that is not a good plan. It puts your shoulders in a bad position not to mention the danger of lower a heavy bar to your neck. If you get stuck with the bar on your chest someone can help you. If you get stuck with it on your neck I doubt there would be time for someone to save you. Plus a low incline bench press is more effective at targeting the upper pecs anyways.

09-01-2002, 01:02 PM
i dropped bar + 100 pounds on it on my eye once ;)

taught me a lesson about working with heavy weights alone..

09-01-2002, 05:43 PM
I lower mine to mid chest, feels just right

09-02-2002, 06:30 PM
Lower the bar to the highest point. For most this will be near the nipple level.

Powerlifters tuck the elbows, and try and take pecs out of the equation as much as possible. For a couple of reasons. I have no interest in tearing a pec, and pecs tear rather easily, and by setting up in a manner that takes the pecs (somewhat) out of the press, you are significantly shortening the stroke of your bench.

I get pec work, to be sure, but I never isolate them, and I do all I can, including wearing a denim bench shirt to protect them. I slightly tore my left pec years ago doing HIT and am paying for it to this day.

Most benchers have big pecs, but it is not cause they go out of their way to work them, it just happens, kind of like we have big necks and forearms. My neck is 18.5 inches around, and my forearms are over 15 inches, and I never work either one of them. Some things are going to grow just from dealing with heavy weights.

Building a chest, requires a longer range of motion, and keeping the elbows at 90 degrees from the body. This is fine for building pecs, but it puts shoulders and pecs at greater risk than the PLing bench form.


09-02-2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Spawn_X
i dropped bar + 100 pounds on it on my eye once ;)

taught me a lesson about working with heavy weights alone..

So your not winking at us? ;)

Personaly, since I go for strenght I bring the bar to the area right below the pecs.

09-03-2002, 09:16 AM
Latty's right on. Even though i'd go with the dumbbell path if you want a more pec oriented workout.

09-03-2002, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by Spawn_X
i dropped bar + 100 pounds on it on my eye once ;)

taught me a lesson about working with heavy weights alone..

that explains why you're so ugly :)