Tuck elbows on bench?

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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby colinkbell » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:32 pm

Louie
knows some issues (triple plies , mono-lifts , chem. cycles) . You know yourself . Strength in the opposite
direction (one arm rows , chins lowering very S-L-O-W-L-Y ) close grip benches and a few cuff waves and
you'll smooth out the shakes .
" Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees" Isaiah 35 v3
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby 28kgKB » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:19 pm

Hey folks! So, in regards to grip width while benching, I struggled for years during my competition days in deciding which grip to use. The wide grip is bad and narrow grip is good ideal, well there is merit to it, but a lot of it has to do with leverages. I always noticed that those who excelled at the bench press weren't always good deadlifters. I fact, I found from competing that the best deadlifters were the worst benchers. These are the folks who always offer advice on benching. When you find out why they're so good at benching you realize they don't deadlift well.

Back to the grip issue:

This does correlate to grip width on the bench press. "This" meaning shoulder girdle structure. The rule of thumb I was taught was to have your forearms perpendicular to the floor when the bar was on your chest. Well, in order for me to do that I needed to take a wider grip because my shoulders are not wide, they're rather narrow. Keeping your shoulders "packed" and tight certainly helps. That will prevent injury for sure. Keeping your shoulder blades pinched together, whether you use the arch or not is certainly a good idea too.

Here's the problem though: with a wider grip I noticed launching the bar off my chest was easier, but I'd bog down and have problems locking out about half way up. Working from pins in the sticking point never helped me. In fact all pin presses did was give me aching and sore shoulders, a sore sternum and no gains on the bench press.

When I switched to a narrower, shoulder width grip the movement became a pure triceps movement for me. I wasn't really able to engage the chest, shoulders and back with this style. I noted that the launch off the chest was difficult, but the lock out was easier for me. If I could get the bar past the mid point (IF!) I was able to lock it out.

With both styles I was within 10 pounds at most of each other. With a bench press shirt on I maybe did another 10 pounds. I've never had a strong bench press when I was powerlifting.

What I think helps with the bench press though is to do plenty of back work as was already suggested, in addition to rear deltoid work. Think about it: The competition bench is narrow. Most folks when lying on a standard bench will have their shoudler girdle hanging off the edges of the bench. You need support of the back and rear delts to at least hold the bar in position for a few seconds before you begin the bar descent.

Also I believe that military pressing or some form of over head press will greatly assist the bench, just like my squat helped my deadlift and my deadlift helped my squat. The pairing of the BP and the MP will help build your shoulder girdle and triceps.

Some folks have great success with using close grip bench presses to help their bench press. It never worked for me. I'm having some success now with using reverse grip bench press and floor press.

But, yeah, keeping the shoulders tucked is probably a good idea, especially if you're a narrow grip bencher.

J
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby peter yates » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:15 pm

Hi John,
nice to see you posting again,always interesting and informative.One of the things i like about this forum is that real people post,meaning those who have been in the trenches and done[and are still doing] the work.Years of experience and experimentation,no armchair theorists.While many ideas such as partials in the rack may work for some they will not work for everyone and only experimentation and adjustment will determine what will be right for each individual.The sharing of ideas and information based on trial and error helps us all in our quests.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby 28kgKB » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:13 pm

Hi Peter,

Yeah I was down for awhile. I had abdominal hernia surgery on March 9th of this year and was down for a bit. No training at all. I've had to completely change my focus on training altogether once I started back. Squats and deadlifts caused my hernia. I tore a whole in the rectus wall above the belly button area. Painful to say the least. At least mine was.

For the past few months I've been trying different routines and exercises to see what I can do and what I can't do. With a piece of surgical mesh repairing my hernia I'm afraid that while the doctors said "do whatever you want after you heal" I'm sure they didn't mean heavy weight training. Do whatever want to the average person who doesn't train really means just walk around and do little else. In fact, my surgeon told me during my post-op appointment to "not do anything that stretches my core too much" so that pretty much leaves out anything....LOL! Geez.....

Anyway, I've been trying different barbell, dumb bell and kettlebell routines, as well as borrowing a Total Gym - the kind advertised by Chuck Norris - one of the "higher end models" with all sorts of attachments. I found that upper body work lying flat with my feet elevated on plates so I don't stretch the ab area too much works, things like incline work, seated and standing work is ok as long as it isn't too, too heavy. Anything like heavy squats and deadlifts is probably a no-no for now. Leg work seems to be the most difficult thing to do. I'm trying to not do any movements that are too ballistic either like Olympic lifts. I was going to start running for leg and cardio work but re-thought that idea as running always hurts my lower back and knees.

