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  1. #31
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    This is my honest opinion on the subject matter. I'm no expert so take it for what you will.

    There are some people with previous shoulder injuries who probably shouldn't go down to their chest. For them, it's 100% reasonable to go down to maybe 2inches above their chest or even less.

    HOWEVER, 90% of the people who claim that they don't "need" to because they won't get a better workout or that they may injure themselves generally don't have a clue what they're talking about. It's total bull****. I'm not specifically pointing out anyone on this forum, but this is from my personal experience with the people I've seen and worked out with at my gym.

    I would say that the majority of my buddies do not go down to their chest. And when MOST of them say they stop at 1-2" before their chest, its really more like 3-4" which is a huge reduction in ROM. When I tell them to try to go all the way down, not once has anyone ever complained about shoulder pain. However, every single one of them has had to lower the weights they've been using because it's harder to use a much larger ROM without cheating (bouncing off chest) for the same number of reps.

    I feel that touching your chest is beneficial in many ways. First, you need to be extremely strict with your form if you want to avoid injuries. I personally go down to my chest for both flat bench and incline bench and I mentally take note that I absolutely NEED perfect form or I will get injured.

    Another benefit is that it keeps your ROM exactly the same for every single rep. Most people who go down to 1-2" or whatever they claim will NOT go down as far on their heavier sets or on their last rep. And if that's the case, put that weight down and lower it to something you can manage! I like the consistency of touching the bar on the chest. Doesn't matter if I'm doing 135 or 225, the ROM should be identical.

    I used to be one of those guys who firmly believed in going down to only 1-2" above my chest. Probably more like 2-3" for my incline. Even using this method, I used to randomly get shoulder injuries here and there. Also, my chest never really developed the way I wanted it to.

    Then one day a guy at the gym asked me to spot him on the Incline. He was probably about 6' and 190 pounds. Dude had 225 on the incline and he was doing sets of 12 using PERFECT form and going all the way down to his chest. Then for each additional set, he would go up in weight ending at 245 for 8 reps. This completely blew my mind, and that's when I started really researching on the benefits of a full ROM, how to perfect my form so that I don't get any injuries, etc.

    Not saying any of you guys are right or wrong, but I'm just telling you my personal experience. Sorry for such a long write-up but this subject bugs me to death. I know tons of dudes who "supposedly" bench a ton of weight but then they have literally half the ROM that they potentially could. Also from what I've seen, these are the guys who generally get injured more. My opinion is that they're using weights that are heavier than their bodies/muscles can handle.

    Since I've switched to a full ROM, touching my chest for every single rep, and fixed my form, I have yet to have a single injury that was caused by any of my bench press movements. Also, I've definitely noticed better growth in my chest as that area has always been lacking for me.

    Hope that helps some of you guys out there and gives you a different perspective on this subject.
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  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by Baris_ View Post
    Watch other people less! Fixate your thoughts on your own training! However it is true there are idiots who just distract you and what they do is useless and they probably don't even eat well.
    try not watching someone like that haha....impossible
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  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by Jrahe42 View Post
    strong username to thread topic
    i'm not looking for advice i'm just wondering how everyone does this exercise. Sorry if i misunderstand your post but I just made this thread because i was curious!
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  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by stang2supra View Post
    This is my honest opinion on the subject matter. I'm no expert so take it for what you will.

    There are some people with previous shoulder injuries who probably shouldn't go down to their chest. For them, it's 100% reasonable to go down to maybe 2inches above their chest or even less.

    HOWEVER, 90% of the people who claim that they don't "need" to because they won't get a better workout or that they may injure themselves generally don't have a clue what they're talking about. It's total bull****. I'm not specifically pointing out anyone on this forum, but this is from my personal experience with the people I've seen and worked out with at my gym.

    I would say that the majority of my buddies do not go down to their chest. And when MOST of them say they stop at 1-2" before their chest, its really more like 3-4" which is a huge reduction in ROM. When I tell them to try to go all the way down, not once has anyone ever complained about shoulder pain. However, every single one of them has had to lower the weights they've been using because it's harder to use a much larger ROM without cheating (bouncing off chest) for the same number of reps.

