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 bench press form

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Grayfox

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PostSubject: bench press form   Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:06 am

A couple of weeks ago I managed to hurt my shoulder (not gym related, I worked too hard clearing brush on a steep hillside). Back in the gym I had to take a couple of plates off of the bar so that I could bench press without pain. As long as I was working with a light bar I decided to concentrate on good form. Went on the interwebs looking for descriptions of good techniques. Several sites suggested some seemingly unusual methods. For example, arching the upper back (not the lower back) in order to bring the pecs into play and take a little of the lift-effort off of the arms. Also making a slight correction of the arms at the beginning of each lift in order to keep the elbows close to the body rather than extended out at right angles to the body.

Take a look at this video...do you approve of the coach's techniques?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c

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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 am

I gave up on that video when he started explaining how to even get under the bar. Anyway I don't think there's one single right way to bench.

In my humble opinion, if your shoulders start hurting and you still really want to bench, then try keeping your elbows either all the way out or all the way in. As far as arch goes, I have found that more arch makes pain less likely, but in part probably because it usually means less range of motion, unless you're trying to touch the bar to your adam's apple like Vince Gironda used to advocate. (Which would mean truly having your elbows absolutely all the way out).

Also maybe light weight/high reps as many people start to get shoulder issues wtih benching after decades and decades of doing them heavy.
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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:43 am

I also found the coach too talky. I hope he didn't reveal the Secret of the Universe at the end of the video, because I haven't watched it all the way to the end.

I'm assuming that "tendonitis" describes the condition (ie."sore tendon"}. I was tossing small trees down the steep slope I mentioned--like throwing javelins over and over. I suppose the treatment is light exercise with good form, and avoiding aggravating the injury.
I've taken a few plates off the bar, and find that elbows-in can be done without pain. Lat pull-downs are okay if I warm up and stretch first.
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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:38 am

Ha haa, I've watched DVD seminars on benching that last hours! You light weights Laughing

This was really designed for coaches, not athletes, that's why you found it boring & wordy. It was a pretty reasonable description of a power style bench press, you do not need so much back arch if you want maximum pec stimulation as back arch shortens the range & engages the triceps more. If you want a very hard variation put your feet on the bench (or for more safety on two sturdy bench height boxes either side of the bench), this takes a lot of muscles out of the lift & so makes things much, much harder (this is NOT an ego lift, you end up lifting teeny weights compared to your regular lift).
Your injury sounds more like a rotator cuff issue. It could be something as simple as a muscle strain (most likely is if you were just throwing stuff). Obviously my first suggestion is to go & get it checked by someone in the medical field - it would especially useful if you found someone who had experience working with athletes (lifters ARE athletes). Have a go at these:



Supraspinatus


Infraspinatus


Subscapularis


Teres minor

Most common is an injury to the external rotators (infraspinatus or supraspinatus). Working on stuff like


L-flyes (you can use a small dumbbell when you feels able)


Using a chest expander or bands (the exercises at the start of this exercise in front of chest, behind back & also done over the head)

You can also develop stability doing stuff like planks


Side planks


A great move for shoulder health once it starts to feel better is the Turkish get-up, this works the core, shoulder mobility & stability. It is a great move that you can do with dumbbells (but is best with kettlebells) - I prefer the first variation he shows as it works hip extension as a bonus (the one where you lift the butt off the floor, not swap legs)
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Grayfox

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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:46 pm

Shoulder is getting better. Still sore, but not enough to stop a conversation. I've been working light and avoiding going beyond the point of pain.
Dbell curls and bent-over rows are okay, but Dbell side-raises are attention-getters.
I doubt that this is a clasic Rotator Cuff injury--been there, and it hurt a lot more than this does.
Most likely it's tendinitis. "...Excessive ball throwing or other overhead activities during work or sport can lead to acute tendinitis."
I have a chance to see a PT later this week, so perhaps I can get an opinion from her.

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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:02 am

Let us know the results & what they're making you do.
I was listening to a DVD seminar by Pavel & Staley the other day & Pavel said in Russia the theory is as you get older you have to train MORE. Obviously not more total duration with heavy weights, but you need more pre-hab, more corrective work (I don't really like that term, but it seems the word to day these days), maybe even shorter, more frequent sessions?
Anyway I've been doing product write-ups on the blog (I spend a lot of time reading/viewing training stuff). If you want to check this one out you can click here
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Desys



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PostSubject: Mark Rippetoe: Intro to the Bench Press 1/2   Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:16 am

tyred to post the vids and or links directly but it seems i need 7 days Sleep


so goto youtube and search

Mark Rippetoe: Intro to the Bench Press
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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:38 am

Yea Mark Rippetoe is pretty good
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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:23 pm

The PT says that it may have been Rotator Cuff AND Tendonitis, the two are not mutually exclusive.
She agrees that I probably got off easy, and that continuing with light exercise is probably the route to go.

I'm slowly building back toward my max--however my max is probably just warm-up weight for serious lifters.
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PostSubject: Re: bench press form   Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:14 pm

I suppose rotator cuff issues are caused by tendons, either impingement, or a tear. Tendinitis is inflammation brought on by acute injury, whereas rotator cuff impingement tends to be a slower chronic issue, so you could have had issues at a level below the pain threshold (sub-clinical), the acute activity then brought it to a level where symptoms start showing themselves?
One great move once the rehab has some effect is the good old push-up. With the bench press you get great scapulae stability work as you retract the shoulder blades throughout the movement, on the other hand a push-up (especially if you do the push-up plus), mean you get really good scapulae mobility & stability. From a bio-mechanical stand point the push-up beats the bench press for shoulder health & you can even work up to quite hard by creating a progression that will work you from incline push-up all the way through to one arm push-ups, if you want to go that hard. I'd certainly consider a cycle of push-ups once you get to the state that you can do them without pain.
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