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Pressing Charges: 7 Bench-Press Crimes, Solved

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sarido9223

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sarido9223

wow now that explains my neck and wrist pain....iv been doing some of these wrong things myself.Great article!Thank you!

Nov 29, 2012 7:50pm | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

Thank you Victor

Dec 2, 2012 4:48pm | report
DCHodges36

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DCHodges36

HA! I didn't notice the false grip until reading your note. Good catch. I might not have caught that or perhaps it is a bad camera angle. I actually enjoyed this article though. I laughed hard at the, "are these the same people parking two feet from the curb," comment lol. The only time I use a false grip is with the machines doing shoulder press. I actually want to try the foot placement thing...it was very specific with sliding feet back until heels are off group. I actually have chest - tricep tomorrow so this is perfect timing! Thanks...anyone know what benching with the bar above your neck does? More pec development I'm guessing but...oooh dangerous! I only do that by accident...

Nov 29, 2012 8:06pm | report
 
JeremyKoehnlein

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JeremyKoehnlein

bench pressing with lowering the bar to your neck, often called guillotine bench press, was originally developed by Vince Gironda i believe. he wouldnt allow people in his gym to bench press the regular way as he believed that causes the pectorals to take the shape of a woman's breasts..... lowering the bar to your neck gives a better stretch in the pecs, but is considered dangerous by most people these days. i did them for a while and really liked it, but when i tried again recently, it stressed my shoulder too much

Nov 30, 2012 12:36pm | report
mrlongisland1

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mrlongisland1

Roelly still does them with Grandma.

Nov 30, 2012 12:44pm | report
Basketball22

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Basketball22

I do guillotine presses and I absolutely love them. They mainly focus on the upper area of the pectorals. However going heavy on these probably isn't a good idea because of the position it puts your shoulder in. Usually i never go below 10 reps with these.

Dec 2, 2012 7:28am | report
Havico

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Havico

Hmmmm

Dec 14, 2012 9:14am | report
Yousif29

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Yousif29

Why is it bad to have your feet up on the bench? Doesn't that put more pressure on your upper body, making for a better for a better lift?

Nov 29, 2012 9:50pm | report
 
sohei

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sohei

It doesn't make for a better lift. A lot of old school guys did it cause it kept em from picking their butt off the bench. Heels on the floor gives you a much stronger foundation and will give more power for heavier lifts. I used to keep my feet up and never could get a halfway decent bench poundage. It's also a lot safer.

Nov 30, 2012 7:30am | report
jbusheyvt

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jbusheyvt

I used to do this when I was a kid and my legs weren't long enough to touch the floor.

Nov 30, 2012 9:52am | report
jaimeg123prmt

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jaimeg123prmt

Guys, please be careful when benching. Do NOT do more than you can handle. The most shocking thing happened at my gym tonight. Some guy was benching too much weight and it slipped from his hands and crushed his chest, killing him. Not even his spotter could lift the weight. This is the first time I see something like this happen. Safety first guys. God bless.

Nov 29, 2012 10:13pm | report
 
Walt39

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Walt39

I saw that in high school only it crushed the guys forehead trying to rack it... def safety first!

Nov 30, 2012 8:16am | report
GotrippedDOTorg

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GotrippedDOTorg

Damm!, **** happens! safety first guys!

Nov 30, 2012 5:14pm | report
fredzz1003

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fredzz1003

nice article :)

Nov 29, 2012 10:27pm | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

Thanks Fredy

Dec 2, 2012 4:50pm | report
-SvN-

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-SvN-

great article. altough i prefer benchpress with dumbells

Nov 30, 2012 2:15am | report
 
admirza

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admirza

me too...I lift heavier and with a better ROM with dumbbells...with barbell on the other hand I am unable to touch the bar to my chest no matter which grip I use or how low the weight is...it just puts pressure on my shoulders

Dec 1, 2012 2:41am | report
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

"great article. altough i prefer benchpress with dumbells"

Thanks, even with perfect form heavy barbell bench pressing will eventually take it's toll on your shoulders so dumbbells are a better choice in the long run.

Dec 2, 2012 4:55pm | report
Clintie

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Clintie

Great article. Thanks for all the information.

Nov 30, 2012 5:16am | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

Thanks Clintie

Dec 2, 2012 4:56pm | report
Pendicott62

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Pendicott62

I've been using dumbbells from now on and rarely use the barbell because I am following Kris Gethin's 12 weeks hardcore program.

