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listerofsmeg
September 28th 04, 12:15 PM
Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:

"Don't go so low!"

I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.

Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
"isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".

Other pearls of wisdom:

"Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
"don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
cuff killer!)

He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"

September 28th 04, 12:39 PM
On 28 Sep 2004 04:15:14 -0700,
(listerofsmeg) wrote:

>Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>
>"Don't go so low!"
>
>I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>
>Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
>is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
>should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
>it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
>construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
>to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
>"isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".
>
>Other pearls of wisdom:
>
>"Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
>"don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
>cuff killer!)
>
>He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
>to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"

What would be the best way to tell him that you don't want his
unsolicited advice?

Not that I object to unsolicited advice. One of the trainers at my
gym approached me after I finished doing DLs and front squats and told
me what I had been doing wrong. He was right and I told him I'd
happily accept his free advice anytime he felt like giving it.

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 12:57 PM
"listerofsmeg" > wrote in message
om...
> Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
> a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>
> "Don't go so low!"
>
> I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>
> Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
> is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
> should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
> it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
> construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
> to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
> "isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".
>
> Other pearls of wisdom:
>
> "Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
> "don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
> cuff killer!)
>
> He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
> to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"

PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
years). He has some valid points re possible impingment with full range
pressing - and overhead lifting can bother some people, too. But a lot of it
is dependent upon how your particular shoulder joint is constructed. A lot
of folks can get away with it for years with no trouble.

I bet he used the term 'acromial hook' a lot.

Kevin J. Coolidge
September 28th 04, 01:34 PM
"listerofsmeg" > wrote in message
om...
> Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
> a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>
> "Don't go so low!"
>
> I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>
> Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
> is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
> should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
> it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
> construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
> to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
> "isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".
>
> Other pearls of wisdom:
>
> "Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
> "don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
> cuff killer!)
>
> He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
> to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"

The purpose of the triceps is to extend the elbow. I don't know if touching
the chest put excess stress on the rotor cuffs or not, but since he got such
an obvious function of the triceps right, makes me wonder if he's a moron. I
once had dinner with the band Fuel, and you know what. I can't sing or play
an instrument to save my life. Who cares who else he knows.

September 28th 04, 01:37 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 06:57:12 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:

>
>"listerofsmeg" > wrote in message
om...
>> Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>> a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>>
>> "Don't go so low!"
>>
>> I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>>
>> Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
>> is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
>> should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
>> it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
>> construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
>> to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
>> "isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".
>>
>> Other pearls of wisdom:
>>
>> "Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
>> "don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
>> cuff killer!)
>>
>> He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
>> to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"
>
>PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
>years). He has some valid points re possible impingment with full range
>pressing - and overhead lifting can bother some people, too. But a lot of it
>is dependent upon how your particular shoulder joint is constructed. A lot
>of folks can get away with it for years with no trouble.
>
>I bet he used the term 'acromial hook' a lot.

I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
shoulders.

I never bench, but I do standing side-presses and military presses
("Arnold-style") with a DB and a KB. Using what I hope is
appropriate form and technique, I don't think I'm wasting my time by
performing this exercise.

September 28th 04, 01:44 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 12:34:34 GMT, "Kevin J. Coolidge" >
wrote:

>
>"listerofsmeg" > wrote in message
om...
>> Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>> a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>>
>> "Don't go so low!"
>>
>> I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>>
>> Turns out to be the new owner of the gym (it has been bought out and
>> is rapidly turning into a yuppie foo foo gym). He informs me that I
>> should not go below shoulder/elbows parrallel when doing inclines as
>> it will "pinch the rotator cuff". He then gave us a lecture on the
>> construction of the shoulder using as many medical terms as possible
>> to impress us. He also informed me that not going below parrallel will
>> "isolate the chest", as below parallel it is "all triceps".
>>
>> Other pearls of wisdom:
>>
>> "Shoulder presses are a waste of time"
>> "don't let the bar touch your chest when benching" (another rotator
>> cuff killer!)
>>
>> He also used to run his own PT business, and knows a trainer who "used
>> to train Shwarzenegger and Dorian Yates"
>
>The purpose of the triceps is to extend the elbow. I don't know if touching
>the chest put excess stress on the rotor cuffs or not, but since he got such
>an obvious function of the triceps right, makes me wonder if he's a moron. I
>once had dinner with the band Fuel, and you know what. I can't sing or play
>an instrument to save my life. Who cares who else he knows.

There are different reasons why one might want to bench. If someone
wants a stronger bench, s/he must build strong triceps, deltoids and
lats - not just strong pecs.

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 01:46 PM
> wrote in message


> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> shoulders.
>

I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint and
flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to do.

September 28th 04, 02:26 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:

>
> wrote in message
>
>
>> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
>> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
>> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
>> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
>> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
>> shoulders.
>>
>
>I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint and
>flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
>Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to do.


Muscle & Fitness
September 2001
Timothy Fritz, CSCS

Bench-Press ROM: Defining the end limits for optimal development

Q What is the proper technique for the bench press? How can I avoid
the lingering shoulder injuries that so many experienced lifters seem
to have acquired from years of pressing?

A As with any exercise, performing the bench press properly through
its full range of motion (ROM) is important for complete muscle
development. And while the bench press is a relatively simple
movement, you must use caution to prevent injury at the extreme ends
of the exercise. A good working knowledge of bench-press mechanics and
proper execution will enable you to safely get the most from the "big
daddy" of chest exercises.

Muscle Involvement

The principal muscles involved in the bench press are the pectoralis
major (pecs), anterior deltoids and the triceps. Several other muscles
of the chest, back and shoulders are involved as assistors and/or
stabilizers, but pec development is the primary goal.
Horizontal adduction -- movement of the outstretched arm across and in
front of the body -- is the most direct movement utilizing the
pectoralis major. Usually, using a barbell limits the degree of
horizontal adduction but provides greater safety, and allows the use
of heavier weights. In most cases, horizontal adduction should not
exceed the midline of the body (your elbow shouldn't pass below the
level of your shoulder). Beyond this point, emphasis of the movement
shifts from the pec muscles to the shoulder joints, a situation that's
neither beneficial nor desirable. Yet individuals who have longer arms
or flatter chests who have been instructed to touch their chests with
the bar will often commit this biomechanical crime.

