I've spent the last half hour searching the forum and can't quite find what I'm looking for. Although I found some other cool stuff on the way. I'm not a strong guy but my bench press is really rocketing up and with the weight as heavy as it is my wrists and hands are giving me trouble. I normally let my wrists bend back but I think this is bad and although it doesn't hurt now I have a feeling it will later. But my problem is when I straighten out my wrists the whole weight shifts from my palms to the bases of my thumbs and I can't bear the thumb pain so I bend my wrists back. So what should I do? Do you guys all take the weight on the bases of you thumbs or bend your wrists?
1. Start making your wrists stronger.
2. Get some wrist wraps.
I've been considering the wrist wraps but that and stronger wrists don't seem to be the answer to my thumb pain issue. Maybe my hands are shaped funny?
Pick a barbell off the floor, i.e. deadlift and roll a stick with a rope tied to some plates. It will stretch and strengthen your forearms and wrists.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but, the way I'm understanding you, it's not that you don't have the muscle strength to straighten your wrist, just that it hurts really bad, to where it's very uncomfortable.
I don't fully straighten my wrist, either, but I don't bend it back too much, and it doesn't hurt because I squeeze the bar. You may want to try that.
Last edited by azma; 02-24-2008 at 04:53 AM.
are you training the bench press specifically for a powerlifting meet? Do you encounter this problem with other pressing movements or just with flat barbell bench press?
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I notice this when I am doing dips. It just kills my palms and is so painful I have to stop from the pain before I was ever fatiged from the lift. I could give you a solution if I had one but I just don't do dips that often and that's how I get around it. But bench press is much more important.
Last edited by Brad263; 02-24-2008 at 09:18 AM.
Weight 180lbs Goal 200lbs by 06/01/08
Bench 150x6 Goal 200
Squats 165x5 Goal 250
Deadlift 205x6 Goal 300
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Thanks for all feedback. I'm not training for a PL thing, just for fundamental strength and size. I only have the problem on flat barbell press. I do have the strength to straighten my wrists but once they are straight the pain in my thumbs is unbearable. On dumbbell bench presses I can actually feel the strain in my forearms and its harder to keep the wrists straight but when I do I don't feel any thumb pain. I'll try the squeezing the bar suggestion. I'll be benching on Tuesday with the highest weight I've ever done sets with so I'll know for sure if its helping.
You want your wrist almost straight, just a light bend. Make Sure your wrist and forarm stay straight together, this will give you more power and cause less strain on your wrists. Also Check out APT Wrist Straps, get yourself a Pair of 20" Wraps and then it will be game on! Good Luck Bro
When I bench I position my thumb on the same side of the bar as my other fingers. A personal trainer at my gym told me to do this and it helps so that you dont squeeze the bar (apparently a source of parkinsons in the wrist). Try it out, it helped me
Last edited by el_Mariachi; 02-24-2008 at 07:58 PM.
Thanks for the good info, I'll try moving my thumb to my finger side at a low weight but that seems really unsafe thinking about it. If that doesn't work I'll keep my wrist and forearm in line and focous on finding the right spot for that bar in my palm.
There have been more than a few accidents of people benching without the thumb around the bar. There are a couple of videos on youtube of people losing the bar and it coming down and causing some serious damage. I would highly suggest you do as Osgood says and also NOT move your thumb to the finger side.
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Thanks for that, I was not excited about trying it and certainly won't be now.
Get some wraps, get stronger, don't bend your wrists back.
Unless you want to shatter your forearm.
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I've been bending my wrists back, big time. I find it makes my injured shoulder hurt less, for some reason. Of course the weight is brutally light ... 115 for 10 reps, since my shoulder blows out for a whopping 120 x 0 if I go any heavier.
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Age: 34, Height: 5'4, Weight: 185, BF: somewhere between 15 and 45%
Weightlifting Start Date: July 26, 2005 - Bench 95 x 6, Dead 110 x 8, Smith Squat 180 x 8
Bests: Bench 185 x 8, Dead 400 x 1, Zercher Squat 295 x 3
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Also, you are advocating what is caused the "suicide grip". Not recommended unless you have very strong hands and good side spotters. Besides, squeezing the bar is a GOOD thing.
Seriously, where did you here such rubbish?
The verdict is in. I tried keeping the wrists straight or slightly bent with no aids and squeezing the bar and I just couldn't take the pain in my thumb. So I dug out a pair of lifting gloves I had long abandoned and they worked great. They really distributed the load over my palm better and allowed me to keep my wrists straight. So gloves for bench for the foreseeable future but I won't use them on anything else. I think I'll still look into wrist wraps but they won't be a priority.
Guido, thanks for addressing that Parkinsons thing, that was a totally weird post, especially since my Grandmother died of it and she was no weightlifter.