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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Special BenchPress for less shoulder blades discomfort (pic)

    I think this could eliminate shoulder injuries from bench pressing since the back blades are free to move and the pecs can take all the load.




    I'm going to build one this summer and try it out...I haven't benched in years due to regular bench discomfort.


    what do yall think?
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    Gandalf of the Gym cmarti063's Avatar
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    It looks extremely unstable. If you understood proper bench pressing form, you would understand why that is. You would also understand that shoulder injuries don't occur from benching because the "back blades" aren't free to move... you need to study how the lift is actually supposed to be performed
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    Originally Posted by PureEnergy690 View Post

    I think this could induce shoulder injuries from bench pressing ......................
    I agree.
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    Hmmm....I thought you were supposed to keep the scaps retracted.

    Darn, I wasted all that money on a Thompson Fat Pad.
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    Equipment Geek Mod Wildtim's Avatar
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    Sorry OP, it won't work. Shoulder blade movement has nothing to do with why some guys mess up their shoulders benching.
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    Can't break what's broken Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone. It will cause injuries, but thanks for at least thinking about problems OP.

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    Check your bench press form and you shouldn't have any issues. Don't think of a flat bench press as a pec exercise either, think of it as a tricep exercise. If you look at powerlifters as they bench, they brace their body, tuck in their elbows on the flat bench to essentially make it a decline bench press. That is the way you want to bench because the "bodybuilding" style with elbows flared out is just a ticking time bomb on your rotator cuff unless you're using light weight.
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    Healthnutmd had some pads made similarly. Search the cost no object thread for photos/information. He was using them on machines and I understand his point of the design. But I think your reasoning regarding shoulder injuries is wrong. I agree with what others have said in their replies. Maybe your form is bad if you're having problems?
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    A wider bench not a thinner one will protect both your shoulders and your chest
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  10. #10
    Registered User dumb.bell's Avatar
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    There is a generally accepted way to bench in powerlifting, which is to arch the back and retract the scapula and keep them immobilized. This seems to work well for moving a lot of weight, however, depending on your goals, it may not be the best way to bench. Bodybuilders will often use a flatter back position and flare their elbows out as well as bring the bar down in a higher position in relation to their head. The reason this is done is to bring the pecs into the exercise more and it is not intended as a method to move maximal weight. I mention both, just to highlight the point that there is generally more than one way to do something and one isn't necessarily better than the other, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    I understand the thought behind your design and you are definitely not the first person to think that keeping the scapula immobilized isn't necessarily a good idea. I don't think your design would be ideal for lifting maximal weight, because I think it offers less stability than a wider bench. However, you haven't stated that maximal weight is your goal, but rather to relieve pain, and I would have to try a bench like that to have an opinion.

    As I stated above, you are not the first person to think along these lines. Below is a sales pitch for a bench designed by Dr. Squat (Fred Hatfield). At one point he sold the bench and I've seen pictures of it, but I was unable to locate one today.

    The scapulae in benching

    • Say goodbye to injured rotator cuffs
    • Bench press 10% more than ever before
    • Indispensibe for athletes and fitness training alike

    A bench press bench can only be built one way. According to the rules of powerlifting, right?

    NOT! SportStrength manufactures the finest competition model bench press benches ever conceived. We also have the revolutionary Adjustable Sport Bench featuring the patented curved back design for athletes. Even powerlifters. It’s safer and more effective than a conventional flat bench. But folks, NOWHERE have you EVER seen or imagined anything like the totally revolutionary, awesome, SCAP-PAD® bench!

    Consider: Lying on your back with 300-400 or more pounds in your hands pressing your scapulae into the flat bench beneath. You lower the bar to your chest. But the scapulae are pinned to the bench and cannot slide inwards as you lower the bar. And neither can they slide outward as you raise the bar off your chest. This is not good! It causes undue stress on the tendons of the long heads of your biceps. The results?