Upper & Lower Limits

The start and finish positions of the bench press defines its ROM. The
downward movement of the press depends on chest size, as the bar can
only be lowered until it meets the chest. This isn't necessarily the
right ROM endpoint for everyone, however. Depending on your physical
dimensions and the length of your limbs, touching the bar to your
chest might exceed your physical limits. Most importantly, your
shoulders should be pulled back (like you're trying to pinch your
shoulder blades together) to put your pecs in a prestretched position
and extend the ROM. This simple move is crucial for maintaining
tension in the pecs throughout the movement and eliminates the need to
extend the ROM by opening the shoulder joints.

Just as excessive horizontal adduction can put undue stress on the
shoulders, a grip that's too wide or too narrow can do the same thing.
Ideally, the proper grip width will put approximately a 90-degree
angle in the elbow joints when the upper arms are in the bottom
position (about parallel to the floor). If you're uncertain, play it
safe by stopping the downward movement when your elbows pass the back
of your shoulders.

After you hit the bottom of your ROM, push the bar up and back
slightly so the finish position is over your shoulders (rather than
over the lower portion of your pecs). If you push the bar straight up,
the tension shifts from your pecs to your triceps. At the top of the
movement your arms should be fully extended, but not locked, to keep
tension on the muscles.

Final Word

The bench press is a safe and useful exercise for chest growth.
Dumbbell and cable movements are good supplemental exercises for
increased ROM and overall development. But more isn't always better,
so be careful not to take any movement farther than your body can
safely tolerate.

Lee Michaels
September 28th 04, 02:27 PM
"Kevin J. Coolidge" > wrote
>
> I
> once had dinner with the band Fuel, and you know what. I can't sing or
play
> an instrument to save my life.

So, that learning by osmosis thing didn't work out for you??

spodosaurus
September 28th 04, 02:51 PM
Jim Ranieri wrote:

> PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
> years). He has some valid points re possible
^^^^^

I didn't realise gay marriage was legal 18 years ago, Jim :-)


--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

Dally
September 28th 04, 02:53 PM
spodosaurus wrote:

> Jim Ranieri wrote:
>
>> PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
>> years). He has some valid points re possible
>
> ^^^^^
>
> I didn't realise gay marriage was legal 18 years ago, Jim :-)

Doesn't matter whether it was legal or not, people have been marrying in
their hearts since forever. (Look up "Boston Marriage".)

But I think Jim was using his wife's comments to refer to the PT's
opinions. :-)

Dally

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 03:08 PM
"spodosaurus" > wrote in message
...
> Jim Ranieri wrote:
>
> > PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
> > years). He has some valid points re possible
> ^^^^^
>
> I didn't realise gay marriage was legal 18 years ago, Jim :-)
>

Hey, you know what we're all gay as...

(ya wise-ass)

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 03:36 PM
> wrote in message
...
> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > wrote:
>
> >
> > wrote in message
> >
> >
> >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
> >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
> >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> >> shoulders.
> >>
> >
> >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint
and
> >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
> >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to
do.
>
>

<snip Muscle & Fiction cite>

I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info and
not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are going to
make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
length / chest thickness.

spodosaurus
September 28th 04, 03:52 PM
Dally wrote:
> spodosaurus wrote:
>
>> Jim Ranieri wrote:
>>
>>> PT's are very cautious about shoulders (I've been married to one for 18
>>> years). He has some valid points re possible
>>
>>
>> ^^^^^
>>
>> I didn't realise gay marriage was legal 18 years ago, Jim :-)
>
>
> Doesn't matter whether it was legal or not, people have been marrying in
> their hearts since forever. (Look up "Boston Marriage".)
>
> But I think Jim was using his wife's comments to refer to the PT's
> opinions. :-)
>
> Dally
>

Dally said "Where's a forest when you need one? All I see are these
damned trees everywhere."

hehe

--
spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 03:53 PM
In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:

> > wrote in message
> ...
> > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > wrote in message
> > >
> > >
> > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
> > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
> > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > >> shoulders.
> > >>
> > >
> > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint
> and
> > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
> > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to
> do.
> >
> >
>
> <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
>
> I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info and
> not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are going to
> make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> length / chest thickness.

Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
(arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
cuff muscles.

IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
problems if you use extremely heavy weights.

OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.

Lee Michaels
September 28th 04, 04:24 PM
"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...
> In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > wrote:
>
> > > wrote in message
> > ...
> > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not
to
> > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with
the
> > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > >> shoulders.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder
joint
> > and
> > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
observation.
> > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend
to
> > do.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> >
> > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
and
> > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
going to
> > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > length / chest thickness.
>
> Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> cuff muscles.
>
> IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
>
> OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.

And I assume that using a Scap Bench would help alleviate this problem.

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 04:50 PM
In article <[email protected]_s53>, "Lee Michaels"
> wrote:

> "Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
> ...
> > In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > ...
> > > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > wrote in message
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not
> to
> > > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with
> the
> > > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > > >> shoulders.
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder
> joint
> > > and
> > > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
> observation.
> > > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend
> to
> > > do.
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> > >
> > > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
> and
> > > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
> going to
> > > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > > length / chest thickness.
> >
> > Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> > (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> > the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> > cuff muscles.
> >
> > IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> > problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
> >
> > OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> > would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> > sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> > than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
>
> And I assume that using a Scap Bench would help alleviate this problem.

That is the costly solution. Simpler solution - rest on your upper traps
and get your mid back off the bench.

Or use a board(s) on your chest. Or do an incline bench instead. I really
don't think the bench press is a great general exercise. Of course, part
of the reason is it's popularity and people feel compelled to see how much
weight they can use. That problem can happen with any exercise.

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 05:33 PM
"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...
> In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > wrote:
>
> > > wrote in message
> > ...
> > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not
to
> > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with
the
> > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > >> shoulders.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder
joint
> > and
> > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
observation.
> > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend
to
> > do.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> >
> > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
and
> > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
going to
> > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > length / chest thickness.
>
> Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> cuff muscles.
>
> IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
>
> OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.

That makes sense that allowing the scapulae to adduct during the movement
would reduce the amount of movement required in the shoulder joint. Which
would be a good thing.

As for keeping the shoulders healthy by progressively increasing the ROM
on the bench - as I understand it, aside from things like a hooked acromion
(sp?) which isn't going to change regardless of your workout program, one
reason people tend to have shoulder issues is due to overdeveloping the
anterior deltoid which affects the way the shoulder joint moves in the
socket. So, rather than progressively working to increase the ROM on the
bench, my vote would be for developing the posterior deltoid - as well as
doing those ridiculous looking short-arc rotator exercises.

(shouldn't Freides be chiming in about now?)

