The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    importance of your back in bench pressing

    i keep being told to work my back harder for bench press gains. i am not saying that i don't believe people that your back is important (some people are telling me more so than my chest), but i guess i just don't understand how on earth my lats are a significant muscle group in the bench press. they seem to exert force in a pulling, not pushing, motion. and they are never ever fatigued or sore after any amount of bench pressing, though my chest, shoulders, and tris are.

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  3. #2
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    i believe that when your lowering the weight your lats activate which takes some stress off your chest which would give it more energy for pushing

    also your supposed to activate your lats at the very beginning of the press to push the bar up a little before using your chest.

    something along those lines. that's all i know.

  4. #3
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    still doesn't make sense to me. i mean the motion of a bench press is the exact opposite of any back movements

  5. #4
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    the lats do play a part..... next time you're spotting someone on bench wearing a cutoff T observe their lats.... you will notice the lats flex when they first push off the chest.....
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  6. #5
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    Every muscle from tour lower back and abs up to your shoulders and lats effect your bench press. Working your traps and other back muscles helps in lowering the bar to your chest so your chrst and triceps will have more strength to push the bar back up. Chrispy is completely right. That's why your back muscles are supposed to be tightened or slightly arched so they have more power. I learned this from my power lifting coach who's been at it for over 40 years now.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHSathlete
    Every muscle from tour lower back and abs up to your shoulders and lats effect your bench press. Working your traps and other back muscles helps in lowering the bar to your chest so your chrst and triceps will have more strength to push the bar back up. Chrispy is completely right. That's why your back muscles are supposed to be tightened or slightly arched so they have more power. I learned this from my power lifting coach who's been at it for over 40 years now.
    that's weird i finally got a chance to talk with the kid who's been training me on westside and he said your lats work to push your tris up at the bottom of the movement

  8. #7
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    Do a little test on yourself....hold out your left hand as if doing a 1-arm bench. Then with your right hand feel your left lat. Now flex your chest as hard as you can as if you are benching your left. You will feel the lat give a good contraction. Lats are very important for bench press. I always had a weak back, and thus weak bench. One day i made the decision to focus on my lats and finally got them to grow, then immediately saw gains in my bench as well.

  9. #8
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    hows it goin mate, hes my try at answering your qestion.

    your triceps are antagonists to you bicep while you preform curls. this muscle is in eccentric contraction through the movment to provide a resistance to control and also a base of suppot to the tension being generated. this is the same with the lats and the pecs. During bent over barbell rows you have you chest as the rigid base, during bench press your lats and traps are tensed to provide the chest with its rigid base.
    you back is basically the 'ground' that you chest needs for it's 'traction' or support. When you do the movemnt of a bench press in the air, at the bottom of the press you can feel the scapula coming together just like a seated cable row, this is also a stabalizing movement caused by the rhomboids which retract and fix the scapula. the traps also have some role in this which is why some of the ppl in here have mentioned working the traps.

    basically, you need a strong base of muscles to provide support for your chest, just as every muscle needs this for full potential.
    Last edited by tanker6969; 03-31-2005 at 05:41 PM.

  10. #9
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    killer. thanks for your responses

  11. #10
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    You are probably getting lat activity due to adduction at the shoulders prior to pushing the weight up.

    Sit upright, and perform a benchpress movement with one arm while touching your lat on the same side. perform the motion by keeping your shoulders and elbows level- you should get no lat involvement. Now perform the motion again and this time make believe you are pushing a heavy weight-your elbows will most likely move downward now. If you notice, your elbows kind of move toward the floor, this is an action of the lats.
    Last edited by Sleepr; 03-31-2005 at 07:29 PM.

  12. #11
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    If you learn to bench with tucked elbows it'll be your lats that primarily press off the bottom of the bench.

    The lats will pull the elbows down and into a tuck. Get your elbows down and flair your lats. What happens? Your hands move a few inches forward like a bench press.
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  13. #12
    Teh kleptomaniac VasDeferens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borris
    If you learn to bench with tucked elbows it'll be your lats that primarily press off the bottom of the bench.

    The lats will pull the elbows down and into a tuck. Get your elbows down and flair your lats. What happens? Your hands move a few inches forward like a bench press.
    correct. the form is similar to the close grip BP except for the width factor.
    with this technique you also dont put much pressure on your shoulders.

    http://www.bodybuildinguniverse.com/article17.htm

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    that's weird i finally got a chance to talk with the kid who's been training me on westside and he said your lats work to push your tris up at the bottom of the movement

    i thought lats were pulling muscles, IE "lat pulls"
    Stats:
    17 yrs old
    180 lbs
    5'10"

    Maxes :
    Squat:500
    Bench: 250
    Clean:245
    Dead Lift: 515

    Running PRs (without wind):
    40m: 4.39
    100m: 10.86 FAT::::10.62 Handtime

  15. #14
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    they are. read the article. and realize that with bigger lats, you move decrease the distance of the ROM, and it will increase your bench especially if you stick at the bottom of the lift.
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  16. #15
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    If you are benching powerlifting style and you have big lats, the lats come out to the right and left of your chest, like on these guys:

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/2003/arnold2003_54.jpg

    You actually can push with your lats when they get to be that size. I can definitely feel my lats working on heavy bench presses.

  17. #16
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    Oh ok, so they can push once they're stronger then?
    Stats:
    17 yrs old
    180 lbs
    5'10"

    Maxes :
    Squat:500
    Bench: 250
    Clean:245
    Dead Lift: 515

    Running PRs (without wind):
    40m: 4.39
    100m: 10.86 FAT::::10.62 Handtime

  18. #17
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    Don't forget about leg drive too... my bench gains tonnes of power when my feet are firmly planted in the correct position to drive as hard as they can. It sounds weird the first time people hear it, legs helping bench, but its true. As long as your doing it correctly. Do you drive with your legs ?
    Last edited by Carpe-Diem; 04-04-2005 at 04:30 PM.

  19. #18
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    To drive with your legs could be a hazzard...I saw a guy pushing like hell with his legs and he started sliding up the bench it was sorta ****ed...

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutz981
    To drive with your legs could be a hazzard...I saw a guy pushing like hell with his legs and he started sliding up the bench it was sorta ****ed...
    Weight lifting in general is a hazard. We all know this and we don't bother repeating it, though.

  21. #20
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    ha well said. most competitive lifters use their feet in benching

  22. #21
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    Just start slowly with arching and leg drive, you can easily strain the lower back slightly if you are just starting with it and go for something close to a max press.
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