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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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How far do you go?

How far do you guys go down on a bench press? When I started hittin the gym a few months ago I just assumed that you were supposed to kind of bounce the bar off your chest, but since then, a buddy has told me that he likes to let it down to about a hand's width (~4-5") from his chest and then push it back up. I started trying this and i seem to like it better. It even seems a little harder towards the end of the set because I'm doing the work to stop the weight, instead of letting my chest stop it. When i was hitting my chest, i always had a straining feeling in my inner chest, probably due to my long arms and small chest i guess. It felt like my elbows were about touching the floor! Any input is appreciated

-Brent-

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 09:47 PM
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I don't know the correct way but when it touch my chest thats the time to bring it up. I don't let it bounce, just touch.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 09:52 PM
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By no means am I an expert, but I think you should do whatever you feel most comfortable with. Unless you're going to compete somewhere I don't really think there is an exact right way to do things since everyone is different. I would say boucing the bar off the chest is not really helping you out much though. Just make sure your shoulders are nice and warmed up before you bring the weight down deep. Maybe take a wider grip????
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 10:38 PM
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bounce?? um... no..
you lower i slowly till it touches your chest.. and then straight up. no slamming into your chest..
the correct form for flat bench is to grab the bar wide enough so that when your upper arm is parralell to the ground, your forarm is at 90*

like this..
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 11:00 PM
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Yeah whitelightning is correct (of course). You should lower the bar steadily untill it TOUCHES your chest. Do not bounce that shit, why the hell would you even think of doing that? After the bar is touching your chest (dont rest it either) proceed to press the bar untill your elbows are locked out. Then repeat. As for grip, everyones different, and how wide/close your grip is has an effect on which muscles are getting the majority of the work (like triceps, or pecs).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 11:26 PM
 
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how far

theres is really no reason to go farther than a 90 degree angle
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang dude347
theres is really no reason to go farther than a 90 degree angle
If you are working narrow grip bench then you do.

Silverfox you must have a death wish bouncing that shit off your chest. I've broken a rib when I was doing incline back in highschool because I let the weight down too fast and hit the bone right. Everyone in the room could hear the snap and thank god I had a good spotter .

I see those guys all the time here at the university gym that do the little thing where you go down 5" and then back up (in WL's case that actually is all the way down ), that ain't doing shit for you in the long run. But I'm no expert so don't trust me...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 08:27 AM
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If you are not touching your chest you are not doing a complete set. Many people only go part way because they can lift a lot more like that. If touching your chest is farther than 90* then you need to widen your grip.

There is a guy at my gym that is always benching tons of weight for a little guy. But I watched him one day. He lifts the weight off the rack, lowers it about 3" and then raises it back up again. After about 6 of those he gets up, struts around the gym for 5 minutes and then goes back for another set, meanwhile tying up the bench for about an hour.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 08:33 AM
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The only reason to not touch your chest is to take some stress off of your shoulder. If you have had a shoulder injury going all the way down can hurt like a bitch.

Why would you do heavier weight and not go all the way down though? IMO you'd want to do a little bit less weight and do it right.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AL P
The only reason to not touch your chest is to take some stress off of your shoulder. If you have had a shoulder injury going all the way down can hurt like a bitch.

<--I've got a shoulder injury from back in high school and I do say that if I don't do every rep right then I can mess it up for 3-4 weeks; That's the reason why i'm doing a lower weight.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang dude347
theres is really no reason to go farther than a 90 degree angle

LOL! You must be the skinny little guy at my my gym that un-racks three plates, and then brings it down about four inches.


Control the bar down until it touches (not bounces) the chest, and then control the movement back up. Unless you forearms are an inch and a half long, you will be going past 90*.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stangcrazy
<--I've got a shoulder injury from back in high school and I do say that if I don't do every rep right then I can mess it up for 3-4 weeks; That's the reason why i'm doing a lower weight.
Experiment with your grip and you can possibly help avoid that. I find that after I go past a certian width with my fingers that I start to stress my shoulders too much. With me, that point is where I put my ring finger on the line in the knurling on the bar. I used to go wider than that and could do more weight but my shoulders would get tweaked all the time.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 08:37 PM
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im 5'7".. but im 5'10" tip to tip.. i normaly bench with my ring finger on the "ring" ( about a foot or less from the plates).. when i go over 4 plates.. i scoot my grip just a tad wider.. so taht my index finger is on the ring..
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys, i think i gotta better idea of what's going on, but I guess i should've chosen my words more carefully in my first post. I didn't literally mean i was letting the bar rebound off my chest cavity, i just meant i was letting it come in contact w/ my chest, then exploding the weight upward. i think "bounce" was painting a wrong mental image, sorry for the confusion. what i was doing looks pretty much like the gif that Whitelightning posted (except w/ a lot of those 45's missing!). Thanks for the tips,

-Brent-

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White_lightning
bounce?? um... no..
you lower i slowly till it touches your chest.. and then straight up. no slamming into your chest..
the correct form for flat bench is to grab the bar wide enough so that when your upper arm is parralell to the ground, your forarm is at 90*

like this..
hes rite
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