Steve Freides
September 28th 04, 05:59 PM
"Jim Ranieri" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
> ...
>> In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
>> > wrote:
>>
>> > > wrote in message
>> > ...
>> > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
>> > > > wrote:
>> > >
>> > > >
>> > > > wrote in message
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would
>> > > >> depend on
>> > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and
>> > > >> criteria.
>> > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you
>> > > >> not
> to
>> > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench
>> > > >> with
> the
>> > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on
>> > > >> the
>> > > >> shoulders.
>> > > >>
>> > > >
>> > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the
>> > > >shoulder
> joint
>> > and
>> > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
> observation.
>> > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's
>> > > >tend
> to
>> > do.
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
>> >
>> > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general
>> > info
> and
>> > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
> going to
>> > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's
>> > limb
>> > length / chest thickness.
>>
>> Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
>> (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which
>> allows
>> the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the
>> rotator
>> cuff muscles.
>>
>> IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
>> problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
>>
>> OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other
>> I
>> would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but
>> I'm not
>> sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy
>> more
>> than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
>
> That makes sense that allowing the scapulae to adduct during the
> movement
> would reduce the amount of movement required in the shoulder joint.
> Which
> would be a good thing.
>
> As for keeping the shoulders healthy by progressively increasing the
> ROM
> on the bench - as I understand it, aside from things like a hooked
> acromion
> (sp?) which isn't going to change regardless of your workout program,
> one
> reason people tend to have shoulder issues is due to overdeveloping
> the
> anterior deltoid which affects the way the shoulder joint moves in the
> socket. So, rather than progressively working to increase the ROM on
> the
> bench, my vote would be for developing the posterior deltoid - as well
> as
> doing those ridiculous looking short-arc rotator exercises.
>
> (shouldn't Freides be chiming in about now?)

Ding! Nothing else to add, though.

-S-
http://www.kbnj.com


>
>

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 06:03 PM
In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:

> "Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
> ...
> > In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > ...
> > > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > wrote in message
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not
> to
> > > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with
> the
> > > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > > >> shoulders.
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder
> joint
> > > and
> > > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
> observation.
> > > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend
> to
> > > do.
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> > >
> > > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
> and
> > > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
> going to
> > > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > > length / chest thickness.
> >
> > Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> > (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> > the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> > cuff muscles.
> >
> > IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> > problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
> >
> > OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> > would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> > sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> > than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
>
> That makes sense that allowing the scapulae to adduct during the movement
> would reduce the amount of movement required in the shoulder joint. Which
> would be a good thing.
>
> As for keeping the shoulders healthy by progressively increasing the ROM
> on the bench - as I understand it, aside from things like a hooked acromion
> (sp?) which isn't going to change regardless of your workout program, one
> reason people tend to have shoulder issues is due to overdeveloping the
> anterior deltoid which affects the way the shoulder joint moves in the
> socket. So, rather than progressively working to increase the ROM on the
> bench, my vote would be for developing the posterior deltoid - as well as
> doing those ridiculous looking short-arc rotator exercises.
>
> (shouldn't Freides be chiming in about now?)

Yeah, the medial and posterior delts should also be worked. Probably more
important to focus on the posterior delt.

Jim Ranieri
September 28th 04, 06:05 PM
"Steve Freides" > wrote in message


> > (shouldn't Freides be chiming in about now?)
>
> Ding! Nothing else to add, though.
>
> -S-
> http://www.kbnj.com
>


Nice. :-)

bc
September 28th 04, 07:16 PM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in message >...
> In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > wrote:
>
> > > wrote in message
> > ...
> > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
> > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
> > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > >> shoulders.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint
> and
> > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
> > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to
> do.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> >
> > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info and
> > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are going to
> > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > length / chest thickness.
>
> Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> cuff muscles.
>
> IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
>
> OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.

OK, so I'm doing only db bench presses right now. Not super heavy,
even for me, just enough to not quite make it to 8 reps on my 3rd set.

Two questions:
1. I don't feel any discomfort, but I also notice that I'm naturally
limiting the motion a little higher than I would with a barbell. IOW,
I don't think that a bar between the centers of the db's would be
touching my chest at the bottom. Am I NOT going as low as I should
be?

2. I find that the last couple of reps per set are aided by focusing
on tensing my back to contract my scapulae towards each other to get
to lock out. The difference being that I leave my back flat on the
bench for the first reps, but when the going gets tough, I can get out
a couple more by focusing on driving my shoulder blades into the bench
while finishing the lifts. Is this bad?

- bc

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 07:28 PM
In article >,
(bc) wrote:

> (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
>...
> > In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > wrote:
> >
> > > > wrote in message
> > > ...
> > > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > wrote in message
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
> > > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
> > > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
> > > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
> > > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > > >> shoulders.
> > > > >>
> > > > >
> > > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the
shoulder joint
> > and
> > > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
observation.
> > > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's
tend to
> > do.
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> > >
> > > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info and
> > > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
going to
> > > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > > length / chest thickness.
> >
> > Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> > (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> > the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> > cuff muscles.
> >
> > IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> > problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
> >
> > OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> > would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm not
> > sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy more
> > than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
>
> OK, so I'm doing only db bench presses right now. Not super heavy,
> even for me, just enough to not quite make it to 8 reps on my 3rd set.
>
> Two questions:
> 1. I don't feel any discomfort, but I also notice that I'm naturally
> limiting the motion a little higher than I would with a barbell. IOW,
> I don't think that a bar between the centers of the db's would be
> touching my chest at the bottom. Am I NOT going as low as I should
> be?

Can't tell from that description. Maybe can't tell from any description.
If you are comfortable and not limiting the ROM for the sake of building
your ego I think you are probably okay. I don't think it is really that
critical to try and go lower.
>
> 2. I find that the last couple of reps per set are aided by focusing
> on tensing my back to contract my scapulae towards each other to get
> to lock out. The difference being that I leave my back flat on the
> bench for the first reps, but when the going gets tough, I can get out
> a couple more by focusing on driving my shoulder blades into the bench
> while finishing the lifts. Is this bad?

I don't see how adducting your scapulae would aid in lockout. I think it
sounds like you are creating more force with the triceps and simply
driving the scapulae into the bench. So while that may be your mental
image it isn't because of scapulae adduction.

I tell people who are max benching that they should focus on trying to
drive their upper back and neck through the bench. Everything in the
mid-back should be contracted as much as possible during the eccentric
phase. During the actual press drive down and imagine the bar can't move.