My thoughts are that I believe that you may need to press the barbell about 6 inches from your chest and up with controlled movement. As for the grips, it is highly recommned you do the overhand grip (no thumb less) It's dangerous to perform thumb less and you might lose your chest or throat.

Nov 30, 2012 6:32am | report
 
MartinTheCoach

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MartinTheCoach

Great article! good tips.

Nov 30, 2012 7:07am | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

Thanks Martin

Dec 2, 2012 4:58pm | report
sohei

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sohei

Nice article. I'm gonna have to check myself on a couple of these. Wonder if maybe that pic above was included to show the wrong things... 6 inches off, slack wrist, open grip. Just as important to see what's wrong to know how to make it right.

Nov 30, 2012 7:34am | report
 
EireMuscle

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EireMuscle

some goof info.

Nov 30, 2012 8:52am | report
 
mrlongisland1

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mrlongisland1

Chest Trampoline lol!

Nov 30, 2012 9:12am | report
 
BOOGADA

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BOOGADA

Let's not forget one of the biggest crimes among younger lifters, the butt thrust. I still chuckle when I see guys lower the bar near their stomachs then drive it up by thrusting their hips.

Nov 30, 2012 9:56am | report
 
dylandreiling

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dylandreiling

I personally think bench press is bad for your shoulders so i don't do it. I focus on incline and decline.

Nov 30, 2012 10:08am | report
 
TrimLines

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TrimLines

Some good advice here to get a bigger bench
Of course if your goal is building a bigger chest then there are some different variations you will want to incorporate as well, This does almost as good a job as Elite FTS

Nov 30, 2012 10:25am | report
 
teslation

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teslation

i think u shouldnt pass the 90 degrees when chest press because ur deltoids will start to work harder.

many of u ve seen lot of world class bodybuilders touch their chest all the way down but thats because they want to work their shoulders aswell with their chest workout.

unless ur doing ur chest only i wouldnt recommend touching the bar to ur chest unless u really have a very good solid deltoids or doing both chest and shoulders exercises in the same workout

Nov 30, 2012 10:31am | report
 
marcelogiugni

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marcelogiugni

How high the bar should go after the first lift? I've seen lots of bb'ers touching the bar to the chest and then raising it just a little, not full

Nov 30, 2012 10:51am | report
 
MoeGainz88

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MoeGainz88

"Do not use a false, or "thumb-less," grip. It's dangerous, and it also tends to force your elbows in tight to your body, making your front delts and triceps do most of the work."
And yet, on the picture depicted the guy has a thumbless grip...

Nov 30, 2012 12:01pm | report
 
Beccstah

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Beccstah

I think the point is to show the wrong position so you dont do it, if you've noticed alot of the pictures show incorrect posture I think the purpose is to show you what not to do.

Nov 30, 2012 12:09pm | report
michaelpbohn

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michaelpbohn

I completely disagree with #5. I am 6'4'' with long arms. Going past 90 degrees is horrible for your shoulders. I used to compete in power lifting tournaments and always trained to go all the way down and touch my chest. i started having a lot of shoulder problems. I did a lot of research into it and found out that breaking 90 degrees on a bench press is extremely strenuous on your shoulders. Once you break 90 degrees, you put all that weight on two shoulders and off your chest. I switched to "partial reps" as he calls them, two years ago and haven't had a problem with my shoulders since. Unless you are competing in an event where you need to go all the way to your chest, I would strongly recommend against it.

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Nov 30, 2012 12:02pm | report
 
showmestate08

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showmestate08

sounds like you weren't using your lats/tucking your elbows correctly.

Nov 30, 2012 12:38pm | report
wintchman

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wintchman

I completely agree... I don't think anyone under 6' is going to understand this concept because when they are at or near 90 degrees, they are touching their chest. If you have long arms and are not worried about impressing people who have the high school gym mentality, then don't go past 90.... or..... severely lower the weight and develop your anterior deltoid, but you will never get a solid pectoralis major workout like this and your anterior delt will most likely never be strong enough to sustain numbers anywhere near 1.5 times your bodyweight or greater.

Apr 18, 2013 4:27am | report
eimaj311

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eimaj311

I go down to 90 degrees and would recommend it to anyone that doesn't want to have shoulder issues. Besides that there is some good information here for beginners and for those guys/girls that have been lifting incorrectly too.