    I feel that touching your chest is beneficial in many ways. First, you need to be extremely strict with your form if you want to avoid injuries. I personally go down to my chest for both flat bench and incline bench and I mentally take note that I absolutely NEED perfect form or I will get injured.

    Another benefit is that it keeps your ROM exactly the same for every single rep. Most people who go down to 1-2" or whatever they claim will NOT go down as far on their heavier sets or on their last rep. And if that's the case, put that weight down and lower it to something you can manage! I like the consistency of touching the bar on the chest. Doesn't matter if I'm doing 135 or 225, the ROM should be identical.

    I used to be one of those guys who firmly believed in going down to only 1-2" above my chest. Probably more like 2-3" for my incline. Even using this method, I used to randomly get shoulder injuries here and there. Also, my chest never really developed the way I wanted it to.

    Then one day a guy at the gym asked me to spot him on the Incline. He was probably about 6' and 190 pounds. Dude had 225 on the incline and he was doing sets of 12 using PERFECT form and going all the way down to his chest. Then for each additional set, he would go up in weight ending at 245 for 8 reps. This completely blew my mind, and that's when I started really researching on the benefits of a full ROM, how to perfect my form so that I don't get any injuries, etc.

    Not saying any of you guys are right or wrong, but I'm just telling you my personal experience. Sorry for such a long write-up but this subject bugs me to death. I know tons of dudes who "supposedly" bench a ton of weight but then they have literally half the ROM that they potentially could. Also from what I've seen, these are the guys who generally get injured more. My opinion is that they're using weights that are heavier than their bodies/muscles can handle.

    Since I've switched to a full ROM, touching my chest for every single rep, and fixed my form, I have yet to have a single injury that was caused by any of my bench press movements. Also, I've definitely noticed better growth in my chest as that area has always been lacking for me.

    Hope that helps some of you guys out there and gives you a different perspective on this subject.
    Thanks for your input on the matter.And I would have to agree that for alot of people the 1-2" is actually 3-4". On flat and incline i go just above my chest but on decline i touch my chest....more about comfort for me as it feel as if my arms will tear off if i go that extra inch to my chest.
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  5. #35
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    touch your chest with the bar dont stop thats what teenagers with egos do
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  6. #36
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    Originally Posted by stang2supra View Post
    This is my honest opinion on the subject matter. I'm no expert so take it for what you will.

    There are some people with previous shoulder injuries who probably shouldn't go down to their chest. For them, it's 100% reasonable to go down to maybe 2inches above their chest or even less.

    HOWEVER, 90% of the people who claim that they don't "need" to because they won't get a better workout or that they may injure themselves generally don't have a clue what they're talking about. It's total bull****. I'm not specifically pointing out anyone on this forum, but this is from my personal experience with the people I've seen and worked out with at my gym.

    I would say that the majority of my buddies do not go down to their chest. And when MOST of them say they stop at 1-2" before their chest, its really more like 3-4" which is a huge reduction in ROM. When I tell them to try to go all the way down, not once has anyone ever complained about shoulder pain. However, every single one of them has had to lower the weights they've been using because it's harder to use a much larger ROM without cheating (bouncing off chest) for the same number of reps.

    I feel that touching your chest is beneficial in many ways. First, you need to be extremely strict with your form if you want to avoid injuries. I personally go down to my chest for both flat bench and incline bench and I mentally take note that I absolutely NEED perfect form or I will get injured.

    Another benefit is that it keeps your ROM exactly the same for every single rep. Most people who go down to 1-2" or whatever they claim will NOT go down as far on their heavier sets or on their last rep. And if that's the case, put that weight down and lower it to something you can manage! I like the consistency of touching the bar on the chest. Doesn't matter if I'm doing 135 or 225, the ROM should be identical.