Will
September 28th 04, 07:47 PM
In article >,
(Keith Hobman) wrote:

> In article >,
> (bc) wrote:
>
> > (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
> >...
> > > In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > > wrote in message
> > > > ...
> > > > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > wrote in message
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend
> > > > > >> on
> > > > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and
> > > > > >> criteria.
> > > > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not
> > > > > >> to
> > > > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with
> > > > > >> the
> > > > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > > > >> shoulders.
> > > > > >>
> > > > > >
> > > > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the
> shoulder joint
> > > and
> > > > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
> observation.
> > > > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's
> tend to
> > > do.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> > > >
> > > > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
> > > > and
> > > > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
> going to
> > > > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > > > length / chest thickness.
> > >
> > > Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> > > (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> > > the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> > > cuff muscles.
> > >
> > > IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> > > problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
> > >
> > > OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> > > would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm
> > > not
> > > sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy
> > > more
> > > than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
> >
> > OK, so I'm doing only db bench presses right now. Not super heavy,
> > even for me, just enough to not quite make it to 8 reps on my 3rd set.
> >
> > Two questions:
> > 1. I don't feel any discomfort, but I also notice that I'm naturally
> > limiting the motion a little higher than I would with a barbell. IOW,
> > I don't think that a bar between the centers of the db's would be
> > touching my chest at the bottom. Am I NOT going as low as I should
> > be?
>
> Can't tell from that description. Maybe can't tell from any description.
> If you are comfortable and not limiting the ROM for the sake of building
> your ego I think you are probably okay. I don't think it is really that
> critical to try and go lower.
> >
> > 2. I find that the last couple of reps per set are aided by focusing
> > on tensing my back to contract my scapulae towards each other to get
> > to lock out. The difference being that I leave my back flat on the
> > bench for the first reps, but when the going gets tough, I can get out
> > a couple more by focusing on driving my shoulder blades into the bench
> > while finishing the lifts. Is this bad?
>
> I don't see how adducting your scapulae would aid in lockout. I think it
> sounds like you are creating more force with the triceps and simply
> driving the scapulae into the bench. So while that may be your mental
> image it isn't because of scapulae adduction.

I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
sacpular retraction.

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 07:57 PM
In article >, Will
> wrote:

> In article >,
> (Keith Hobman) wrote:
>
> > In article >,
> > (bc) wrote:
> >
> > > (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
> > >...
> > > > In article >, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > > wrote in message
> > > > > ...
> > > > > > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> > > > > > > wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > wrote in message
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend
> > > > > > >> on
> > > > > > >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and
> > > > > > >> criteria.
> > > > > > >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told
you not
> > > > > > >> to
> > > > > > >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to
bench with
> > > > > > >> the
> > > > > > >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
> > > > > > >> shoulders.
> > > > > > >>
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the
> > shoulder joint
> > > > and
> > > > > > >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual
> > observation.
> > > > > > >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's
> > tend to
> > > > do.
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > <snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
> > > > >
> > > > > I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info
> > > > > and
> > > > > not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are
> > going to
> > > > > make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
> > > > > length / chest thickness.
> > > >
> > > > Fred Hatfield basically argues that getting the scapula off the bench
> > > > (arching IOW) allows the scapula to adduct (pinch together) which allows
> > > > the bar to touch the chest without retracting the arms with the rotator
> > > > cuff muscles.
> > > >
> > > > IOW - if you are doing a flat bench press you can cause rotator cuff
> > > > problems if you use extremely heavy weights.
> > > >
> > > > OTOH - rotator cuffs are muscles and tendons and adapt like any other I
> > > > would assume. They have become some trendy muscles to protect, but I'm
> > > > not
> > > > sure that sound progressive workouts won't keep the shoulders healthy
> > > > more
> > > > than limited ROM. Which may mean progressively working the bar down.
> > >
> > > OK, so I'm doing only db bench presses right now. Not super heavy,
> > > even for me, just enough to not quite make it to 8 reps on my 3rd set.
> > >
> > > Two questions:
> > > 1. I don't feel any discomfort, but I also notice that I'm naturally
> > > limiting the motion a little higher than I would with a barbell. IOW,
> > > I don't think that a bar between the centers of the db's would be
> > > touching my chest at the bottom. Am I NOT going as low as I should
> > > be?
> >
> > Can't tell from that description. Maybe can't tell from any description.
> > If you are comfortable and not limiting the ROM for the sake of building
> > your ego I think you are probably okay. I don't think it is really that
> > critical to try and go lower.
> > >
> > > 2. I find that the last couple of reps per set are aided by focusing
> > > on tensing my back to contract my scapulae towards each other to get
> > > to lock out. The difference being that I leave my back flat on the
> > > bench for the first reps, but when the going gets tough, I can get out
> > > a couple more by focusing on driving my shoulder blades into the bench
> > > while finishing the lifts. Is this bad?
> >
> > I don't see how adducting your scapulae would aid in lockout. I think it
> > sounds like you are creating more force with the triceps and simply
> > driving the scapulae into the bench. So while that may be your mental
> > image it isn't because of scapulae adduction.
>
> I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> sacpular retraction.

I thought of something similar and left it out - basically slightly
reducing the ROM. I suspect your point is valid, but still think most of
the effect is more from focus and getting elbow extension for the lockout.

But when you are near your limit every little bit makes a difference.

Nina
September 28th 04, 08:24 PM
On 28 Sep 2004 04:15:14 -0700,
(listerofsmeg) wrote:

>Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>
>"Don't go so low!"
>
>I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.

I'm more curious why he thought it was safer to yell at you mid-set
when you have a heavy bar above your chest rather than wait until
you're done and come over and discuss whatever he thought was the
issue.

Cheers,
Nina
delicious! evil! calorie free!
http://www.theslack.com

September 28th 04, 10:57 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 09:36:49 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:

>
> wrote in message
...
>> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
>> > wrote:
>>
>> >
>> > wrote in message
>> >
>> >
>> >> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
>> >> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
>> >> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
>> >> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
>> >> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
>> >> shoulders.
>> >>
>> >
>> >I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint
>and
>> >flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
>> >Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to
>do.
>>
>>
>
><snip Muscle & Fiction cite>
>
>I'm assuming that you posted that article as a source of general info and
>not as an attempt to refute the fact certain shoulder anatomies are going to
>make full ROM bench or OH presses inadvisable regardless of one's limb
>length / chest thickness.

