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Tightness issues when benching

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  • Tightness issues when benching

    The one exercise I seem to always have trouble maintaining tightness on is bench press. No matter how much I tell myself to pull my shoulder blades together, arch my lower back and keep most of the pressure on the upper back/traps area, all is lost once I unrack the weight. I can tell because the weight just feels loose side to side and I can't even keep the weight steady just holding it locked out all the time. I've tried to setup the way Dave Tate recommends in his bench setup tutorial with my feet under the bench driving my heels (theoretically) into the ground or with my feet more out.

    Any tips or links to previous posts/guides for good queues to keep tight on bench?

    P.S. I workout alone with no spotter.

  • #2
    Improve your scapular stability. James Smith AKA Smitty Diesel has put out some great info on this.
    21 yrs. old
    NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
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    • #3
      In my unprofessional opinion it sounds like you have weak triceps and/or very long arms.

      Start out lighter and keep practicing. Get those triceps up.
      Max Muscle
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      • #4
        I would work on bridging and setting your feet. Also try to get a handoff because unless you set your bench height you'll probably protract your scapula to bring it out which basically negates the entire set up.
        The smitty diesel reference is an awesome idea, hammer rhomboids and traps and see if that helps.

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        • #5
          Set the pins on the uprights lower, if you have to extend to unrack that will completely undo your "pulled in , arched set-up", also go lighter and start blasting your BB rows so you can get your "steering muscles" if you don't know what I'm talking about do more research
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Be Prime View Post
            Improve your scapular stability. James Smith AKA Smitty Diesel has put out some great info on this.
            Thanks I will look into this.

            Originally posted by big ross View Post
            I would work on bridging and setting your feet. Also try to get a handoff because unless you set your bench height you'll probably protract your scapula to bring it out which basically negates the entire set up.
            The smitty diesel reference is an awesome idea, hammer rhomboids and traps and see if that helps.
            Unfortunately a handoff is not possible as I workout in a home gym.

            Originally posted by trucelt View Post
            Set the pins on the uprights lower, if you have to extend to unrack that will completely undo your "pulled in , arched set-up", also go lighter and start blasting your BB rows so you can get your "steering muscles" if you don't know what I'm talking about do more research
            I think this could be one of my problems. I've refrained from lowering the pins in the past because I didn't want to expend energy extending the bar but it probably has been at the expense of losing my setup to some degree. Will try lowering the pins next benching session. I've always felt rowing was my strongest among all the exercises I do but I will put a greater emphasis on this. Thanks.

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            • #7
              Jim-
              When row don't pull to the lower abs, try to pull higher like to your solar plexus or lower pec line, try to mimic the reverse motion of your bench, part of that steering/stability also cone from rear delta. Lower traps, upper back rear delts. Good luck but I think lowering the pins will be the key
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              • #8
                Originally posted by trucelt View Post
                Jim-
                When row don't pull to the lower abs, try to pull higher like to your solar plexus or lower pec line, try to mimic the reverse motion of your bench, part of that steering/stability also cone from rear delta. Lower traps, upper back rear delts. Good luck but I think lowering the pins will be the key
                I normally row with my arms close to my body pulling into the lower abdomen so I'll mix in some wider grip higher rows and see if that helps me out. Great tip truce, thanks.

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                • #9
                  You can try lifting out of the rack as if your doing a skull crusher.

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                  • #10
                    Inverted rows are my favorite right now. If you're working out at your house you may be able to come up with something (two chairs and a bar). It really mimics the reverse of a bench press.

                    Whatever this guy said about skull crusher disregard, makes no sense at all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by big ross View Post

                      Whatever this guy said about skull crusher disregard, makes no sense at all.
                      Actually he is right it is a valid technique. A lot of guys teach it this way. This is the way we do it as well. It is a little harder with no lift, but still do-able.

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=o3OlV08WR-M
                      Last edited by Imprezivr6; 11-05-2012, 09:35 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Reverse Band

                        I like reverse band for when i wana liftheavy without a spotter.

                        Then do pressups with hands on blocks at the end of workout so i can work on the deep stretch posistion, bringing chest lower that hands. Like this exercise much more than db flyes.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Imprezivr6 View Post
                          Actually he is right it is a valid technique. A lot of guys teach it this way. This is the way we do it as well. It is a little harder with no lift, but still do-able.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=o3OlV08WR-M
                          I completely misinterpreted it lol. I was thinking of reverse curling the weight, laying down, than pressing off your chest (basically not having a rack at all).
                          If you can adjust yor rack down that's a great idea, think of pullin the weight off instead of lifting than setting (use your lats not pec minor).

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