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Thread: Bench Press technique

  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Bench Press technique

    How far down do you go when you do flat bench? I usually go do to 90 degrees or to where my arms are parallel with my back. This means that the bar is not coming all the way down to my chest. I used to go down further, but felt some uncomfortable stretching in my shoulder and chest. Any opinions?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member IronDaddy's Avatar
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    I've always done and been told bar should touch your chest...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ebu's Avatar
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    I always go nice and slow, and bring it all the way down to the top of my chest. I don't worry about getting all the reps in that I planned, i just worry about getting in good reps. I would rather have 4 good reps then 8 that i didn't put all myself into. you will also get stronger that way over time. At least that is what I have noticed for myself.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member DokterVet's Avatar
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    I think most people go down to the chest to get the largest range of motion.

    When I do bench at home, I have wooden bars on either side of my bench as safety procautions (because I rarely have a spotter), so I just go down to them, which is a bit less than 90 degrees.

    I've found that when moving from there to somewhere that I could go all the way down to my chest, I could push about the same amount of weight. So I don't think it makes a huge difference.

    I'd go for the full ROM when you can, but if it's not possible don't fret it.

  5. #5
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    I touch the bar to my chest on all reps or it doesn't count.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Ebu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    I touch the bar to my chest on all reps or it doesn't count.
    totally agree
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  7. #7
    Neollagnailati
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    I'm with you two. what do you mean, painful stretching?

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    Bounce it off your sternum
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  9. #9
    SFW! drew's Avatar
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    And if you have a spot and he touches the bar, crush his fingers so he can't let you cheat the weight up.

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  10. #10
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    I cannot really articulate what I mean when I say "painful stretching" because it happened a couple times a long time ago and I havent really touched the bar to my chest since. After reading the replies and some self reflection, maybe it was just a lame excuse because I felt I was at a disadvantage having the long arms that go with my 6'3 frame. I guess I will be touching the bar to my chest on the next chest day. I appreciate the help and advice.
    6'3 242 pounds and 21% fat on 11-01-2003....hoping for a stronger leaner future

    Check out my journal

    Leg Press is 1000 pounds on final set. That is 22 45 pound plates with a little 10 pounder on top for decoration.

    Bench:315
    Squat:450
    Deads: Not sure.

  11. #11
    Senior Member JustinF's Avatar
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    If it's right or not, I dunno. I bench until parallel, works for me. I don't plan on entering any competitions so I guess it doesn't make that much difference.
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  12. #12
    Shaver of Secret Places baldguy's Avatar
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    I also have the arms with the 6'3" frame, and I always went to parallel because I had a few shoulder surgeries (not from lifting), but in the last few months I've been trying to go deeper. I actually think going down to the chest is easier for lifting heavier weights. I guess your muscles stretch out further so they snap back faster to help you.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by drew
    And if you have a spot and he touches the bar, crush his fingers so he can't let you cheat the weight up.
    ROFL.

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    WBB's Juggernaut/Liason BigCorey75's Avatar
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    touch your chest
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Bigmofo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldguy
    I actually think going down to the chest is easier for lifting heavier weights. I guess your muscles stretch out further so they snap back faster to help you.
    Lol..yeah right..and squatting ATF is easier than quarter squats...

    Back to the topic, find your natural ROM some guys cant touch the chest without seriously forcing their joints, some even feel that the chest is set too high and prefer dumbells for a larger ROM...unless you are preparing for a bench competition, its totaly up to you. Just dont screw your rotator cuff

  16. #16
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  17. #17
    WannaBeBigToo
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    on the bars i use, there is a mark on the bar where there is no knurl...that is where i grip (about 4" away from the bar holder)
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  18. #18
    Milk, Milk, Milk JeffWillConquer's Avatar
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    And if you have a spot and he touches the bar, crush his fingers so he can't let you cheat the weight up.
    My spotter pushes the bar down and laughs at me.
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  19. #19
    Shaver of Secret Places baldguy's Avatar
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    As a side to this thread. What kind of grip do you use to bench? Do your wrap you thumb on the same side as your fingers or on the opposite side?
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  20. #20
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Just move your grip a bit closer and that should fix the issue.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Thumb around the bar!!! Any advantage you *think* you might gain from not wrapping it around will be overruled when the bar falls on your chest!
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  22. #22
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    Touch your chest.
    Hmmm. Women defintely have an advantage here.

  23. #23
    Shaver of Secret Places baldguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderstorm
    Touch your chest.
    Hmmm. Women defintely have an advantage here.
    http://www.funnyjunk.com/p/boobs_are_too_big-jpg.html
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  24. #24
    Shaver of Secret Places baldguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Thumb around the bar!!! Any advantage you *think* you might gain from not wrapping it around will be overruled when the bar falls on your chest!
    I wrap my hands around the bar. But a guy I lifted with last week said his bench went up 30# when he changed his grip. To me it just doesn't feel right, but I was wondering if anybody else changed grip and saw results.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Well, I'm skeptical that a grip change would yield 30lbs, but even if he truly gained 100lbs, it wouldn't be worth it. I had a bar roll on me with 300+ and if I didn't have a full grip I'd have a few broken ribs. There is plenty of footage that shows what happens when a bar slips. I'll never use a thumbless grip and I'll never recommend it.

    Also, not sure how well Pavel's ideas are accepted, but they are very interesting (and make sense on the surface), but here's a quote from an interview:

    "T: Haven’t you written that squeezing the bar really hard when benching can increase your poundage?

    Pavel: You can expect ten pounds within a workout or two. This works with any upper body exercise, including curling. There is one provision — you must do it either when you keep your reps very low, like five or less, or in the very last reps of a set. If you can normally do fifty push-ups, you can do five more using this technique. Get on the floor.

    [The next thing I know, Pavel has me pumping out push-ups right there in the lobby. Since this was during the Arnold Classic, the lobby was filled with fitness babes. I tried my best to impress. Pavel showed me how to grip the floor as hard as I could with a claw-like grip, like I’m trying to twist a piece of it off, and contract my glutes and abs while doing the movement. Sure enough, I immediately felt stronger and was able to do more reps.]"

    http://www.t-mag.com/articles/151russ.html
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