Absolutely

September 28th 04, 11:48 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 13:26:17 GMT, wrote:

>On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 07:46:31 -0500, "Jim Ranieri"
> wrote:
>
>>
> wrote in message
>>
>>
>>> I guess with benching that the correct ROM endpoint would depend on
>>> chest size, limb length and other physical dimensions and criteria.
>>> Maybe this guy assessed your particular situation and told you not to
>>> let the bar touch your chest. Other folks know how to bench with the
>>> bar touching their chests without putting excessive stress on the
>>> shoulders.
>>>
>>
>>I believe it's more a function of the construction of the shoulder joint and
>>flexibility. Not something that can be determined by casual observation.
>>Probably more of an 'err on the side of caution' thing that PT's tend to do.
>
>
>Muscle & Fitness
>September 2001
>Timothy Fritz, CSCS
>
>Bench-Press ROM: Defining the end limits for optimal development
>
>Q What is the proper technique for the bench press? How can I avoid
>the lingering shoulder injuries that so many experienced lifters seem
>to have acquired from years of pressing?
>
>A As with any exercise, performing the bench press properly through
>its full range of motion (ROM) is important for complete muscle
>development. And while the bench press is a relatively simple
>movement, you must use caution to prevent injury at the extreme ends
>of the exercise. A good working knowledge of bench-press mechanics and
>proper execution will enable you to safely get the most from the "big
>daddy" of chest exercises.
>
>Muscle Involvement
>
>The principal muscles involved in the bench press are the pectoralis
>major (pecs), anterior deltoids and the triceps. Several other muscles
>of the chest, back and shoulders are involved as assistors and/or
>stabilizers, but pec development is the primary goal.
>Horizontal adduction -- movement of the outstretched arm across and in
>front of the body -- is the most direct movement utilizing the
>pectoralis major. Usually, using a barbell limits the degree of
>horizontal adduction but provides greater safety, and allows the use
>of heavier weights. In most cases, horizontal adduction should not
>exceed the midline of the body (your elbow shouldn't pass below the
>level of your shoulder). Beyond this point, emphasis of the movement
>shifts from the pec muscles to the shoulder joints, a situation that's
>neither beneficial nor desirable. Yet individuals who have longer arms
>or flatter chests who have been instructed to touch their chests with
>the bar will often commit this biomechanical crime.
>
>Upper & Lower Limits
>
>The start and finish positions of the bench press defines its ROM. The
>downward movement of the press depends on chest size, as the bar can
>only be lowered until it meets the chest. This isn't necessarily the
>right ROM endpoint for everyone, however. Depending on your physical
>dimensions and the length of your limbs, touching the bar to your
>chest might exceed your physical limits. Most importantly, your
>shoulders should be pulled back (like you're trying to pinch your
>shoulder blades together) to put your pecs in a prestretched position
>and extend the ROM. This simple move is crucial for maintaining
>tension in the pecs throughout the movement and eliminates the need to
>extend the ROM by opening the shoulder joints.
>
>Just as excessive horizontal adduction can put undue stress on the
>shoulders, a grip that's too wide or too narrow can do the same thing.
>Ideally, the proper grip width will put approximately a 90-degree
>angle in the elbow joints when the upper arms are in the bottom
>position (about parallel to the floor). If you're uncertain, play it
>safe by stopping the downward movement when your elbows pass the back
>of your shoulders.
>
>After you hit the bottom of your ROM, push the bar up and back
>slightly so the finish position is over your shoulders (rather than
>over the lower portion of your pecs). If you push the bar straight up,
>the tension shifts from your pecs to your triceps. At the top of the
>movement your arms should be fully extended, but not locked, to keep
>tension on the muscles.
>
>Final Word
>
>The bench press is a safe and useful exercise for chest growth.
>Dumbbell and cable movements are good supplemental exercises for
>increased ROM and overall development. But more isn't always better,
>so be careful not to take any movement farther than your body can
>safely tolerate.

I'm not sure how to reconcile Tim Fritz's advice with what Ken Kinakin
(author of Optimal Muscle Training) has to say about barbell bench
pressing.

According to Fritz, "Ideally, the proper grip width will put
approximately a 90-degree angle in the elbow joints when the upper
arms are in the bottom position (about parallel to the floor)."

Kinakin writes that a barbell bench press with upper arms at 90
degrees to the body "places increased stress on the shoulder capsule.
The benefit is increased stress on the pectoral muscles. This is
commonly called the bodybuilding style."

Alternatively, the benefit of the barbell bench press with upper arms
at 45 degrees to the body is "increased power with decreased stress on
the shoulder joint and capsule. This is commonly called the
powerlifting style."

In the illustrations, the grip width with upper arms at 45 degrees to
the body appears only slightly wider than the grip width with arms at
90 degrees to the body. Kinakin makes it clear that the BB BP wide
hand grip places the wrist under stress because of the angle to the
forearm (while allowing a shorter arm stroke for lifting a heavier
weight). In the illustrations, the wide hand grip is significantly
wider than the medium-width hand grip.

My question is whether one can BP with upper arms at 45 degrees to the
body without increasing the grip width to such an extent that it
excessively stresses the wrist. Is it basically a matter of adjusting
one's bench to several critical anatomical factors, e.g. long vs short
arms and weak vs strong pecs, front delts, and triceps?

With respect to limiting strain on the shoulder joints, Kinakin (and
many others) points out that the high-chest contact point isn't wise.
Kinakin writes: "The risk is increased stress on the shoulder capsule
and A/C joint. The benefit is a small increase in stress on the upper
pectoral muscle."

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 12:49 AM
wrote:

> According to Fritz, "Ideally, the proper grip width will put
> approximately a 90-degree angle in the elbow joints when the upper
> arms are in the bottom position (about parallel to the floor)."
>
> Kinakin writes that a barbell bench press with upper arms at 90
> degrees to the body "places increased stress on the shoulder capsule.
> The benefit is increased stress on the pectoral muscles. This is
> commonly called the bodybuilding style."

They are talking about completely different angles.

Fritz is talkning about hte angle of the forearm relsative to the upper arm.
Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative to the
torso.

An elbows flared bench press is a bodybuilder style bench. More pec
involvement but more shoulder problems potentially.

Elbows next to the torso is an extreme powerlifting bench, 45 degrees
relative ot the torso is more 'standard.

Basically, Fritz is talking about how far he thinks you should lower the
bar, Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative ot
the torso.

