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View Poll Results: How far back should you take your arms during a bench press?

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  • Tri's parallel to the floor

    10 29.41%
  • Tris's as far back as your chest allows.

    24 70.59%
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  1. #1
    Registered User rejones1976's Avatar
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    Question How far to bring your arms back during bench press?

    It seems most people think the bar should touch your chest but as we are all different shapes and sizes this makes the move different for everyone. Someone who is barrell chested carrying a bit of excess weight (like most powerlifters) can bring the bar to their chest with their tri's not even parallel with the floor. Other builds like me, means my tris go past 90 degress putting more strain on my shoulder. So my question is in your opinion how far back should your arms go?

    1. Tri's parallel to the floor

    2. Tri's as far back as your chest alllows.
    "A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality".
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  2. #2
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    Originally Posted by rejones1976 View Post
    It seems most people think the bar should touch your chest but as we are all different shapes and sizes this makes the move different for everyone. Someone who is barrell chested carrying a bit of excess weight (like most powerlifters) can bring the bar to their chest with their tri's not even parallel with the floor. Other builds like me, means my tris go past 90 degress putting more strain on my shoulder. So my question is in your opinion how far back should your arms go?

    1. Tri's parallel to the floor

    2. Tri's as far back as your chest alllows.
    It seems with these polls, there are far too limited answers for compex questions.

    First, unless you are working on something specific as an advanced bench presser, the bar should always touch your chest. If you have your arms in the correct position, this should not put strain on your shoulder.

    The problem usually lies in people keeping their elbows too far out to the side so their forearms become perpendicular to their torsos. This is a formula for killing your shoulders. If you get your forearms more towards a 45-degree angle to your torso, you will go a long way to preventing shoulder problems.

    Ray
    “I have walked that long road ... I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest...to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, ... and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.” ---Nelson Mandela
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by pastorgbc View Post
    The problem usually lies in people keeping their elbows too far out to the side so their forearms become perpendicular to their torsos. This is a formula for killing your shoulders. If you get your forearms more towards a 45-degree angle to your torso, you will go a long way to preventing shoulder problems.
    This.....

    OP - I reread your post 3 or 4 times and was still confused what you meant by "how far back".

    As a general rule, the further your elbows get from your torso the greater the odds of seriously FUBARing your pecs & RCs. This does not mean it will happen, but you are increasing the chances it might significantly.
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  4. #4
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    No idea what the OP is asking. I lower the bar to pause touch on my chest and then explode up powerlifting style. My elbows are about at a 45% angle to my torse. I arch my back, tuck my shoulders back in tight under me and flare my lats.
    Eat right, exercise, lift weights, get 8 hours of sleep.
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  5. #5
    Registered User rejones1976's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BuckSpin;496162721]This.....

    OP - I reread your post 3 or 4 times and was still confused what you meant by "how far back".

    As a general rule, the further your elbows get from your torso the greater the odds of seriously FUBARing your pecs & RCs. This does not mean it will happen, but you are increasing the chances it might significantly.[/QUOTE

    When I press I try to keep my elbows tucked in as much as possible but when the bar is on my chest my tries are on a downward angle. I see alot of guys just bring the bar down until the tris are level. Essentially they are not getting full ROM, but is this the right way or the wrong way?
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  6. #6
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    i think it can depend a lot on the person's flexibility, and body shape as the OP said.

    How I was taught was to start with just the bar and bring it down until you feel a stretch, and then use a point around 1 inch above that as your stopping point. If you have a flexibility issue you don't really want to hit that sticking point with a big amount of weight, you could tear something. For most people though I would imagine the ROM would come all the way to the chest or pretty close.

    I'm thinking about forearm and elbow posture as well but i'm not sure how to describe how i think it should be :S
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by rejones1976 View Post
    So my question is in your opinion how far back should your arms go?
    I've been doing it this whey in the video for years. I have no shoulder problems.




    Also I do behind the neck pull downs and behind the neck presses.

    So, to answer your question.... Do what does not injure you.
    Every day counts.

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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by lanolar View Post
    No idea what the OP is asking. I lower the bar to pause touch on my chest and then explode up powerlifting style. My elbows are about at a 45% angle to my torse. I arch my back, tuck my shoulders back in tight under me and flare my lats.
    This ^^^

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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by ntrllftr View Post
    Do what does not injure you.
    this

    I've seen more people bugger up their shoulders by trying to emulate someone else or by following some e-expert. Use a RoM that works for you and then experiment with modifying it as you gain time and experience under the bar.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by kimsquit View Post
    this

    I've seen more people bugger up their shoulders by trying to emulate someone else or by following some e-expert. Use a RoM that works for you and then experiment with modifying it as you gain time and experience under the bar.
    some people just seem to feel the need to make this more difficult then it is.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by snoack View Post
    some people just seem to feel the need to make this more difficult then it is.
    Its the same thing with drumming-people ask about this foot pedal technique and that bass drum pedal technique-where to position your feet etc.
    life is hard, kid. you gotta be harder. you gotta take it on and fight for it and be a f***ing man about how you live it. if you're too much of a pussy to do that, then maybe you should leave, 'cause you're dead already
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    Originally Posted by pastorgbc View Post
    It seems with these polls, there are far too limited answers for compex questions.

    First, unless you are working on something specific as an advanced bench presser, the bar should always touch your chest. If you have your arms in the correct position, this should not put strain on your shoulder.

    The problem usually lies in people keeping their elbows too far out to the side so their forearms become perpendicular to their torsos. This is a formula for killing your shoulders. If you get your forearms more towards a 45-degree angle to your torso, you will go a long way to preventing shoulder problems.

    Ray
    ^^ I agree with Ray..........
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by kimsquit View Post
    this

    I've seen more people bugger up their shoulders by trying to emulate someone else or by following some e-expert. Use a RoM that works for you and then experiment with modifying it as you gain time and experience under the bar.
    ^^ This X10. Go down as far as you can without injuring yourself. If you've got some pre-existing shoulder condition, then forcing your ROM into the pain zone is not a fantastic idea. For some people, it might be better to stop an inch short or so.

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  14. #14
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    What has just popped up is what I meant by the polls give limited responses for fairly complex questions. For instance, I took the question to be that if you did benches a certain way, do you risk injury. Others seem to have taken it to mean that if it hurts, then adjust. The answer here is much more dimensional than arms parallel and no more or how low you can go.

    Personally, I feel that if an exercise hurts you when you do it using correct form, do not do that exercise at all. I would test other exercises that I can do correctly and with full ROM, before I would change up my form on another exercise. My experience is that doing this provides limited benefit, and in and of itself may cause inijury.

    Ray
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    Originally Posted by ntrllftr View Post
    Do what does not injure you.
    Originally Posted by kimsquit View Post
    this

    I've seen more people bugger up their shoulders by trying to emulate someone else or by following some e-expert. Use a RoM that works for you and then experiment with modifying it as you gain time and experience under the bar.
    These..........they nailed it.

    Benching is one of those exercises where a "one size" approach does not fit all. Each person needs to find a RoM and grip that works for them.

    I had shoulder problems when using a 45 degree forearm angle, I have since switched to a closer grip position and have had zero problems since.
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    I touch the bar to my chest so where ever my arms are, they are. As long as I dont feel any strain im good with it.

    THE larger problem for people and shoulder issues lies in reaching back too far to press the bar up off the uprights. AND setting it back on them. That is how I tore my shoulders up anyways..
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