    I used to be one of those guys who firmly believed in going down to only 1-2" above my chest. Probably more like 2-3" for my incline. Even using this method, I used to randomly get shoulder injuries here and there. Also, my chest never really developed the way I wanted it to.

    Then one day a guy at the gym asked me to spot him on the Incline. He was probably about 6' and 190 pounds. Dude had 225 on the incline and he was doing sets of 12 using PERFECT form and going all the way down to his chest. Then for each additional set, he would go up in weight ending at 245 for 8 reps. This completely blew my mind, and that's when I started really researching on the benefits of a full ROM, how to perfect my form so that I don't get any injuries, etc.

    Not saying any of you guys are right or wrong, but I'm just telling you my personal experience. Sorry for such a long write-up but this subject bugs me to death. I know tons of dudes who "supposedly" bench a ton of weight but then they have literally half the ROM that they potentially could. Also from what I've seen, these are the guys who generally get injured more. My opinion is that they're using weights that are heavier than their bodies/muscles can handle.

    Since I've switched to a full ROM, touching my chest for every single rep, and fixed my form, I have yet to have a single injury that was caused by any of my bench press movements. Also, I've definitely noticed better growth in my chest as that area has always been lacking for me.

    Hope that helps some of you guys out there and gives you a different perspective on this subject.
    I agree with u 100% man. There is a reason why power lifters get that arch to their lower back cuz it does take all that stress off your shoulders when you touch your chest. When you arch your back you are also able to keep your elbows in tight to activate your chest more. If you use proper form there is no reason why someone shouldn't be able to bring the bar all the way down to the chest.
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  7. #37
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    safety of rc>>>>> 2 inches added to rom. In addition to this, stopping an inch or two above the chest and pausing before performing the concentric part eliminates any momentum. Sure, I could bench more if I tapped my chest and went right back up, but I could also curl more if I bounced with my knees and leaned back.
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    rconley7 - Exactly. If you use proper form, touching your chest should come easily and naturally.

    ggecko22 - Not sure if you read my post but I'm not so sure that a full ROM is any more damaging to the RC. If anything, bad form while not going down all the way is much much worse from what I've seen. Also, if all people who go down to their chest bounced the bar on their way back up, then I agree with the second part of your post. But if you use controlled movements (slow on the way down, pause briefly, and then explode on the way up), there really shouldn't be any momentum issues.
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    Originally Posted by stang2supra View Post
    rconley7 - Exactly. If you use proper form, touching your chest should come easily and naturally.

    ggecko22 - Not sure if you read my post but I'm not so sure that a full ROM is any more damaging to the RC. If anything, bad form while not going down all the way is much much worse from what I've seen. Also, if all people who go down to their chest bounced the bar on their way back up, then I agree with the second part of your post. But if you use controlled movements (slow on the way down, pause briefly, and then explode on the way up), there really shouldn't be any momentum issues.
    Having your triceps go below parallel is going to place more tension on your shoulder and, thus, the rc. Ya, perfect form while going down all the way>> horrible form and stopping at an inch above, but "perfect" (this is subjective and dependant on one's goals) form while stopping at an inch above>>> both aforementioned form variations.

    I feel that with most exercises, except anything overhead, something with relativey high reps, some back exercises, and a few others, it is always best to come to a complete stop, alleviate any momentum, and begin the concentric portion. Even if someone is not bouncing it off of their chest, they are still using momentum- that's fact, whether or not that is more or less effective I suppose is up for debate. I personally have better workouts when I come to a complete stop (for this particular exercise at least).
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    Let me guess, you guys do 1/4 rep squats as well because it's "easier on the knees"...lol. Arch your back and keep your elbows tucked and you will never have a problem with your shoulders.
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    Originally Posted by Anthb7210p1 View Post
    Let me guess, you guys do 1/4 rep squats as well because it's "easier on the knees"...lol. Arch your back and keep your elbows tucked and you will never have a problem with your shoulders.
    wtf ????? you consider stopping an inch above your chest equivalent to a 1/4 squat????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????? I go below parallel- just so you know
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    Originally Posted by stang2supra View Post

    I would say that the majority of my buddies do not go down to their chest. And when MOST of them say they stop at 1-2" before their chest, its really more like 3-4" which is a huge reduction in ROM.
    This sounds like my friends. I also agree with you on your point that when you leave the ROM to 1-2 inches, you induce uncertainty into lifting. Uncertainty can be bad, because if you get a new PR, you may not know if it was due to you becoming stronger, or a reduce ROM.