Lyle

September 29th 04, 02:34 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 17:49:30 -0600, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

wrote:
>
>> According to Fritz, "Ideally, the proper grip width will put
>> approximately a 90-degree angle in the elbow joints when the upper
>> arms are in the bottom position (about parallel to the floor)."
>>
>> Kinakin writes that a barbell bench press with upper arms at 90
>> degrees to the body "places increased stress on the shoulder capsule.
>> The benefit is increased stress on the pectoral muscles. This is
>> commonly called the bodybuilding style."
>
>They are talking about completely different angles.
>
>Fritz is talkning about hte angle of the forearm relsative to the upper arm.
>Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative to the
>torso.
>
>An elbows flared bench press is a bodybuilder style bench. More pec
>involvement but more shoulder problems potentially.
>
>Elbows next to the torso is an extreme powerlifting bench, 45 degrees
>relative ot the torso is more 'standard.
>
>Basically, Fritz is talking about how far he thinks you should lower the
>bar, Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative ot
>the torso.
>
>Lyle


Understood. Thanx.

John Hanson
September 29th 04, 03:41 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:47:26 -0700, Will >
wrote in misc.fitness.weights:

>
>I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
>the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
>involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
>this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
>what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
>presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
>for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
>sacpular retraction.

How much do you use on the 5 board and how much does the bar travel?
I once said that I seen no reason to do a 5 board but was corrected
when I was told they are for the people who have trouble with
lockouts. I have the opposite problem.

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 04:16 AM
Nina wrote:
> On 28 Sep 2004 04:15:14 -0700,
> (listerofsmeg) wrote:
>
>
>>Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>>a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>>
>>"Don't go so low!"
>>
>>I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>
>
> I'm more curious why he thought it was safer to yell at you mid-set
> when you have a heavy bar above your chest rather than wait until
> you're done and come over and discuss whatever he thought was the
> issue.

Same reason I've had people who knew me at the gym say hi while I was in
the middle of a set: people are ****ing morons.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 04:17 AM
Will wrote:

-=
> I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> sacpular retraction.

Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
meaning more pec involvement.

That'd be my guess as to what's going on.

Lyle

John Hanson
September 29th 04, 04:26 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 21:16:17 -0600, Lyle McDonald
> wrote in misc.fitness.weights:

>Nina wrote:
>> On 28 Sep 2004 04:15:14 -0700,
>> (listerofsmeg) wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Was doing some inclines with my workout partner last night when I hear
>>>a bellowing in my ear in the middle of my set:
>>>
>>>"Don't go so low!"
>>>
>>>I ignored the distraction as best I could and completed my set.
>>
>>
>> I'm more curious why he thought it was safer to yell at you mid-set
>> when you have a heavy bar above your chest rather than wait until
>> you're done and come over and discuss whatever he thought was the
>> issue.
>
>Same reason I've had people who knew me at the gym say hi while I was in
>the middle of a set: people are ****ing morons.
>
I dissed my buddy Shawn by not saying good bye and wishing him well on
his Lake Michigan fishing trip last night because I was in the middle
of alternating dumbbell curls for a set of 20 (or is that really 10)
because I didn't want to lose count.

Will
September 29th 04, 04:36 AM
In article >,
John Hanson > wrote:

> On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:47:26 -0700, Will >
> wrote in misc.fitness.weights:
>
> >
> >I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> >the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> >involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> >this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> >what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> >presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> >for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> >sacpular retraction.
>
> How much do you use on the 5 board and how much does the bar travel?
> I once said that I seen no reason to do a 5 board but was corrected
> when I was told they are for the people who have trouble with
> lockouts. I have the opposite problem.

Depends, sometimes I do them raw with a pinkies on ring grip. I'd say
about 6-8" ROM with weights in the mid-to-high 400s. Lately though I've
been doing my low board work raw pinkies on ring but my high board work
with a shirt and a competition grip (as wide as possible for me). Maybe
a 3-5" ROM and I've gone as high as 530. I wouldn't recommend shirted 5
board work to the exclusion of other work, but taking some time to
handle really supermaximal weights seems to have paid off in both my
lockout (I'm a pec bencher) and just keeping max full range attempts in
the groove.

Currently on Mondays I work up to a 1 RM full range in the shirt (got
440 yesterday and like my chances for 450 next week) and then back down
to 85-90% so that I get a total of 4 reps with at least 80% of my PR.
Then I'll do either 3, 4, or 5 boards, still in the shirt, also working
up to a 1 RM and adding down sets as needed so I get in 4 reps at 80% +.

On Thursdays I work up to a 3 RM raw with pinkies on rings, adding down
sets as above, and then a 3 RM raw with pinkies on the rings off of 1,
2, or 3 boards, again with down sets if needed to total 4 sets full
range and 4 sets off the boards at 80%+.

Will
September 29th 04, 04:38 AM
In article >,
Will > wrote:

> In article >,
> John Hanson > wrote:
>
> > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:47:26 -0700, Will >
> > wrote in misc.fitness.weights:
> >
> > >
> > >I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> > >the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> > >involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> > >this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> > >what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> > >presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> > >for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> > >sacpular retraction.
> >
> > How much do you use on the 5 board and how much does the bar travel?
> > I once said that I seen no reason to do a 5 board but was corrected
> > when I was told they are for the people who have trouble with
> > lockouts. I have the opposite problem.
>
> Depends, sometimes I do them raw with a pinkies on ring grip. I'd say
> about 6-8" ROM with weights in the mid-to-high 400s. Lately though I've
> been doing my low board work raw pinkies on ring but my high board work
> with a shirt and a competition grip (as wide as possible for me).

Edit: by "wide as possible" I mean "as wide as is legal".

John Hanson
September 29th 04, 04:51 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 20:38:25 -0700, Will >
wrote in misc.fitness.weights:

>In article >,
> Will > wrote:
>
>> In article >,
>> John Hanson > wrote:
>>
>> > On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:47:26 -0700, Will >
>> > wrote in misc.fitness.weights:
>> >
>> > >
>> > >I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
>> > >the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
>> > >involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
>> > >this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
>> > >what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
>> > >presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
>> > >for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
>> > >sacpular retraction.
>> >
>> > How much do you use on the 5 board and how much does the bar travel?
>> > I once said that I seen no reason to do a 5 board but was corrected
>> > when I was told they are for the people who have trouble with
>> > lockouts. I have the opposite problem.
>>
>> Depends, sometimes I do them raw with a pinkies on ring grip. I'd say
>> about 6-8" ROM with weights in the mid-to-high 400s. Lately though I've
>> been doing my low board work raw pinkies on ring but my high board work
>> with a shirt and a competition grip (as wide as possible for me).
>
>Edit: by "wide as possible" I mean "as wide as is legal".

You saved me a question.

Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
September 29th 04, 03:38 PM
Lyle McDonald wrote:
> wrote:
>
>> According to Fritz, "Ideally, the proper grip width will put
>> approximately a 90-degree angle in the elbow joints when the upper
>> arms are in the bottom position (about parallel to the floor)."
>>
>> Kinakin writes that a barbell bench press with upper arms at 90
>> degrees to the body "places increased stress on the shoulder capsule.
>> The benefit is increased stress on the pectoral muscles. This is
>> commonly called the bodybuilding style."
>
>
> They are talking about completely different angles.
>
> Fritz is talkning about hte angle of the forearm relsative to the upper
> arm.
> Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative to the
> torso.
>
> An elbows flared bench press is a bodybuilder style bench. More pec
> involvement but more shoulder problems potentially.
>
> Elbows next to the torso is an extreme powerlifting bench, 45 degrees
> relative ot the torso is more 'standard.
>
> Basically, Fritz is talking about how far he thinks you should lower the
> bar, Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative ot
> the torso.
>
> Lyle
>

This is really helpful for me to think about. I'll have to think about
where my elbows are when I lower the bar... I honestly have no idea.

I do spend time setting up by "pinching" my shoulder blades together and
when I have trouble raising the bar, I imagine a band pulling my upper
arms toward each other (something I read here a long time ago...) which
seems to help me use the pecs more, and I think about where the bar is
lowering (nipple level rather than collarbone), and I think about how
low I go (upper arm parallel to the floor)... IOW - I think about a lot
of things, but I never really thought about where my elbows go...
Hrmmmm. New focus point for my next workout.

Thanks.
Anna

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 10:26 PM
Anna Martelli Ravenscroft wrote:

> Lyle McDonald wrote:
>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> According to Fritz, "Ideally, the proper grip width will put
>>> approximately a 90-degree angle in the elbow joints when the upper
>>> arms are in the bottom position (about parallel to the floor)."
>>>
>>> Kinakin writes that a barbell bench press with upper arms at 90
>>> degrees to the body "places increased stress on the shoulder capsule.
>>> The benefit is increased stress on the pectoral muscles. This is
>>> commonly called the bodybuilding style."
>>
>>
>>
>> They are talking about completely different angles.
>>
>> Fritz is talkning about hte angle of the forearm relsative to the
>> upper arm.
>> Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm relative to the
>> torso.
>>
>> An elbows flared bench press is a bodybuilder style bench. More pec
>> involvement but more shoulder problems potentially.
>>
>> Elbows next to the torso is an extreme powerlifting bench, 45 degrees
>> relative ot the torso is more 'standard.
>>
>> Basically, Fritz is talking about how far he thinks you should lower
>> the bar, Kinakin is talking about the position of the upper arm
>> relative ot the torso.
>>
>> Lyle
>>
>
> This is really helpful for me to think about. I'll have to think about
> where my elbows are when I lower the bar... I honestly have no idea.
>
> I do spend time setting up by "pinching" my shoulder blades together and
> when I have trouble raising the bar, I imagine a band pulling my upper
> arms toward each other (something I read here a long time ago...) which
> seems to help me use the pecs more, and I think about where the bar is
> lowering (nipple level rather than collarbone), and I think about how
> low I go (upper arm parallel to the floor)... IOW - I think about a lot
> of things, but I never really thought about where my elbows go...
> Hrmmmm. New focus point for my next workout.

In general, I think the 45 degree rule of thumb is a good one. Or in
that range. You get reasonably even involvement of all muscle groups
without overly stressing the shoulder joint.

The high elbow bodybuilder style probably does use more pecs but can be
hell on the shoulder. I think a lot of bodybuilders get away with it by
not using extremely heavy weights.

Weirdly enough, Pattie (one of the powerliftesr I was training) was
stronger in a bodybuilder style bench then when we tried to bring her
elbows down lower to her torso. So I gave up trying to 'fix' it and
just let her go.

Elbows besides the body is more for triceps benchers, a lot of the real
proponents are bringing the bar very low on the chest, to the belly.

Elzi was taught a sort of hybrid which worked well for her, you start
with the elbows in and then flare them as the bar starts off the chest.
PL in Oregon showed it to her.

Lyle

bc
October 1st 04, 05:05 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message >...
> Will wrote:
>
> -=
> > I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> > the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> > involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> > this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> > what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> > presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> > for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> > sacpular retraction.
>
> Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
> meaning more pec involvement.
>
> That'd be my guess as to what's going on.
>
> Lyle

Yes, I think Will and Lyle are correctly describing the feeling. It
seems to allow extra engagement of the pecs higher in the lift,
reducing both delt and, to a lesser extent, triceps dependency. There
is a large component of visualization to it, but the muscle loading
does feel different.

I started doing it based on Keith's description of "pushing the bench
through the floor" in a thread several months ago.

- bc

Lyle McDonald
October 1st 04, 11:33 PM
bc wrote:

> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message >...
>
>>Will wrote:
>>
>>-=
>>
>>>I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
>>>the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
>>>involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
>>>this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
>>>what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
>>>presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
>>>for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
>>>sacpular retraction.
>>
>>Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
>>meaning more pec involvement.
>>
>>That'd be my guess as to what's going on.
>>
>>Lyle
>
>
> Yes, I think Will and Lyle are correctly describing the feeling. It
> seems to allow extra engagement of the pecs higher in the lift,
> reducing both delt and, to a lesser extent, triceps dependency. There
> is a large component of visualization to it, but the muscle loading
> does feel different.


That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push from.

The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs to
pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about pushing
straight up. The former cue tended to involve the pecs more, the latter
more triceps and delts.

Lyle

Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
October 1st 04, 11:49 PM
Lyle McDonald wrote:
> bc wrote:
>
>> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
>> >...
>>
>>> Will wrote:
>>>
>>> -=
>>>
>>>> I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually
>>>> change the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing
>>>> increased involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't
>>>> contribute much to this part of the movement? I'm having a hard
>>>> time describing exactly
>>>> what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
>>>> presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest
>>>> (or for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it)
>>>> based on sacpular retraction.
>>>
>>>
>>> Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
>>> meaning more pec involvement.
>>>
>>> That'd be my guess as to what's going on.
>>>
>>> Lyle
>>
>>
>>
>> Yes, I think Will and Lyle are correctly describing the feeling. It
>> seems to allow extra engagement of the pecs higher in the lift,
>> reducing both delt and, to a lesser extent, triceps dependency. There
>> is a large component of visualization to it, but the muscle loading
>> does feel different.
>
>
>
> That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
> the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push from.
>
> The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs to
> pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about pushing
> straight up.

