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Thread: Bench Press grip for long-term shoulder health? page 2

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Take what I am about to say with a grain of salt, but here's what I see:

    If you pause the video at the bottom of the bench, when the bar is touching your chest, you can see a few things. One, the angle between your forearm and the ground, which should ideally be perpendicular, is actually past 90 degrees. So instead of the forearm/head looking like this:

    | o |

    It looks more like this (of course not as exaggerated):

    \ o /

    This suggest that your grip is indeed too wide.

    The second point, which supports the first one, is that once you start driving the bar up, you can notice that your elbows flare out more to the side, and position the forearm closer to perpendicular. This make sense, because that creates the most efficient force transfer to the bar. However, this flare out, though a bit hard to say from the video angle, is indeed causing your humerus to be close to perpendicular to your body, which is something we definitely want to avoid to prevent shoulder impingement.

    My suggestion would be to to bring your arms closer together, and focus on keeping your elbow movement tight, i.e. not letting your elbows flare out once the ascent begins. I think you can also use a tighter shoulder blade tuck and back extension, but it is hard to tell from the video.

    Hope this helps.
    I agree with this. if you are going to continue with bench pressing, maybe try to watch some youtube videos from rip or from the diesel crew youtube channel. smitty has a few good ones up there. something to think about while benching is the idea of actually trying to bend the bar. someone else might think this is bad advice, but when you are focusing on bending the bar, elbows and forearms just seem to naturally go where they belong. at least they do for me.

    perhaps some pushups are just what you need. maybe work on those for a while instead.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickson View Post
    Yes I do. I am terrible at pushups as well, I can do about 10 rough pushups in a row (maybe 5 clean/slow ones). I've never advanced very quickly with pushups prior to benching, I was using Convict Conditioning prior to SS and was stuck at just a few. Bringing my bench up +50lbs did more for my pushup totals then all of the incline ones I did, while at the same time I gained nearly 30lbs as my squats (approaching 275lbs) and deads (315lbs) quickly out paced the upper body gains. Rippetoe had suggested that the quickest to increase your pushups is through bench, but maybe I should consider re-adding pushups in to the routine.



    This is a over a month ago when I switched to a wider grip. Not a perfect 360 degree angle, but a decent indicator of what I am doing. Bench: 3x5 at 135lbs form check - YouTube
    Your bar placement is too high so you're using a high percentage of anterior deltoid. When you come down to the bottom position the bar should be across your sternum vs mid chest to upper chest. This is especially true when you have long levers (arms) like you do. Your upper arm should be at a 45 degree angle which will also help with shoulder issues. You can also try neutral grip dumb bell press from a bench of from the floor as well. These will help with tricep strength.

    Also if you want to get your chest press up you have to build your secondary muscles. So tricep work is another way to increase your chest press.

    Also you're not pinching your shoulder blades together hard enough. Use the inside of the uprights on the bench and push your hands into them to really get a good pinch and keep the pinch through the whole movement and all reps. It takes a bit of practice but you'll get there.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Exactly what I was going to say. I have never had shoulder/cuff problems with benching, but the reverse grip is a great change up while allowing you to make progress.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Take what I am about to say with a grain of salt, but here's what I see:

    If you pause the video at the bottom of the bench, when the bar is touching your chest, you can see a few things. One, the angle between your forearm and the ground, which should ideally be perpendicular, is actually past 90 degrees. So instead of the forearm/head looking like this:

    | o |

    It looks more like this (of course not as exaggerated):

    \ o /

    This suggest that your grip is indeed too wide.

    The second point, which supports the first one, is that once you start driving the bar up, you can notice that your elbows flare out more to the side, and position the forearm closer to perpendicular. This make sense, because that creates the most efficient force transfer to the bar. However, this flare out, though a bit hard to say from the video angle, is indeed causing your humerus to be close to perpendicular to your body, which is something we definitely want to avoid to prevent shoulder impingement.

    My suggestion would be to to bring your arms closer together, and focus on keeping your elbow movement tight, i.e. not letting your elbows flare out once the ascent begins. I think you can also use a tighter shoulder blade tuck and back extension, but it is hard to tell from the video.