    I personally bring it down to my chest, but i'm not a fantastic bencher so my form still needs help.
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    Originally Posted by benchboss View Post
    This is another way I see quite often. But why not just get a better ROM? Why stop there? That seems a little to short of a lift to me.
    The responses I've heard for people stopping before touching the chest is keeping constant tension on your chest. If your bodybuilding, I'd say do whatever you want as far as where you want the bar to end. If you get results stopping 2" then go ahead and do it. I personally touch mine then go back up.

    edit: Oh, yeah what "Inertiatic" said haha.
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    Originally Posted by ggecko22 View Post
    I feel that with most exercises, except anything overhead, something with relativey high reps, some back exercises, and a few others, it is always best to come to a complete stop, alleviate any momentum, and begin the concentric portion. Even if someone is not bouncing it off of their chest, they are still using momentum- that's fact, whether or not that is more or less effective I suppose is up for debate. I personally have better workouts when I come to a complete stop (for this particular exercise at least).
    That's surely up for debate.
    As far as strenght training goes, muscles need to get heavy weights (e.g. 90% rm), so it could be legitimate to not prevent yourself from using a challenging weight by doing the exercise in a more difficult manner.

    Otherwise you could curl pinky fluffy dumbells and challenging yourself by taking 5 minutes to put them up.

    I'm not saying I don't agree with you, in fact I asked this question above in this thread.

    Using a convenient technique and putting in more weight can be more beneficial...and it's nowhere like cheating (e.g. 1/4 squat).
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    Right now my 5RM is 225. On my light days I do 3 sets of 185x8 and I bring it to my chest w/o excessive arching. When I do 225, if I bring it to my chest I can only do about 3 reps. If I stop an inch or two above, I can get the full 5 no problem. So for now I will bring it to my chest. I do rotator cuff exercises once a week to help keep things safe, and I haven't had any strange shoulder pains.

    So the short answer is do whatever feels best, and go as low as you can w/o hurting yourself.
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    When I'm warming up (135-185 lbs.), I go all the way to my chest, but when I'm doing heavy reps (4-6 @ anything 225+ lbs.) I usually only go to about 1-2" off my chest. This is because I have longer arms, so going all the way to my chest with a heavier weight puts a lot of strain on my shoulders.
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    I go down to about 2-3" off my chest. I do not like the feeling I get when I go lower. I read a study a few years ago about touching the chest vs about 3-4" from your chest. The conclusion of the study was that you don't do a whole lot more to recruit/build muscle but you substantially increase the possibility of getting injured.

    Going 2-3" off my chest seems to be working just fine for me. I'm not training for a combine or testing so why risk the injury when I don't have to. One pec tear in my life is enough.
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    I achieve maximum stretch on my pecs when the bar's a good 2-3 inches above chest level. Any lower, emphasis shifts to my front delts.

    Based on the individual's arm length and torso thickness, I believe this is something that will vary from person to person. Guys with short arms and thick chests will naturally be able to hit their chest without losing focus on their pecs; I use what works for me.
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    Originally Posted by smokeater View Post
    I go down to about 2-3" off my chest. I do not like the feeling I get when I go lower. I read a study a few years ago about touching the chest vs about 3-4" from your chest. The conclusion of the study was that you don't do a whole lot more to recruit/build muscle but you substantially increase the possibility of getting injured.

    Going 2-3" off my chest seems to be working just fine for me. I'm not training for a combine or testing so why risk the injury when I don't have to. One pec tear in my life is enough.
    probably kinda hard to post a link to something you read a few years ago but if you ever stumble upon it could you post the link?
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