Its been very slow going to say the least. Basically I've been concentrating on bench pressing, overhead pressing, a special kind of pull up on the Total Gym where my whole body is supported - I cannot hang from a bar and do traditional chins and pullups, nor can I do bent over barbell rowing (right now anyway ) as I don't want to tear anything - curls and tricep work. I don't have a pulldown machine or anything like that, but I've been able to add weigh to the Total Gym with the use of a special bar provided and by adding barbell plates, I've been able to get some seated rowing in, much like that on a weighted seated cable rowing machine. Coupled with the pullups and kettlebell work I'm able to work my back from my traps to my lumbar area just fine. I can do lots of shoulder work. That's no problem. Trap work - no problem there. The only leg work though is basically kettlebell swings which is fine, because I also want the cardio work as well. I've tried weighted Hack style squats and sissy squats and they work to an extent.

The upside to all this is at least I can train. Maybe now I'll be forced to work on my nemesis - the bench press! LOL!

Cheers,

John
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby sticksb » Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:23 pm

The straight arm pullover is a great recovery movement for the entire abdominal
region (starting with light weights) . There is a good version with the Total Gym .
Planking is also good . The goose step with ankle weights is also very good . Hope
the healing is complete and permanent .
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby peter yates » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:30 pm

Hi John,
sorry to hear of your misfortune but glad to hear you are back in the saddle and moving on. Yes a good time for experimentation and finding what works.The total gym is a terrific piece of equipment for working around injuries and i have had people getting good results when other training was maybe too stressful.Having said that the row you described really works the back when loaded up. For the legs how are you with free squats and higher reps? Say making a target of 100 for that session and doing it in as many sets as it takes. Another option may be Sticks favorite,the step up,that is if it does not cause too much tension on the abs. For a while recently i was limited to the weight i could use due to an old elbow injury flare up.I found though i could still do my exercises if i used lighter weights and upped the reps.Interestingly i have never considered myself a bodybuilder as such and have never gone for the pump so was surprised how much this method PUMPED me up and how sore i was the day after.So what was a problem turned out OK.Anyway you are a warrior and you will find the way back that works for you,and trust you will be recovered and stronger.I have known quite a few who after having such surgery were able to get back to full training eventually by taking the time needed for complete healing.Power to you John and glad you are back on board.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby 28kgKB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:40 pm

sticksb wrote:The straight arm pullover is a great recovery movement for the entire abdominal
region (starting with light weights) . There is a good version with the Total Gym .
Planking is also good . The goose step with ankle weights is also very good . Hope
the healing is complete and permanent .


Hey Sticks!

Yeah I tried pullovers and it might be a little too early for those. They do give a good stretch in the entire torso area and are one of my favorite exercises, but I was advised by the surgeon to not do those for awhile. The mesh I had installed needs to meld into the muscular structure of the abdominal wall to hold everything together. I can actually feel the patch in my gut. Stretching it too far, as you'd do with pullovers, makes it "angry"....LOL I've been using standard flys and crossover movements with DB's with success for "chest stretching" as well as bench pressing and some chest movements on the Total Gym.

I've tried the pullover on the Total Gym on various inclines and it works. I used to laugh at that machine thinking it was a gadget and a gimmick, but after I got hurt and patched up and was looking to start training again I took another look at it. I was surprised that it worked so effectively. Its a very smooth machine and basically works off of your own bodyweight but by adding the incline or decline you increase the resistance. I have the optional "bar" that slides thru the sliding carriage and I'm able to increase the resistance an additional 100 pounds on the machine which really makes some of the moves challenging. I cannot perform chins/pullups on a standard pull up bar because of the ab stretch. It hurts. So I do pullups on the TG with its optional pull up bar attachment and added weight. My abs are supported and its a terrific upper back and rear delt movement.

I've always said to people who discount other types of training, other than barbells and dumb bells, and while I think barbells, dumb bells and kettlebells are the best for building muscles there's something to be said for other types of training. The muscles don't know whether a barbell, dumb bell, kettlebell, sand bag, cement block, rock or chunk of iron are being applied to them. They only know that there's resistance being placed on them and they respond in like kind by growing and getting larger. All one has to do is look at gymnasts to realize that.

