Bench... breaking 90° on barbell
- 12-22-2010, 11:39 PM
Bench... breaking 90° on barbell
Talking to someone here... a bench coach of all people suggests not breaking 90° on barbell lifts because it starts recruiting more shoulders and less chest. Just curious as to what everyone elses take is on this... well less of their take and more of what they know if you could be so kind.
If there is truth to this I may have to start looking down this path as much as I don't want to. Shoulder injuries are a plenty for myself and if this could be a preventative measure I would have to set my pride aside to assess the risk/reward.
Thank you ahead of time.
- 12-23-2010, 12:08 AM
IMO bench is a compound lift, not a chest exercise. The purpose is to use shoulders, chest, tris, and lats.
12-23-2010, 03:00 PM
I just barely touch chest with the bar, and don't ever lock out my elbows, so no full ROM for me, and I'm getting better pumps with less aches in the elbows and shoulders, and can put up a little bit heavier number.
So I agree with the not breaking 90*, but almost everybody recommends a full ROM, except a good amount of IFBB pros. Weird.
I give a f**K!!
12-25-2010, 10:53 PM
i never lock out in any exercise..only time i lock out is when i do a powerlifting meet..and so far so good no aches or pains
12-25-2010, 11:27 PM
Your lifting coach is correct. Bring the bar down to where it is comfortable. If anybody tells you you have to touch your chest theyre full of nonsense. Unless youre training for powerlifting, in which case youll be required to do so, touching the chest or breaking 90 is not necessary- in fact its idiotic, for numerous reasons: you put your pectoral muscles in a fully lengthened, non-advantageous position to elicit a strong contraction; You put immense amount of strain (directly dependent to the length of your upper arm) on your glenohumeral anterior capsule and the surrounding structures like ligaments and tendons; Because your pectorals is in a nonoptimal position to initiate the lift, the anterior deltoid, biceps, supraspinatus, and coricobrachialis are all gonna try and help and those small, weaker muscles are put at risk for injury.
12-25-2010, 11:28 PM
12-25-2010, 11:30 PM
12-26-2010, 02:04 PM
I always touch my chest, but I also don't/can't go heavy on bench. I still feel my pecs get a good stretch past the 90° point. Seems like I'm getting better development also. Different strokes for different folks I suppose.
12-26-2010, 06:11 PM
12-29-2010, 04:03 AM
I appreciate all the feed back on this. I tore my rotator cuff a few years back and it has never been the same (military doctors are military doctors for a reason: no law suits). I started going fairly heavy again for the first time since, and getting back into the 275/295/315 range for reps, full rep touching the chest, my shoulder was beginning to give out once again.
That being said, I am on a month off of chest and shoulder exercises with rotator cuff training, and was just looking to find what would be the best solution when I go back into chest and shoulder workouts.
Once again, the feed back is immensely appreciated. Unfortunately I am still weighing the options for post-deployment on not breaking 90° or going to chest and just building up at a more gradual pace.
Happy New Years
12-29-2010, 10:22 AM
12-29-2010, 10:48 AM
Do an internet search for the "So you think you can bench" video series by Dave Tate. It will break down every aspect of bench press technique and show you how maximize not only your poundages, but also your safety. The shoulder issues associated with the bench press are partially because of poor technique and partially due to the exercise itself. Most people have poor technique that puts unneccessary stress on the shoulders. The problem I've always found with stopping at some arbitrary point without touching the chest is that as the weight gets heavier, the range of motion gets smaller approximately 100% of the time. I think you should touch your chest (with proper technique) unless you just absolutely cannot due to injury. If you choose not to, then I recommend stuffing something under your shirt (half a foam roller, 1 or 2 board, some other small pad) to give yourself a target so you are touching it (not bouncing off it) with each rep.
12-29-2010, 11:34 AM
12-29-2010, 11:46 AM
If you want to be able to have functioning shoulders, then don't go past 90, do your pre-hab, and work your posterior delts/mid-traps every upper-body training session.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
12-29-2010, 12:16 PM
Close-grip is when you have your hands closer together - for me, I have not even a fist separating them on the barbell. Close-grip targets the triceps more, and instead of your elbows going out (i.e. to the side), they come in (i.e. down) during the movement.
You can google to see different variations of the movement.
12-29-2010, 12:40 PM
12-29-2010, 12:48 PM
12-29-2010, 12:58 PM
12-29-2010, 01:00 PM
12-29-2010, 07:43 PM
When I get back to a not-so-terrible internet I'm going to have to watch those videos. I hope I learn something new that can benefit me. If I do happen to learn something I will be upset with some past coaches. :P
12-29-2010, 07:48 PM
It all depends on your personal goals.
There is no one size fits all.
For my personal goals (bench is for chest only)
I lower bar till just a tad below 90* (about 3" off my chest) then to all but lockout (I don't lockout to minimize tricep involvement)
Been working wonders for me. I am up from a 42" chest to just now cracking 46" in 24 weeks
12-29-2010, 07:58 PM
12-29-2010, 08:07 PM
Personally I like to go just a bit deeper than 90 because as it was mentioned earlier the bench is a compound lift which includes the shoulders and I feel I get a little more work in the shoulders if I break 90. That being said I agree that it's not at all necessary...mostly personal preference
Shoot for the moon because even if you miss you'll land among the stars
12-30-2010, 03:08 PM
01-05-2011, 06:38 PM
I really like decline bench, too....I did advanced 5x5 on an mdrol-pplex bridge and the crazy strength gains killed my shoulders, so decline with no full ROM....great pumps and can feel it all over the pec....just something to try if your shoulders hurt....
I give a f**K!!
01-06-2011, 01:32 AM
I say don't be a ***** and use full range of motion(granted you can do so injury free). Even if focus shifts slightly more to shoulders. Chest is a compound movement So you got more than just pecs to worry about.
If your want more chest fiber recruitment stop wasting time worrying about when you should stop and worry about technique. And no I don't mean by watching that video previously mentioned, which is good btw but not talking about hypertrophy per say, and go read Lyle mcdonalds article "how to Bench with the chest". You gotta focus on how your chest works and not trying to push the bar away as much trying to use your chest to brin your arms in. Anyways just started using his tips mentioned in the article and it does get me more soar and fatigued.
01-07-2011, 12:12 PM
The Tate video makes some good points especially about keeping the elbows tucked in. As soon as your elbows flare out you put alot of strain on the internal rotators of the shoulder and risk cuff injury.
I benched with elbows flared, wide grip, and took the bar to my chest for several years and always struggled with shoulder injuries. As soon as I started tucking my elbows, narrowed my grip, and started bringing the bar to an inch above my chest... Injury stopped, My chest blew up and strength increased.
There is no need to touch your chest IMO, but only going to 90 would leave the bar about 10'' above my chest, so I don't think that's far enough for me personally.
But the stretch you get from using full rom can easily be acheived with flys, so why risk injury with bench
01-08-2011, 03:19 AM
I feel the same on squats, its up to your body to be honest, 90 degrees is ideal, but some people have longer legs than upper body, like me, and its near impossible to go 90 degrees when using a heavy weight. I end up at like 75 degrees or so when I squat above 300, I can do 95 on 225 and 135 easy, but above 300 it just hurts my back too much. I always try to do my compound movements naked, without any accessories so I never use a belt. I use versa gripps for deadlifts though because my wrists are just too small to handle more than 250. I can only get like one rep or so with 315 before my calluses hurt like hell. I am no competing power lifter so I don't consider these half reps. I still feel bad when I cant do full ROM but I understand its just not possible sometimes.
01-08-2011, 10:47 AM
01-15-2011, 01:47 PM
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