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Thread: Bench press advice

  1. #1
    Nooob ...but dedicated!
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    Bench press advice

    Last night I noticed that my form may have been off since I started working out.

    I saw a guy who is obviously good at bench press (Pushing way more than I do). He kept his elbows out instead of tucked in at his side. If you looked down on him his elbows would be directly under the bar. When I press my elbows are down...closer to my body.

    What is the correct way? I tried it his way and by the 3rd set it seemed that I was able to push more weight. Normallyt by set 3 I am struggling. Not to mention my chest seemed to take on more of the lift instead of tris doing alot of the work.

    Is this all in my head or did I find a glitch in my form?

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  2. #2
    Addicted to Adrenaline LevesqueIsKing's Avatar
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    Yes, this is correct form. Your arms should be out, shadowing the bar. Sounds like you were doing a close grip bp, which, supporting your statement, works the tris primarily and the chest secondarily. Good work finding your own mistakes.

  3. #3
    Nooob ...but dedicated!
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    yeah not bad...I have only been doing it wrong for a year now. My shoulders and tris have made good progress but my chest...not so much.

    Oh well...better late than never.
    Last edited by humidityhater; 04-03-2007 at 11:03 AM.
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  4. #4
    Former Fatass Unreal's Avatar
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    I was told just the opposite Saturday night when I was doing chest. A powerlifter guy came over and said you want your elbows close to your body. Having them flared out puts more stress and work on your shoulders.
    Nick V

  5. #5
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unreal View Post
    I was told just the opposite Saturday night when I was doing chest. A powerlifter guy came over and said you want your elbows close to your body. Having them flared out puts more stress and work on your shoulders.

    I thought the same.

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...ench+technique
    Last edited by Mik; 04-03-2007 at 11:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Addicted to Adrenaline LevesqueIsKing's Avatar
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    Well isnt this interesting. Personally, I really think that its up to the lifter. Having your elbows in puts the stress on your tris and having your elbows out puts the stress on your chest, and apparently your shoulders aswell. So, to some degree its self-preferance, but I do know that having your elbows against your side is cg bp form which works the tris primarily.
    I really dont think it is that big of a deal, and that is why I always went with w/e felt right. Ive always done elbows out, but I might try some variations next time im benching and see if anything else feels better.

    EDIT: Mik: I think this is what you wanted us to find out of that link:
    Keep the elbows tucked and the bar directly over the wrists and elbows.

    This is probably the most important aspect of great pressing technique. The elbows must remain tucked to keep the bar in a straight line as explained above. Keeping the elbows tucked will also allow lifters to use their lats to drive the bar off the chest. Football players are taught to drive their opponents with their elbows tucked, then explode through. This is the same for bench pressing. Bench pressing is all about generating force. You can generate far more force with your elbows in a tucked position compared to an "elbows out" position.

    The most important aspect of this is to keep the barbell in a direct line with the elbow. If the barbell is behind the elbow toward the head, then the arm position becomes similar to an extension, not a press.
    Dont those two paragraphs contradict themselves? Here, Ill show you, and correct me if I'm wrong:

    1st Paragraph:
    Bench pressing is all about generating force. You can generate far more force with your elbows in a tucked position compared to an "elbows out" position.
    2nd Paragraph:
    The most important aspect of this is to keep the barbell in a direct line with the elbow.
    Last edited by LevesqueIsKing; 04-03-2007 at 11:19 AM.

  7. #7
    Grammar Nazi BG5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humidityhater View Post
    I saw a guy who is obviously good at bench press (Pushing way more than I do).
    Just because someone is lifting more than you doesn't mean they are doing it correctly or better than you.
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  8. #8
    Getting un-streamlined Progress's Avatar
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    Most powerlifting training suggests tucked elbows, not flared. Not sure if this makes the conversation better or worse.

  9. #9
    Team Chesticles! Unholy's Avatar
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    Flared elbows will kill your shoulders. Tuck your elbows in. Not too much just not flared out like a T.
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  10. #10
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Elbows can be "tucked" but still move in a direct line with the bar. As progress suggested don't flare your elbows out. Hope that makes sense.

  11. #11
    female teaturtle's Avatar
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    I have a similar question...... I do bench w/ my elbows tucked but from that link, where it says "keep the BB in a direct line w/ your elbow", i have a problem with doing that.
    If i have the BB parallel to my elbows, then the BB is too far from me (it's about where my ribcage is haha)

    Soooooo........??
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  12. #12
    Team Chesticles! Unholy's Avatar
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    I don't know, I benched with some powerlifters yesterday and they had me touching the bar to my sternum. Which is lower then I normally do it.
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  13. #13
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teaturtle View Post
    I have a similar question...... I do bench w/ my elbows tucked but from that link, where it says "keep the BB in a direct line w/ your elbow", i have a problem with doing that.
    If i have the BB parallel to my elbows, then the BB is too far from me (it's about where my ribcage is haha)

    Soooooo........??
    I found benching to my lower pecs/upper abs more comfortable and seem to be stronger.

  14. #14
    female teaturtle's Avatar
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    Its more comfortable for me too, but I heard that the further you bench from your pecs puts more stress on your shoulders?
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  15. #15
    Team Chesticles! Unholy's Avatar
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    nope, just more tricep involvement. Flaring the elbows out and benching higher up on the chest is more likely to screw you over as far as your shoulders are concerned.
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  16. #16
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    the two styles have there own place, some bench shirts require a elbows tucked in and some require it out.
    i would not say either method is bad, it depends on your tecneque, build, arch, belley, shirt ect.

  17. #17
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unholy View Post
    nope, just more tricep involvement. Flaring the elbows out and benching higher up on the chest is more likely to screw you over as far as your shoulders are concerned.
    :withstupi

  18. #18
    female teaturtle's Avatar
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    Ok so it's best to keep elbows tucked in and further away from face?
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  19. #19
    Team Chesticles! Unholy's Avatar
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    I keep them at a 45 degree angle to my body if that makes sense.
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  20. #20
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unholy View Post
    I keep them at a 45 degree angle to my body if that makes sense.
    Do you think you could be for any more posts!!!!!!!!!

  21. #21
    Team Chesticles! Unholy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik View Post
    Do you think you could be for any more posts!!!!!!!!!
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  22. #22
    Nooob ...but dedicated!
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    Wow ...no I am really confused. I seamed to be stronger with my elbows out directly under the bar. However that probably changed where the bar was raised and lowered over my chest. Maybe it has nothing to do with elbows so much as the place on your chest that the bar raises and lowers (over sternum, abs or upper pecs). I'll need to check this closely next week.
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  23. #23
    shot a man in reno Mik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unholy View Post
    Everytime I go to post a reply you've beat me to it with pretty much the same comment.

  24. #24
    Breaker of Skulls Guido's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mik View Post
    Everytime I go to post a reply you've beat me to it with pretty much the same comment.
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  25. #25
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    I got told that having elbows out mirroring the bar on the way down would tear the rotator cuffs to shreds.

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