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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    Bench Press not lowering all the way

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    I prefer to not lower the bar all the way because my upper back doesn't feel good doing that (I feel the pain when I get up from the bench after pressing)
    This doesn't happen when I lower the bar with my elbows below shoulder level but not all the way to touching my chest.
    Will this affect results? I'm 6'2'' so got pretty long arms.
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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    interesting. exactly where in your upper back does it hurt? i'm wondering if your grip may be too narrow or even too wide

    i would recommend lowering it all the way to the chest

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    Are you using suicide grip & narrow arm positioning? If yes, try using overhand grip, and wider hand positioning. Are you tightening your body properly for the lift? Is your buttocks firmly planted on the bench? Are you using chalk?

    It is a bad idea to go with a partial ROM because you cannot judge your improvement & will likely underlift more and more as the weight grows heavier.
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    Where on your chest are you trying to get it to?
    If I lower it to just below the pecs (sort of powerlifting style) then I use a lot more of my lats than normal. When I lower it to my neck, it builds the chest the most and hardly uses the tris or delts at all. So, depending on where you are trying to lower it will have an effect. Try different areas and see if that still does something to your back. Your setup might suck too and you are not in the right position.
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    Gadsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    interesting. exactly where in your upper back does it hurt? i'm wondering if your grip may be too narrow or even too wide

    i would recommend lowering it all the way to the chest
    It's weird because it hurts pretty much all over my upper back. and like I said, it doesn't hurt while doing it, actually not even really after either. but mainly while making the movement to sitting straight up again
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    If it hurts, don't do it.

    I'm 6'1" and I don't allow the bar to touch my chest either. It's not back pain for me, it's shoulder pain.

    ROM can be different for people with longer limbs.

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    This is an important range of motion issue in my mind. I would unload the bar and work on this movement until it is comfortable for you. Once it feels good, slowly increase the weight until you reach a ROM limit. Force youself to not cheat, otherwise you will be stuck with these back pains.

    I would also recommend a firm foam roller to help massage your back muscles, which should help you work past these pains.

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    MikeB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    It's weird because it hurts pretty much all over my upper back. and like I said, it doesn't hurt while doing it, actually not even really after either. but mainly while making the movement to sitting straight up again
    Are you tucking your shoulder blades before you bench? Arch your back by pressing your chest out and kind of "roll" or "tuck" your shoulder blades together somewhat. This way when you weight of the bar is transferred down your arms to your shoulders they are supported by the bench. If you lay "flat back" on the bench your shoulders will "hang" unsupported off of either side of the bench as most are quite a bit narrower than the average persons torso.

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    i like to reference the diesel crew's youtube page for form and technique tips. they also have a wealth of prehab and rehab exercises in order to keep yourself healthy. check them out

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    I should have also mentioned that your rear delts may not be up to the stress you're putting on them. I'd focus on getting them stronger then revisit ROM for the bench.

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