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Nov 30, 2012 12:19pm | report
 
Beast707

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Beast707

He's on SWAT thats pretty awesome. Thanks for your service! and a great article.

Nov 30, 2012 1:00pm | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

I appreciate your comments Beast

Dec 2, 2012 5:01pm | report
i_am_animal

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i_am_animal

#5 Irks me the most-
1.) Letting the bar touch your chest (even the slightest bit) takes tension off of the working muscles leading to a less efficient workout. I'm not saying stop 6 inches above, but turn around right before it does.
1A.) Touching the chest can lead to a violation of rule #7 because that little touch gives your muscles a chance to rest (even the slightest bit) and you think you can do more weight than you really can.

2.) Partial reps after reaching failure on full ROM further fatigues the muscles- forcing adaptation better than doing two sets of full ROM.

Nov 30, 2012 1:26pm | report
 
Beast707

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Beast707

seems to be a lot of discussion on touching your chest. personally when I bench it's not how heavy the weight is. I just want to make sure I get a good stretch and a good contraction which for me has always served better than just completing a movement or a half a movement.

Nov 30, 2012 2:40pm | report
 
Perses

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Perses

One way to not go to heavy is no spotter ! I never had one and never had a problem

Nov 30, 2012 3:11pm | report
 
kiese100

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kiese100

Use dumbbells, problem solved.

Nov 30, 2012 5:20pm | report
 
Trevor1900

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Trevor1900

Regarding # 4:
A few years ago I benched a good amount of weight that was heavy for me. Because I saw my wrists bending backwards a little too much (causing wrist discomfort), I tried to force my wrists back into proper position (in line with forearms). When I did this, the bar dropped on me causing bruises around my rib cage. I don't bench much anymore due to this...
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to make sure this doesn't happen again? I really don't want the bar slipping out of my hands again. Also, I was not using false grip, thumbs were under the bar and wrapped tightly.

Nov 30, 2012 9:22pm | report
 
jpstanton

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jpstanton

Get some wrist straps to wear when you bench.

Dec 3, 2012 11:51am | report
afterdusk

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afterdusk

Too true about the legs ,lol

Dec 1, 2012 6:54am | report
 
PiratesWithHats

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PiratesWithHats

If you really want to learn how to bench, listen to Dave Tate or any of the boys at EliteFTS.

Dec 1, 2012 8:34am | report
 
AKPisMe

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AKPisMe

I agree with almost everything except for the bar going all the way down- I don't think this is universal.

If someone has shoulder issues (impingement, rotator cuff issues, labrum, etc.) it may not be appropriate to force the shoulder into its most vulnerable position. Doing so could cause injury or aggravation of a pre-existing condition. Nonetheless, someone with shoulder issues is probably better suited sticking with dumbbells versus the barbell press.

I think lowering the bar to 90 degrees at the elbows is sufficient for solid pec activation while protecting the shoulder. Obviously this isn't universal, but individual differences have to be considered by the trainer and trainee.

Overall, solid article by a fellow CSCS.

Dec 1, 2012 9:33am | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

I appreciate all the positive comments on my article and I have no problem with anyone who offers a different opinion in a respectful way. I try to include some humor and a little controversy in each of my articles. Just know that I don't choose the photos and I believe the thumbless grip pics were included on purpose.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Article Rated:
Dec 2, 2012 4:44pm | report
 
stoobers08

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stoobers08

Thanks for the Article. After all these years of lifting, I love how I still learn something new everyday. Sometimes no matter how much you know, you have to take a step back and look at your lifting from an outside perspective. It's easy to get lost in the fog of your pride. Time to drop some plates and focus more on proper form.

Dec 2, 2012 6:56pm | report
 
DCHodges36

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DCHodges36

Thanks for the input on the guillotine presses...

Dec 2, 2012 7:01pm | report
 
hamedk

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hamedk

I really can't understand how this article could be published on the first page of bodybuilding.com
Where are your scientific facts for all these "crimes" bro? Blogs, and what your friends have told you does not count as a scientific fact, no matter how much you wish it to be true..

Article Rated:
Dec 2, 2012 7:03pm | report
 
JimVaglica

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JimVaglica

Wow hamedk, I'm really glad you're not the editor of BB.com

P.S. very interesting use of a towel & ski goggles

Dec 3, 2012 4:04pm | report
hamedk

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hamedk

Ofcourse you would rather comment me not being the editor of BB.com, and my outfit rather than answering where you got your facts from, huh?