    Hope this helps.
    That is perfectly helpful, and makes sense. I think I am going to try a much narrower and tighter bench with elbows tucked, even if it takes some of the load off to work on protecting the shoulders. This video was a bit looser of a shoulder tuck, I wasn't quite near max effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbag View Post
    That's completly nonsense, did he really say that??? The best way to increase push-ups is to do push-ups and progress on them! Push-ups is an excellent exercise, and most people would do far better by starting doing push-ups for a while before going to the bench.

    Decline bench press is more easy on the shoulders, and a "false grip" may also save shoulders, but be very careful to not drop the weight if trying that! Also, dumbbells and machines can replace the bar, nobody "must" do a barbell bench press...
    I definitely asked for that one. I am not trying to spread his gospel, but his opinion is that for someone such as myself, BP will be superior to the pushup in getting stronger in the upperbody. I am not sure if it due to poor programming on my part or something else, but low rep bodyweight exercises have just been less effective then barbell training for getting stronger.

  5. #15
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    Dickson, I would also try to find someone to help you un-rack the bar during your work sets.

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    Lift your hands to the bar without thinking, as though you were going to push a box off your head. Adopt that position.

    If this fails, become a Slav.
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  7. #17
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    Seeing as how you're in a commercial gym, and knowing my personal experience with "spotters" in such places, I recommend being very clear about what you want the random person standing behind you to do. My exact instructions to random spotters are:

    1. Using an alternating grip (I show them exactly what I mean, and where on the bar), help me un-rack the bar.
    2. Once I set up for my set, I will tell you to count to 3, and then you will un-rack the bar as I have demonstrated.
    3. After you help me with that, BACK AWAY. Do not do anything. Do not stand above me. DO NOT TOUCH THE BAR. Do not tell me "you got it, bro!". Just step back and watch.
    4. IF, I repeat, IF, I am stuck, i.e. the bar is clearly not moving, promptly step in, and using an alternating grip just like when un-racking, rack the bar with me. DO NOT NUDGE THE BAR LIGHTLY WHILE TELLING ME I GOT IT. Just rack it.

    I have used these instructions many times, and not once has someone failed to help me properly. Before this, I would frequently get "bro'd" and my sets would be ruined.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Seeing as how you're in a commercial gym, and knowing my personal experience with "spotters" in such places, I recommend being very clear about what you want the random person standing behind you to do. My exact instructions to random spotters are:

    1. Using an alternating grip (I show them exactly what I mean, and where on the bar), help me un-rack the bar.
    2. Once I set up for my set, I will tell you to count to 3, and then you will un-rack the bar as I have demonstrated.
    3. After you help me with that, BACK AWAY. Do not do anything. Do not stand above me. DO NOT TOUCH THE BAR. Do not tell me "you got it, bro!". Just step back and watch.
    4. IF, I repeat, IF, I am stuck, i.e. the bar is clearly not moving, promptly step in, and using an alternating grip just like when un-racking, rack the bar with me. DO NOT NUDGE THE BAR LIGHTLY WHILE TELLING ME I GOT IT. Just rack it.

    I have used these instructions many times, and not once has someone failed to help me properly. Before this, I would frequently get "bro'd" and my sets would be ruined.
    That is great advice. I usually avoid spotters for that very reason unless I am trying a new PR, and it undoubtabley has hindered my progress because I usually try to leave a rep in the tank. I switched from SS to a BBB 5/3/1 (minus the 3 and deload week, so 5/1) for recovery purposes while I try to slowly cut back from being 240lbs, so I really only have a PR AMRAP set once every two weeks. The progress has been slower, but my squat has really benefited the most from the extra volume and rest.

  9. #19
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    I agree with the spotting advice. Since I typically work out on my own, I usually end up grabbing some random person in the gym to spot my heavy bench sets. I'm always like "listen, you're only here to keep me from dying. If I am clearly going to die, just pull the bar off me. If it's just moving slowly or whatever, DON'T TOUCH IT. At all."

  10. #20
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    High Rep Body Weight Exercises are the key

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickson View Post
    ... I am not sure if it due to poor programming on my part or something else, but low rep bodyweight exercises have just been less effective then barbell training for getting stronger.
    Totally agree that low rep body weight exercises won't cut it.

    So try High Rep body weight exercises. For pushups: 3 Sets of MAX Effort Reps. This can be 25, 50, 75, +++

    And pushups not only strengthen your chest but your entire shoulder carriage. It is in fact the single best exercise to strengthen your shoulder carriage.
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