Aha! So *you're* the culprit. I remember reading that some time back,
but didn't remember who. It's very useful! I can push a lot more and get
a better workout of my pecs rather than just my triceps (and it's
particularly useful when I'm feeling "stuck" toward the end of a set...)

Thank you!

Anna

Lyle McDonald
October 2nd 04, 03:07 AM
Anna Martelli Ravenscroft wrote:

> Lyle McDonald wrote:

>> That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
>> the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push
>> from.
>>
>> The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs
>> to pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about
>> pushing straight up.
>
>
> Aha! So *you're* the culprit. I remember reading that some time back,
> but didn't remember who. It's very useful! I can push a lot more and get
> a better workout of my pecs rather than just my triceps (and it's
> particularly useful when I'm feeling "stuck" toward the end of a set...)

In the same way that a broken clock is correct twice a day, I am every
so occasionally useful.

Most of the time I babble like a retarded baboon.

Lyle
eep, I say, eep

Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
October 4th 04, 12:25 PM
Bully wrote:
> Lyle McDonald wrote:
>
>>bc wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
>...
>>>
>>>
>>>>Will wrote:
>>>>
>>>>-=
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually
>>>>>change the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing
>>>>>increased involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't
>>>>>contribute much to this part of the movement? I'm having a hard
>>>>>time describing exactly what I mean but I note something like this
>>>>>when doing 4- or 5-board presses, I can greatly alter the
>>>>>perceived involvement of my chest (or for that matter, how much my
>>>>>shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on sacpular retraction.
>>>>
>>>>Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
>>>>meaning more pec involvement.
>>>>
>>>>That'd be my guess as to what's going on.
>>>>
>>>>Lyle
>>>
>>>
>>>Yes, I think Will and Lyle are correctly describing the feeling. It
>>>seems to allow extra engagement of the pecs higher in the lift,
>>>reducing both delt and, to a lesser extent, triceps dependency.
>>>There
>>>is a large component of visualization to it, but the muscle loading
>>>does feel different.
>>
>>
>>That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
>>the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push
>>from.
>>
>>The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs
>>to pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about
>>pushing straight up.
>
> Hi Lyle, would you mind explaining that another way please -- I don't quite
> get your drift!

It's a visualization trick.

If you visualize (i.e., imagine visually in your mind's eye, as it were)
while doing the press, it can help your body to use the right muscles
more...

Do a press while visualizing the move as just the arms pushing up.

Then, without the weight, move your arms across your body, as if
hugging yourself, while imagining bands attached to your arms pulling
the arms across, rather than the arms doing the work.

Then do a press while imagining that your arms are just there holding
onto the weight but you've still got the bands pulling the arms across
the body - the weight will have to go up in order for your arms to move
toward each other.

>>The former cue tended to involve the pecs more,
>>the latter more triceps and delts.

Yep - focusing on the arms pushing (as I used to), I was limited to what
my triceps and delts could handle, which wasn't much - and I would have
a hard time with bench pressing any more than a fairly small amount of
weight. (I know it was mostly tris, cuz I was doing tricep exercises
afterwards and I could tell my tris were toasted. )

I started working with the pec visualization and I'm having MUCH better
results. I can move much heavier weight - and it's particularly helpful
for those times when I realize that I shouldn't have tried to make that
one last rep (oops!) and really need extra help to rack the damn bar...

HTH
Anna

bc
October 4th 04, 03:51 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message >...
> bc wrote:
>
> > Lyle McDonald > wrote in message >...
> >
> >>Will wrote:
> >>
> >>-=
> >>
> >>>I wonder if adducting the scapulae near lockout might actually change
> >>>the angle of the arms at the shoulder joint, allowing increased
> >>>involvement of the pectorals which otherwise can't contribute much to
> >>>this part of the movement? I'm having a hard time describing exactly
> >>>what I mean but I note something like this when doing 4- or 5-board
> >>>presses, I can greatly alter the perceived involvement of my chest (or
> >>>for that matter, how much my shirt engages if I'm wearing it) based on
> >>>sacpular retraction.
> >>
> >>Retracting the scapula tends to keep you from being a delt presser,
> >>meaning more pec involvement.
> >>
> >>That'd be my guess as to what's going on.
> >>
> >>Lyle
> >
> >
> > Yes, I think Will and Lyle are correctly describing the feeling. It
> > seems to allow extra engagement of the pecs higher in the lift,
> > reducing both delt and, to a lesser extent, triceps dependency. There
> > is a large component of visualization to it, but the muscle loading
> > does feel different.
>
>
> That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
> the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push from.
>
> The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs to
> pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about pushing
> straight up. The former cue tended to involve the pecs more, the latter
> more triceps and delts.

That is one of the major differences I've noticed while doing the db
benching. I focus on NOT pulling them towards center at the top,
because I really try to avoid clanging them together. It's a
difference that is interesting because the bar in a normal bench press
does allow you to play the muscles of one side of the chest against
the other, but the db's force me to stabilize using chest vs back and
shoulders on one side, if that makes sense. I can see that I will
have to retrain myself when I go back to barbell benching.

- bc

Lyle McDonald
October 4th 04, 08:11 PM
Bully wrote:


>>That's part of how I used to teach a proper 'pec' bench. Set up with
>>the shoulder blades pinched behind. Gives a good stable base to push
>>from.
>>
>>The other part was cueing the person to think about using their pecs
>>to pull the upper arms across the body, instead of thinking about
>>pushing straight up.
>
> Hi Lyle, would you mind explaining that another way please -- I don't quite
> get your drift!

Next bench workout, do this:

1. Sit on the bench upright, put one hand on the opposite pec (let's say
it's your right hand on your left pec). Now do a flying motion with the
left arm. Ok, feel the pec contract as you bring the arm across? Do
this a few times.

2. Now bend the left elbow (right hand is still on the pec). Perform a
bench prssing movement but instead of thinking about pushing forwards,
think about pulling your upper arm across your body (as if you were
doing a fly but while doing the benching movement). Still feel the pec
firing? Good. That's what you're shooting for. Do this a few times.

3. With that in mind, lay down with a weight on the bar lighter than
your normal bench press weights. While pressing try to think about
pulling the upper arm/elbows across the body (as you did in step 2).
the movement will look identical (the upper arm comes across, the elbow
extends) but it will likely change the feel and invovlemetn of your pecs
vs. delts/tris.

With practice you will be able to do this using heavy weights but you'll
need to back off and build back up.

This is all facilitated if you start by pinching your soulders blades
behind you and getting your chest nice and high.

Lyle