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Thread: Only going ~90 degrees on pressing movements?

  1. #1
    Gaglione Strength Chris Rodgers's Avatar
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    Jan 2001

    Only going ~90 degrees on pressing movements?

    I have been in and out of many different commercial gyms over the last 10 years or so. I am curious how many people on this board do their pressing movements 90 degrees or less? Basically, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS see people benching, DB pressing, OH pressing, etc. and only going down until their lower and upper arm hit 90 degrees(or sometimes even less) and then press back up. Some of these people are total newbs, some don't look like anything impressive and yet others are older lifters who have obviously put their time in and some that are just completely yoked up. I realize there is a million different ways to train and perform exercises, but what is everyone's motivation for doing this...other than the ego boost? It's funny when people say they bench or press "XXX" amount of weight and yet it is like they are doing a rack lockout or board press. Also, keep squats out of this thread, I could go on and on for days about what I have seen with those in the gyms I have been to. This is about upper body movements only.

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  2. #2
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    There was a post about this a couple of days ago. Some of the "bodybuilder" types believe they will keep constant tension on the muscles with this technique (shortened range of motion). Also, like you said, some people boost their ego with it too. For the record, I believe in using a full range of motion.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member ELmx479's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    I hear people say that all the time, don't go down all the way or you will hurt your shoulders. Whatever works best for your goals while keeping you injury free is the way to go. I notice that Ronnie Coleman uses a pretty good range of motion while keeping tension on the muscle during the entire set. Like in this video...
    Last edited by ELmx479; 03-04-2010 at 06:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tnathletics2b's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    None of my friends who do it have a good reason...I think they just see other people at the gym do it and think that if everyone is doing it, that must be the right way.

    I perform at full range of motion because I would like to compete one day and you have to hit chest to count. Even if I wasn't wanting to compete, it would be a pride thing too because my PLing friends would bust my balls if I didn't go all the way down to chest.

    I agree with you about seeing people who are yoked doing stupid things. There are a couple of guys (read: bros) at the Y I train at and all they do is half reps and talk and yet they have the upper body of Greek gods. (Won't comment on lower body since we are supposed to stay away from the squat topic...)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Save your shoulders! 90 degrees is a little high, but most people's shoulder joints can't take much more than a 70-80 degree extension under heavy weight. You may get better results from a full ROM, its a matter of how much risk you want to take.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    It depends on the reasoning, most don't have one. However narrow torso'd individuals especially those with long limbs are going to put their shoulders in extreme end range of motion to get the bar/dbell to chest/shoulders, and the moment of the force (the weight x it's perpendicular distance from it's point of application ie. the distance from the hand to the shoulder) is going to be greater in these individuals - so higher forces on compromised joints; not good.

    If you plan on competing in powelifting tough, but judicious reduction in range of motion in high risk individuals not competing is warranted.

  7. #7
    JERSEY IRON Brian C's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    The main reason is shoulder injury prevention. Also the whole constant tension thing. Its preached in the BB world that there is no reason or extra benefit in going past 90' when it comes to building muscle size. Being a powerlifter also, I obviously dont train this way, but I have back in the day and also train occassionally with people who do. The thing that gets me is when someone says they can bench say 315, but only descend to about 2 board height...well no you cant bench that much, you just use that much in your training. Theres a huge difference there. Just an example, Dave Tate no longer benches to the chest to help prevent any more shoulder injury.
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  8. #8
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    I am a tall lifter, I always go to chest. I take care of my shoulders, I stretch with dowels before/after benching, I do dynamic warm-ups EVERY time I lift and I see a chiropractor when joints get stuck. I have never had a shoulder injury (I don't bench big numbers though, and I don't bench a lot). I think as long as one takes care of their shoulders, understand the anatomy and mechanics of the shoulders and doesn't build their shoulders disproportionately, there is very little risk of injury from benching. 100% ROM, within your limits, that is my two cents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Unfortunately, the anatomy and mechanics of the shoulders is precisely why heavy benching with a long ROM can be dangerous for the joint.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMeat_Headx View Post
    Unfortunately, the anatomy and mechanics of the shoulders is precisely why heavy benching with a long ROM can be dangerous for the joint.
    This is true to a point, but unfortunately most people don't bench with correct technique. If someone wants to reduce the ROM and reduce shoulder strain they could simply learn to set-up correctly, arch, and tuck the elbows slightly to accomplish this. This would also provide an objective standard for a complete rep rather than trying to estimate if you are at 90 degrees in the middle of the set. I think this is a better solution for maintaining shoulder health than stopping at some arbitrary point in the ROM for those who don't have a history of shoulder problems.
    For those with a history of significant shoulder problems or those limiting the ROM for some other reason, this may not apply.

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