Bench... breaking 90 on barbell

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  1. 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.

    -Onnoc


  2. IMO bench is a compound lift, not a chest exercise. The purpose is to use shoulders, chest, tris, and lats.
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  3. 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.
    True story:

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  4. 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

  5. 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.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by ohiostate2827 View Post
    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
    Agreed. Locking out isnt necessary either

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  8. 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.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Onnoc View Post
    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.

    -Onnoc
    It really depends on the individual. The bench press "endpoint" is technically when one's elbows are at 90 degree flexion. However, there's nothing wrong with going further than that - some people cannot complete the exercise with full range of motion due to a lack of flexibility or poor form. Personally, I always go as far down as I can (whether using regular or close-grip), unless I am lifting a lot heavier and do not have a spotter - then I may go to 90 degrees, which for me I consider this to be a "half-rep", even though it is not. As someone mentioned earlier, the bench press is a COMPOUND exercise. In the end, it is up to the individual, and their goals and needs.

    ~Rosie~
    Contact Me for INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING AND NUTRITION

    "Think like a Champion. Train like a Warrior. Live with a Purpose." - Rosie Chee

  10. 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
    -Onnoc

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    It really depends on the individual. The bench press "endpoint" is technically when one's elbows are at 90 degree flexion. However, there's nothing wrong with going further than that - some people cannot complete the exercise with full range of motion due to a lack of flexibility or poor form. Personally, I always go as far down as I can (whether using regular or close-grip), unless I am lifting a lot heavier and do not have a spotter - then I may go to 90 degrees, which for me I consider this to be a "half-rep", even though it is not. As someone mentioned earlier, the bench press is a COMPOUND exercise. In the end, it is up to the individual, and their goals and needs.

    ~Rosie~
    Rosie, this brings up more questions for me. My shoulders measure 22" across, my grip on the bar is 36" wide. Would you consider this normal or wide? And, what is considered close grip?

    Jim

  12. 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.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by SRS2000 View Post
    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.
    Excellent post, I agree 100%. Repped.

  14. 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


  15. Quote Originally Posted by bluehealer View Post
    Rosie, this brings up more questions for me. My shoulders measure 22" across, my grip on the bar is 36" wide. Would you consider this normal or wide? And, what is considered close grip?

    Jim
    Jim, I would consider that a slightly wider grip - in saying that, for my "normal" grip, I have my hands placed outside my shoulders when I do bench press (for chest) as well, so this could be fairly normal. Your hands should be placed re "'normal" so that when your upper arms are parallel with the ground, your elbows are at 90 degrees.

    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.

    ~Rosie~
    Contact Me for INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING AND NUTRITION

    "Think like a Champion. Train like a Warrior. Live with a Purpose." - Rosie Chee

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    Jim, I would consider that a slightly wider grip - in saying that, for my "normal" grip, I have my hands placed outside my shoulders when I do bench press (for chest) as well, so this could be fairly normal. Your hands should be placed re "'normal" so that when your upper arms are parallel with the ground, your elbows are at 90 degrees.

    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.

    ~Rosie~
    I thought shoulder width was close grip. That's why I go wide, no wonder my max sucks. Thank you Rosie!

  17. Quote Originally Posted by bluehealer View Post
    I thought shoulder width was close grip. That's why I go wide, no wonder my max sucks. Thank you Rosie!
    Nope, not close-grip - although everyone's close-grip is going to be individual to them (not everyone may feel as comfortable as I do placing my hands together). The wider your hand grip, the more you might be able to lift though, just from personal experience.

    ~Rosie~
    Contact Me for INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING AND NUTRITION

    "Think like a Champion. Train like a Warrior. Live with a Purpose." - Rosie Chee

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    Nope, not close-grip - although everyone's close-grip is going to be individual to them (not everyone may feel as comfortable as I do placing my hands together). The wider your hand grip, the more you might be able to lift though, just from personal experience.

    ~Rosie~
    When you get too wide the weight gets lower but it puts some serious burn on the pecks.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by bluehealer View Post
    When you get too wide the weight gets lower but it puts some serious burn on the pecks.
    Everyone is different - although too wide or too narrow has the potential to decrease the load lifted, since they are not really "optimal" positions. The bench press is supposed to stress the pectorals, LOL

    ~Rosie~
    Contact Me for INDIVIDUALIZED TRAINING AND NUTRITION

    "Think like a Champion. Train like a Warrior. Live with a Purpose." - Rosie Chee

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. Always touch my chest. I bench like a powerlifter with shoulders pinned back and a slight arch.

  23. 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
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  24. Quote Originally Posted by Onnoc View Post
    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.

    Happy New Years
    -Onnoc
    Dont do flat barbell

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    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.
    Yep, gotta prevent those muscle imbalances, especially when doing heavy presses

  25. 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....
    True story:

    I give a f**K!!
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