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  1. #1
    Registered User LukeMcD's Avatar
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    Unhappy Bench press hand position?

    Right, I stalled on my bench press so I thought I'd take it down some weight. It seemed as if one arm was stronger than the other because it was pushing it up before the other one was and kind of wobbled. I thought this was unusual for a reset and thought perhaps it's my hand positioning". Now I don't know where I got this idea from, but I thought that your hands were supposed to go here:



    The reason I probably thought this is because Rippetoe advises against a wider grip. I'm guessing that's wrong because the bar can't indicate the same hand position for everyone because we're all different. Is there a specific way in where I should determine where my hands go or is there another reason why I struggled?

    My range of motion was a bit shtty too, should it pretty much be touching my chest? Because it was only getting to about here:



    So is it a problem with my hand positioning?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Registered User Addicted2Iron01's Avatar
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    you need to widen your grip a bit more, your nearly doing a close grip bench press which is a tricep exercise more than a chest exercise. And yes bring the bar down further. Bring it down so it brushes your chest or is slightly above your chest before pushing the bar back up.
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  3. #3
    Registered User LukeMcD's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Addicted2Iron01 View Post
    you need to widen your grip a bit more, your nearly doing a close grip bench press which is a tricep exercise more than a chest exercise. And yes bring the bar down further. Bring it down so it brushes your chest or is slightly above your chest before pushing the bar back up.
    Ok thanks, I thought so. How much should I widen it? So it's in line with my shoulder or a specific part on the bar?
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  4. #4
    Under Construction unity's Avatar
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    you could widen your grip a little, but that is not going to fix the problem you are talking about, imo. no matter where you grip the bar, it should be moving evenly.

    i think this sounds like a form issue and you need to work on your ability to control the bar.
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  5. #5
    Registered User matjusm's Avatar
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    If your hands are as close as the picture shows, then I wouldn't be surprised if one side of the bar is going up before the other since its harder to balance the bar with such a grip.
    As others have said, you really are doing a very close grip bench press. Nothing wrong with that per se but you could try widening your grip (or just benching with both grips and alternating).

    Obviously the grip width will vary depending on the frame of the person. I personally put my middle finger on the rings, sometimes to make it a bit more challenging, I bring the hands closer and put my pinky just inside of those rings. It really is up to you, there's no absolute right or wrong here.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by LukeMcD View Post
    Right, I stalled on my bench press so I thought I'd take it down some weight. It seemed as if one arm was stronger than the other because it was pushing it up before the other one was and kind of wobbled. I thought this was unusual for a reset and thought perhaps it's my hand positioning". Now I don't know where I got this idea from, but I thought that your hands were supposed to go here:

    The reason I probably thought this is because Rippetoe advises against a wider grip. I'm guessing that's wrong because the bar can't indicate the same hand position for everyone because we're all different. Is there a specific way in where I should determine where my hands go or is there another reason why I struggled?

    My range of motion was a bit shtty too, should it pretty much be touching my chest? Because it was only getting to about here:

    So is it a problem with my hand positioning?

    Thanks
    1) That is a bit narrow, widening it (I have ring finger on the line) a bit would be preferential, especially if you're also doing CGBP for triceps on your arms day (or whenever you do triceps).

    2) Yes, that ROM is probably poor. That almost looks like a half rep or something nowhere near 90 degrees as you've drawn it. You don't have to touch; you don't even have to bench if you don't want to. But realistically, you have two decent options:

    a) Touch your chest. Depending on your limbs, size of chest, arch in back etc etc this will be below parallel.

    b) Go to parallel/90degrees and you'll be taking the bar within a few inches, it won't be a large distance as I imagine you've got now - so therefore you'll still be doing a better job.

    3) Swap over to dumbbells for a while (or alternate, whatever). The main thing here is that it seems as though you're solely using the barbell. It's not terrible, but switching up could have the secondary benefit of increasing your bench press above what it would be sticking with the barbell.

    More importantly however, it should help correct any imbalances you have whatever side it is that is lacking. Having said that, if you're still relatively new to lifting, the problem is fairly common with a dominant side and should work itself out the longer you're at the gym.

    4) If you're concerned about ROM, technique, weight and imbalance another thing you can do is do your bench press with dumbbells on the floor. If you can manage the weight (you may need a spotter for the second dumbbell), you just do as normal except have your triceps/rear of arm touch the ground before pressing up.

    Should result in both arms/sides getting the same ROM and with the same weight, will equalise the gains in both arms/pecs. That's obviously not your entire chest workout, so you can still do things like dips, machine chest press, incline bench, flyes and work on it, but that could help.

    Good luck!
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  7. #7
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    I place my pinky fingers on the line indicated by the blue arrows. Full-range of motion with every press.
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  8. #8
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    I put my pinky finger on the line
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