I guess we have nothing more to say to eachother..

Dec 6, 2012 8:08am | report
Chas3Peat

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Chas3Peat

I'm guilty of #4 on higher weights but I'm working on it

Dec 2, 2012 11:31pm | report
 
cldillmann1

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cldillmann1

lol'd at "assisting someone doing upright rows"

Dec 3, 2012 5:39am | report
 
BamaSoldier

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BamaSoldier

Definitely need to make some corrections in this area. Thanks for the article.

Dec 11, 2012 5:06am | report
 
EricBilby

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EricBilby

I've been lifting for about four years now. I have caught on quickly with form and health. Thanks for all the info. No matter how much you know, knowledge is from experience. Thanks for sharing yours.

Jan 9, 2013 7:19pm | report
 
mmatrain93

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mmatrain93

This article was going great until I saw 6 and 7. First off the negative portion of the exercise is for hypertrophy and if your goal is strength you want a quick descent a slight pause, and an explosive lift. You can't assume that every person in the gym is working out to gain muscles, some people are training for sports or just purely for the strength aspect. As for number 7 it is again ridiculous to say that you need to perform at least 5 reps and THEN need help. If you're a powerlifter you will only lift 3 to 5 reps and you **** well need a spotter. I guess this articles okay for bodybuilders, but the author can't be ingorant enough to assume that every person in the gym is working out with that purpose in mind.

Jan 13, 2013 8:02pm | report
 
mmatrain93

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mmatrain93

Also if you are a healthy normal person and have no shoulder injuries you should be going down all the way until the bar touches the chest. By not doing this the joints will not be used to stress and you will be more likely to obtain a rotator cuff injury later on. The bottom half of the portion is where the pectoralis major is placed under the greatest stress so it is essential to get the full range of movement as long as the shoulders are in good working condition

Jan 13, 2013 8:07pm | report
 
wintchman

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wintchman

past 90 degrees your body relieves tension from pec major and transfers a great deal of the load to your anterior deltoids. people get the "touch chest" mentality from pushups and from a general consensus that has plagued gyms/high schools and weight lifting comptetions for years. As time progresses weight lifting techniques will vary, but for now, if you are going to touch your chest (and you have to go past 90 degrees to do so) then you should drop weight significantly or run the risk of severly damaging your shoulders. Also, if you maintain a 90 degree form, the only risk of injury "later on" would be overloading the bar and going past 90 degrees, where you would then overstress your anterior delt and most likely cause a tear. This usually happens with weight that is too heavy for a spotter to catch. A lot of these lifting techniques that were developed over the years, were developed by people who used steriods, so their muscles were able to grow to compensate for the improper lifts, or by people who had chests/arm lengths that allowed them to touch their chest @ or near 90 degrees. You will get a much better chest workout if you do not go past 90 degrees and you set the weight accordingly. If you want to work your shoulders, then by all means drop the weight and go past 90. My opinion is based on scholarly journals, my anatomy/phys education and my own personal experience. Feel free to disagree!

Apr 18, 2013 4:41am | report
R1urdone

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R1urdone

HAHA "Are you benching, or are you assisting your spotter with upright rows?"

Jan 15, 2013 1:25pm | report
 
americanmuscle7

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americanmuscle7

two rep sets have there place if youre attempting to increase your max. overall good article.

Feb 27, 2013 9:17am | report
 
leepo22

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leepo22

People with shoulder problems should probably work their shoulders out more instead of crying about going beyond 90 degrees.

Good article, thanks for the tips.

Mar 29, 2013 3:11pm | report
 
kaploggins

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kaploggins

I`m comfortable with the false grip. And I love my delts!

Apr 6, 2013 5:09pm | report
 
ZmaZeb

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ZmaZeb

Good tips, I think I need to focus on my feet and back more than I have been.

May 26, 2013 9:22pm | report
 
oomisfor

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oomisfor

great post, thx

May 27, 2013 4:07am | report
 
Dezire2BBuff

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Dezire2BBuff

Great article! I'll definitely be implementing these tips today!

May 28, 2013 2:29pm | report
 
kettchy00

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kettchy00

Not going to lie I am guilty of number 6. Its hard not to bounce off your chest if you do not have a spotter. Which is a terrible excuse but I am working on it

May 29, 2013 12:51pm | report
 
Showing 26 - 94 of 94 Comments
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