i've read you should stop just a little above touching your chest to help against injury now i'm not talking the partial reps but maybe like 3 inches from your chest what are everyones thoughts
I ALWAYS touch my chest...i have no idea if you are supposed to but im doing fine with doing it and everyone i know does it also.
Go less wide with your grip/elbows and remember to focus on shoulder flexibility.
I don't think it's necessary. If stopping 1" above your chest keeps you injury free - sounds worth it to me. Or, work on shoulder flexibility.
This response is for shoulder flexibility and not dealing with touching the chest, which I do but am not sure if it is best or not.
Over at the official DC forum, DC has a sticky post related to fixing shoulder injuries and improving shoulder flexibility. Great post and fairly detailed, but too long to quote. Here is a VERY abreviated version of that post. By the way... My shoulder was wrecked and after only 4 days of this it felt soooooo much better!!!
Grab yourself a broomstick. Hold it in-front of you with your hands gripping it very loose at a very wide spread. Take the broom handle, starting with both arms in-front and right at your crotch. Rotate both arms upwards and over your head. Allow the broom handle to spin between your pointer finger and thumb while you pass the tension point that you will hit as you pass your head. Keep going till the broom handle ends up touching your lower back. Once from front to back and back to front is 1 rep. Do 50 reps a day. Close in on the distance between your hands as you progress. The closer your hands Re together the harder it gets. Works AMAZINGLY well to stretch out shouldes.
Try it! It is soooooo dope!
after a proper warm up, some push ups, couple light sets of benching w/ light stretching, lower the bar to a comfortable stretch. with every set, this point should get a little deeper, but there is no need to risk injury by making sure the bar touches the chest.
That shoulder stretch with the broomstick is called a shoulder dislocation, and they are fantastic. For competition, touching chest is mandatory, for building muscle it is not. About the size of a closed fist distance is just fine, however, everybodys body is different, and some believe not using full ROM causes the most damage. That being said, I usually touch my chest.
I don't think there is too much difference between touching your chest lightly and coming down to within an inch or so. That being said, I see a lot of people really take advantage of this and stop about 6 inches short of touching and justify it by saying that it is better for your shoulders, at which point I think you are working a lot more triceps than you are chest.
Not touching my chest on presses makes it feel like an incomplete movement to me.
Same with squats. Im all about ATG on squats, and I cant just stop at parallel and explode up b/c it feels like an incomplete movement to me at that point. I gotta go all the way down.
Its all about preferences,... and what works for you, especially if you have an injury of any sort.
I like to bench with more of a powerlifting style. Squeezing my shoulder blades together and using my lats and triceps to do more of the work, this helps to eliminate shoulder rotation thus helps to prevent shoulder injury. I like to grab the bar tight, tense my whole body, drive my feet into the ground, and when im descending the weight i act like im trying to pull the bar apart and thats what activates my back and lats.
If you touch your chest, just don't bounce it. My friend's dad fractured his solar plexus that way when he was young, and apparently it sucked.
watching people load big weight and bounce it is annoying but also painful to watch
2 fat kids at my school gym do this all the time I'm suprised they haven't hurt themselves yet.
If you feel to much strain from touching your chest there are a few things you can do to make it better.
1) Learn how to set up for a bench properly. Shoulder blades pinched together, weight on your traps, feet planted on the ground, natural arch in your back, elbow tuck touching just below your pecs.
2) Put a piece of foam on your chest while benching. You can use a soft pad or something like a half foam roller, what ever you have around. You can even make a pad out of towels or carpet. Just let the bar sink into the foam as you lower the bar. It should compress to be about 1/2 inch to 1 inch off of your chest.
3) If both of these don't work for you then do floor presses.
4) Finally you can just do board presses, just change the heights and don't bounce off of the boards.
If all of these still aggravate your shoulders then either stop benching and fix yourself or get a blast shirt to bench in. You should always go until you touch something because otherwise your going to gradually bench higher and higher as the weight gets heavier.
It depends on your setup and bar path. If you bench like most people you see at the gym, with your back flat on the bench and your elbows flared out, then you're probably putting quite a bit of stress on your shoulder by lowering the bar to your chest. Before I started powerlifting I would bench like this and I constantly had shoulder problems. If you bench like a powerlifter with a good arch, squeeze your shouler blades together, tuck your elbows into your lats and lower the bar to the bottom of your sternum/xyphoid process, you'll put much less strain on your shoulders, shorten your bar path, activate your lats and eventually have a much bigger bench. There's are reason powerlifters bench like this.
Touch. Do it right or go use the smith machine with the other women.