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  1. #1
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    Dumbbell chest press - trouble getting the dumbbells in the starting position

    I much prefer doing dumbbell presses for my chest than regular bench press as it feels better for my shoulders. The only trouble i have is getting the dumbbells up in the starting position (and by that i mean with your elbows extended). I have trouble pressing the dumbells up, somtimes it works great, somtimes i fumble the weights up (most common scenario) and sometimes i fail totally.

    Advice anyone?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Coke_Zero's Avatar
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    Most people "kick" them up into place (watch a YouTuve video of someone lifting fairly heavy DB's to see how they do it). You could also try Powerhooks if you are in a home gym. It's one of those things you have to work on if you like to use DB's.
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  3. #3
    Registered User DAMIEN123666's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Big.Dreams View Post
    I much prefer doing dumbbell presses for my chest than regular bench press as it feels better for my shoulders. The only trouble i have is getting the dumbbells up in the starting position (and by that i mean with your elbows extended). I have trouble pressing the dumbells up, somtimes it works great, somtimes i fumble the weights up (most common scenario) and sometimes i fail totally.

    Advice anyone?
    i find that swinging them forward and laying back at same time works well...ie... i hold them sat on a bench down by my sides then swing them forward and up while laying down,

    or do be afrade to ask random people to spot you or help you get them up
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  4. #4
    In search of the Q-pack.. XADO's Avatar
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    if you can't lift them into position, aren't they just a bit too heavy for you?

    If not, kicking them into position with your knees is a good way to start, while lowering back.
    If your body cannot handle it, make sure sheer willpower will.....
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  5. #5
    Registered User pazzadean's Avatar
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    Try dropping the weight then working your way back up.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Big.Dreams's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XADO View Post
    if you can't lift them into position, aren't they just a bit too heavy for you?

    If not, kicking them into position with your knees is a good way to start, while lowering back.
    Dont think so, i use 90 pound dumbbells and i if i get the start right i can do 6 reps.
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  7. #7
    EAT BIG LIFT BIG GET BIG mistabigstuff19's Avatar
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    Use momentum and body language. That first portion of the exercise is the hardest portion but like said above if you prefer db to bb you have to get used to it lol.
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  8. #8
    Getting Aesthetic RH08's Avatar
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    Agreed with most, I just kick them back as I lay back if you're doing Flat.
    iRep Back
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  9. #9
    EAT BIG LIFT BIG GET BIG mistabigstuff19's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RH08 View Post
    Agreed with most, I just kick them back as I lay back if you're doing Flat.
    Also try resting the weight on your knees and when you throw yourself back use your knees to push the weights back and into position as like one fluid movement.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Rasputin4's Avatar
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    Just start with them in the down position, no big deal. You'll get that negative back at the end of the set, anyway.
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    Kicking them into place and using momentum is the best method, especially when using heavier resistance. However, it takes practice to perfect.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  13. #13
    Zell Dincht Mr_Aryze's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XADO View Post
    if you can't lift them into position, aren't they just a bit too heavy for you?

    If not, kicking them into position with your knees is a good way to start, while lowering back.
    This.

    In my opinion (although I am somewhat an ROM freak), the weight is too heavy for you if you cannot push it up without momentum. You should be able to lay back, rest the DBs right at your chest and then push it up. However: this is a result of my training ideology.
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  14. #14
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    Don't be shy...ask for a spot. There is always someone around at the gym, unless you're lifting at home.
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  15. #15
    Registered User jonMENDOZA's Avatar
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    Guys he's not having trouble getting it into the starting position, he's having trouble getting the first rep up which is always the hardest for some reason.

    The only way I see you getting that first rep up is if someone helps you to get it up
    "I do it because I can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I couldn't."
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  16. #16
    Registered User Big.Dreams's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jonMENDOZA View Post
    Guys he's not having trouble getting it into the starting position, he's having trouble getting the first rep up which is always the hardest for some reason.