    • Nagging long-lasting pain from biceps tendinitis
    • You can’t lift as much
    • Far less strength is developed
    • Poor sports performance.

    On top of that, all benches are made to be 16 or more inches off the ground. Just because the rules of powerlifting dictate it. This is downright dangerous for shorter athletes who have to go into spinal hyperextension in order to keep their feet flat on the ground for better stability. The results?
    • low back trauma
    • less stability during training and therefore greater exposure to injury and less weight being lifted
    • poor sports performance, or (worse)
    • ruined sports career from unnecessary injury

    All because the conventional powerlifting bench press bench is all you ever had available to you! Ask yourself this: Are you training competitive powerlifters? Or are you training athletes for sports other than powerlifting?

    Now picture this: Same weight, same bench. But with a little patented gizmo built into the bench that allows your scapulae to slide in as you lower the bar, and back out as you press it back upward. This is how Mother Nature intended for your shoulder girdle to operate. Add to that the fact that the SportStrength Scap-Pad® bench is adjustable in height for tall and short athletes alike. The results?
    • Far less chance of biceps tendinitis
    • 10 percent more weight lifted
    • greater strength is developed
    • no unnecessary trauma to the lumbar spine
    • better sports performance, not only because you’re stronger but because you’re healthier!
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    Registered User morebarbell's Avatar
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    I haven't seen photos of that bench but the OP's design would increase the stress on the rotator cuff since there is less support. Depending on the narrowness of the bench, the scapulae may be free and I can see that may be useful depending on the goals and when you're not pushing as much weight as possible but benching for reps. But with free weights, a rotator cuff injury could still occur especially if he goes to failure on his reps... even if it's unintentional. I like the design better for a plate loaded machine.
    Last edited by morebarbell; 03-29-2014 at 09:35 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Found this. Don't know if it is an original picture or someone else's drawing.





    http://drsquat.com/content/main/trai...blades-comfort
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    That's interesting. I'd like to try it.
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    Is op dr. Squat?....
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    Originally Posted by jdforsy View Post
    Is op dr. Squat?....
    Very doubtful

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    Registered User morebarbell's Avatar
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    Here's one of Healthnut's posts about his design:

    Originally Posted by HealthNutMD View Post
    More pics:

















    The new design is as expected. Really helps pre-stretch.

    allows your shoulders (rear delts and upper triceps) to move more freely during the chest press. Allows a deeper prestretch with more comfort.
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    DudeReallyBro PureEnergy690's Avatar
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    well, it looks like I wasn't the first one to think about it.

    I admit that shoulder injuries could apply even with this design so "eliminate shoulder injuries" was a bad argument of me. This is more about shoulder blades than rotators.

    I'm aware that it would not be for everyone but I'm still curious to see what top competitors would say if they have tried it. Dr.Squat designed one, there must be something here.

    Arching my back seems pointless since I can just do declined or even dips. (like doing inclined benchpress with arch = flat chest but lower back pain)

    I'll come back once I build it for updates. In the meanwhile I'll continue to flat push w/3 chairs.

    thanx for all your replies.


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    This right here is the correct way to reduce shoulder strain via smart equipment design: http://www.roguefitness.com/thompson-fatpad.php

    Ask anyone who's ever benched on a Thompson Fat Pad over a Forza bench w the thicker padding. Thicker pads make a huge difference in how much your shoulder blades can function optimally.

    We have 2 Forzas at my gym and honestly I refuse to go back to any other bench for a heavy 1RM.
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    I agree with a couple of the above posters. I recently bought and installed a Thompson fat pad on my flex fitness flat bench.
    I haven't used it yet, but my buddy benched a new PR on it today the first time he used it. His old Pr 2 weeks ago was 225 1rm and he hit 245 today no problem. The guy that designed the fat pad does hold 7 world benching records.
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    DudeReallyBro PureEnergy690's Avatar
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    nice, thanx for the fat pad info, I will definitely recommend it to a gym owner in my area !
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