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  1. #1
    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    Bench press - 2 related topics

    1) I read somewhere that said not to train infraspinatus the day before bench press. It didn't say why, but I'm assuming the author thinks that would mean benching with a fatigued rotator cuff.
    2) On a similar note, I notice sometimes that when I'm benching and really struggling with the reps I tend to shrug my shoulders a bit and maybe some internal rotation. I perhaps get more shoulder recruitment? I'm not sure if this is bad or if I'd be stronger or less prone to injury with depressed scapula and also focusing more on external rotator engagement when benching.

    I haven't been doing dips lately - perhaps adding in dips or bench dips for a while will help with scapula depression (although I would assume all the pulling exercises help with that). I also have back day including Y raises (for lower traps) and external rotations (infraspinatus, teres minor) before bench day. Maybe it would be better to do these on a different day.
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  2. #2
    Registered User bLinkMoore's Avatar
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    1) A significantly fatigued infraspinatus could end up with you not being able to pack your shoulders tightly, and it could be uncomfortable. But unless it's really fatigued, I don't see that being a significant issue. Maybe if you were a competitive powerlifter trying to squeeze every last ounce out of your body.

    2) I used to do a similar thing. Focus on really packing your shoulders back and keep them tight throughout. Should see a positive impact.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bLinkMoore View Post
    1) A significantly fatigued infraspinatus could end up with you not being able to pack your shoulders tightly, and it could be uncomfortable. But unless it's really fatigued, I don't see that being a significant issue. Maybe if you were a competitive powerlifter trying to squeeze every last ounce out of your body.

    2) I used to do a similar thing. Focus on really packing your shoulders back and keep them tight throughout. Should see a positive impact.
    1) Yeah I can't imagine my 3 sets of cable external rotations at the end of back day has a significant effect, but I don't really know. I don't FEEL fatigued.
    2) I'm not sure how bad the shrug is and if it's bad... I think I keep the scapula retracted but do feel shrugging and maybe a tad rotating. I was thinking it might be safer to keep them depressed (I had impingement when I let them rotate on pulling exercises, and that's how my brother tore his bicep tendon), but not sure if it is a stronger position once trained better, or if the shrug is always stronger yet maybe not good to train that way. Kinda like back rounding in deadlift, or slight good morning in squats.
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  4. #4
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    1) Yeah I can't imagine my 3 sets of cable external rotations at the end of back day has a significant effect, but I don't really know. I don't FEEL fatigued.
    2) I'm not sure how bad the shrug is and if it's bad... I think I keep the scapula retracted but do feel shrugging and maybe a tad rotating. I was thinking it might be safer to keep them depressed (I had impingement when I let them rotate on pulling exercises, and that's how my brother tore his bicep tendon), but not sure if it is a stronger position once trained better, or if the shrug is always stronger yet maybe not good to train that way. Kinda like back rounding in deadlift, or slight good morning in squats.
    I don't see 1 being an issue.

    Sounds like you are over locking out your reps for extra uneccessarry ROM at the top.
    I don't think this is useful and would avoid any shrugging, try and repack shoulders between and during reps as well as before the set, squeeze lats together hard as you press and it will shorten the top ROM somewhat and you can get more consistent clean reps in.
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  5. #5
    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    I don't see 1 being an issue.

    Sounds like you are over locking out your reps for extra uneccessarry ROM at the top.
    I don't think this is useful and would avoid any shrugging, try and repack shoulders between and during reps as well as before the set, squeeze lats together hard as you press and it will shorten the top ROM somewhat and you can get more consistent clean reps in.
    I meant shrugging up toward my ears, not toward the ceiling. Shoulder blades stay back (toward the bench) from what I can tell. I feel like I shrug as it gets to the middle sticking point. Perhaps I feel stronger, or perhaps I just tense up and that causes a shrug. Here is video from October. Not sure if I did it here and can't really tell, but it was a tough set so I probably did.
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  6. #6
    Toronto Millz12323's Avatar
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    I totally get what you're saying with shrugging the shoulders up sometimes feeling stronger.

    I actually can't unrack the bench without shrugging up like you mentioned. I feel like it's probably less efficient to shrug up like that but sometimes feels stronger. I find if my setup is lousy and my unrack is bad I'll be more likely to do this sort of shrug and as a result the set will be more difficult.

    If I can nail the setup and unrack into a down and depressed position I'll feel stronger but as I fatigue I catch myself shrugging up with my shoulders.

    I don't really know what to think of it.

    Edit : https://imgur.com/gallery/YyxZpHA - (3rd video) my first 3 reps are good here but as the set goes on I lose that good shoulder position which I had in the first few reps. It's hard to tell from the video but I have a higher resolution one which I can zoom into where it's obvious I start each rep with a much more shrugged shoulder than I did on the first few

    Edit 2: same thing with you. I can see your ear at the lockout position of rep 1 but can't see it in the lockout of any other reps?

    Anyway...I don't know if it's wrong or bad just sharing that I do the same thing.
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  7. #7
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    I meant shrugging up toward my ears, not toward the ceiling. Shoulder blades stay back (toward the bench) from what I can tell. I feel like I shrug as it gets to the middle sticking point. Perhaps I feel stronger, or perhaps I just tense up and that causes a shrug. Here is video from October. Not sure if I did it here and can't really tell, but it was a tough set so I probably did.
    It's a lot less obvious than I'd imagined, just need to keep them packed a bit more through the set.

    On that set I'd be more concerned with the instability and hesitation on the first eccentric, probably added an RPE at least
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  8. #8
    Registered User jademonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    It's a lot less obvious than I'd imagined, just need to keep them packed a bit more through the set.

    On that set I'd be more concerned with the instability and hesitation on the first eccentric, probably added an RPE at least
    For some reason I always am really slow on the first eccentric on bench press. It's like I have to test the weight carefully or something, then other reps are fine. Not sure why.
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  9. #9
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    For some reason I always am really slow on the first eccentric on bench press. It's like I have to test the weight carefully or something, then other reps are fine. Not sure why.
    It's not unheard of, I'd try taken some more time between unrack and the 1st rep.
    Since that first rep being off is always going to cost you fatigue wise for the rest of the set.

    Not that you haven't been doing fine with bench progress it seems, but it's something to improve on
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