    The only way I see you getting that first rep up is if someone helps you to get it up
    Yes, getting the dumbbells back is no problem it's when im pushing them up from the starting position that things often go bad. Wich is wierd because once, or if, i get them up i can do reps like normal...
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    Your likely not doing full range of motion on the reps following the initial one - therefor they're easier. Example: The initial rep you start with them all the way down. The following reps you only bring them down to arms @ 90 degree angle or something.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by jonMENDOZA View Post
    Guys he's not having trouble getting it into the starting position, he's having trouble getting the first rep up which is always the hardest for some reason.

    The only way I see you getting that first rep up is if someone helps you to get it up
    Exactly, a "spot".
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by Big.Dreams View Post
    I much prefer doing dumbbell presses for my chest than regular bench press as it feels better for my shoulders. The only trouble i have is getting the dumbbells up in the starting position (and by that i mean with your elbows extended). I have trouble pressing the dumbells up, somtimes it works great, somtimes i fumble the weights up (most common scenario) and sometimes i fail totally.

    Advice anyone?
    Rippetoe demonstrates the technique starting at around 12:45. (Actually, it's a bit after this, but it's important to see the bit prior to the demo...)

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  20. #20
    in10city stalker Madevilz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jonMENDOZA View Post
    Guys he's not having trouble getting it into the starting position, he's having trouble getting the first rep up which is always the hardest for some reason.

    The only way I see you getting that first rep up is if someone helps you to get it up

    This.

    Ive had the same problem. First rep has always been the hardest for sure, I fixed that by holding the down position for 2 secs before lifting back up. (only during my first set) Sure you won't be able to lift as heavy, but now I havent had any problem with my first rep since doing it.
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  21. #21
    Registered User KBKB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Madevilz View Post
    First rep has always been the hardest for sure, I fixed that by holding the down position for 2 secs before lifting back up. (only during my first set) Sure you won't be able to lift as heavy, but now I havent had any problem with my first rep since doing it.
    If you do it as Rippetoe shows in the above video, your reps start and end at the top. The technique does require some practice though. (I think that several other posters here are suggesting the same technique.)

    That said, I've been using Ironmaster's dumbbell spotting stands for my heavy sets. I set the dumbbell cradles fairly low, so reps in my heavy sets start and end at the bottom. (If I get stuck at the bottom, I want to still be able to get the dumbbells back in their cradles. I won't be able to do that if I set them high.) Once the first rep is done, subsequent reps are easier due to use of the stretch reflex at the bottom.

    I've been able to do sets with up to 105 lbs (per DB) using the dumbbell spotting stands. I've never tried going over 70 lbs using the technique where you kick the dumbbells up with the knees in order to start the reps at the top.
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    in10city stalker Madevilz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    If you do it as Rippetoe shows in the above video, your reps start and end at the top. The technique does require some practice though. (I think that several other posters here are suggesting the same technique.)

    That said, I've been using Ironmaster's dumbbell spotting stands for my heavy sets. I set the dumbbell cradles fairly low, so reps in my heavy sets start and end at the bottom. (If I get stuck at the bottom, I want to still be able to get the dumbbells back in their cradles. I won't be able to do that if I set them high.) Once the first rep is done, subsequent reps are easier due to use of the stretch reflex at the bottom.

    I've been able to do sets with up to 105 lbs (per DB) using the dumbbell spotting stands. I've never tried going over 70 lbs using the technique where you kick the dumbbells up with the knees in order to start the reps at the top.
    Im up to 105lbs db by simply positioning myself with no kicks, starting at bottom position.
    By doing the 2 sec stop, I also work on my explosiveness, and it is also much harder to cheat by not going low enough, so no real loss there imo.
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    Originally Posted by Bobdole11 View Post
    Your likely not doing full range of motion on the reps following the initial one - therefor they're easier. Example: The initial rep you start with them all the way down. The following reps you only bring them down to arms @ 90 degree angle or something.
    That could be it...think i need to focus on getting stronger in the full range of motion.
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