Are your elbows suppose to be tight and close to your body or wide and out
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Depends on what your goals are.
Yes, that was a good question. I need the answer to this as well. My goals are getting a big chest. I need more inner and central bulk. Also, my left pec was slightly torn years ago and healed that way. Now I have a little vally in my left pec. My right pec is also alot stronger than my left. Any comments/suggestions?
If your goal is to build chest then you should flare your elbows out to about 45 degrees
This, also bring the bar to your collarbone.Originally Posted by rsnake21
To build your chest symmetrically, use dumbbells instead of a barbell.
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I currently have a weird style keeping my elbows out with a narrower grip because of injury. I am doing fine with it and the weight is going back up. In powerlifting I used the tuck style to use my triceps more and protect my shoulders. I have watched others flare out the elbows and crush weights.
flare your elbows out as far as you can without having shoulder pain. 45 degrees is good. If you really want to build your chest try this next time you bench. I recomend you only use a moderate weight.
Use a tempo of 4(negative) 0 1(positive) 0 and do 8 reps. The tempo and reps are very important.
Now on the negative contraction squeeze your hands together as hard as you can (without actually moving your hands).
You will be amazed at how much your chest contracts. Do the same on the way up if you can. (if it hurts to much just do it on the negative)
With the tempo above the set will last about 40 seconds. Do 4 sets of this with strict 40 second breaks andyour chest will be on fire!
The tuck between a raw PL'er and BB'er isn't that much different, but the flare after the eccentric is what is highly different. BB'ers tend to flare much earlier than a PL'er and it can push more of the emphasis on the chest, but it can also put more stress on the shoulder.
He was asking what works for size, I was specifically addressing what works for size, I am not suggesting you use heavy weights with flared elbows to your neck.Originally Posted by Rodja
What I am suggesting is that a wide grip with flared elbows to the collarbone, with moderate weight very slow and controlled emphasizes the chest, at least it has for me.
However for chest size their are much better options than bench, dumbbells for one, and ring push ups, as well as dips.
But, the research (and my personal experience and that working with dozens of clients) does not support this logic. The ideal grip for maximum pec recruitment during the bench press is approximately 1.5X that of the acromial span (about 1.5 times shoulder width. Anything wider and the emphasis shifts to the anterior delts, closer and you get more triceps.
Keeping the elbows flared out to 90 degrees is problematic for two reasons. First, and of importance to the orriginal question, it places the emphasis on the front deltoids and off the pecs. Second, and of importance to health, it decreases the space between the acromium and head of the humerus, resulting in supraspinatus (and possibly biceps tendon) impingement and leading to tendonitis. In simple terms, it causes the tendon of the rotator cuff to get grinded between head of the upper arm bone and that bones process you feel at the top outside of your shoulder. Over time that grinding inflames and damages the tendon, and can lead to a host of shoulder issues.
For those interested, I have a good article discussing everything I described above in more detail. PM me your email and I can send it.
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