Ah, the old "goose step" movement. I might have to give that a try again to see how it works out for me. I'm slowly adding movements back in as the weeks and months progress on. Admittedly, I was a little worried about adding squats and deadlifts back into the mix as those two movements were what was responsible for tearing the hernia in the first place. It was my own fault really: doing too much at 55 years old and thinking I was still 35 years old and still in competition mode. My bad. My bad for also not keeping my core as strong as I possibly could. I was doing a lot of KB swings which are pure core in the hopes that my abs would be tight enough to support heavy squats and deadlifts, but such was not the case. Oh well....live and learn I guess.

Back to the drawing board.....=)

John
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby 28kgKB » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:49 pm

peter yates wrote:Hi John,
sorry to hear of your misfortune but glad to hear you are back in the saddle and moving on. Yes a good time for experimentation and finding what works.The total gym is a terrific piece of equipment for working around injuries and i have had people getting good results when other training was maybe too stressful.Having said that the row you described really works the back when loaded up. For the legs how are you with free squats and higher reps? Say making a target of 100 for that session and doing it in as many sets as it takes. Another option may be Sticks favorite,the step up,that is if it does not cause too much tension on the abs. For a while recently i was limited to the weight i could use due to an old elbow injury flare up.I found though i could still do my exercises if i used lighter weights and upped the reps.Interestingly i have never considered myself a bodybuilder as such and have never gone for the pump so was surprised how much this method PUMPED me up and how sore i was the day after.So what was a problem turned out OK.Anyway you are a warrior and you will find the way back that works for you,and trust you will be recovered and stronger.I have known quite a few who after having such surgery were able to get back to full training eventually by taking the time needed for complete healing.Power to you John and glad you are back on board.
Regards,Peter.


HI Peter!

Thanks! yeah, its great to be back in the saddle so to speak. Step ups would be a great addition actually. In terms of free squats, YES....things like Sissy Squats a la Vince Gironda style work tremendously! I get a super stretch in the thighs with that movement and without the ab stress. My thighs are usually sore for days afterwords.

Cheers!
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Re: Tuck elbows on bench?

Postby Parkules » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:11 am

28kgKB wrote:Hi Peter,

Yeah I was down for awhile. I had abdominal hernia surgery on March 9th of this year and was down for a bit. No training at all. I've had to completely change my focus on training altogether once I started back. Squats and deadlifts caused my hernia. I tore a whole in the rectus wall above the belly button area. Painful to say the least. At least mine was.

For the past few months I've been trying different routines and exercises to see what I can do and what I can't do. With a piece of surgical mesh repairing my hernia I'm afraid that while the doctors said "do whatever you want after you heal" I'm sure they didn't mean heavy weight training. Do whatever want to the average person who doesn't train really means just walk around and do little else. In fact, my surgeon told me during my post-op appointment to "not do anything that stretches my core too much" so that pretty much leaves out anything....LOL! Geez.....

Anyway, I've been trying different barbell, dumb bell and kettlebell routines, as well as borrowing a Total Gym - the kind advertised by Chuck Norris - one of the "higher end models" with all sorts of attachments. I found that upper body work lying flat with my feet elevated on plates so I don't stretch the ab area too much works, things like incline work, seated and standing work is ok as long as it isn't too, too heavy. Anything like heavy squats and deadlifts is probably a no-no for now. Leg work seems to be the most difficult thing to do. I'm trying to not do any movements that are too ballistic either like Olympic lifts. I was going to start running for leg and cardio work but re-thought that idea as running always hurts my lower back and knees.

Its been very slow going to say the least. Basically I've been concentrating on bench pressing, overhead pressing, a special kind of pull up on the Total Gym where my whole body is supported - I cannot hang from a bar and do traditional chins and pullups, nor can I do bent over barbell rowing (right now anyway ) as I don't want to tear anything - curls and tricep work. I don't have a pulldown machine or anything like that, but I've been able to add weigh to the Total Gym with the use of a special bar provided and by adding barbell plates, I've been able to get some seated rowing in, much like that on a weighted seated cable rowing machine. Coupled with the pullups and kettlebell work I'm able to work my back from my traps to my lumbar area just fine. I can do lots of shoulder work. That's no problem. Trap work - no problem there. The only leg work though is basically kettlebell swings which is fine, because I also want the cardio work as well. I've tried weighted Hack style squats and sissy squats and they work to an extent.

The upside to all this is at least I can train. Maybe now I'll be forced to work on my nemesis - the bench press! LOL!

Cheers,

John


Hi John, I was browsing around and just saw this post now. I was wondering if you did heavy pullovers across the bench before your injury? I suffered a minor "stretch" from those and was sore for about a week....I think those might have contributed... Just my 2 cents worth
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