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  • Reverse grip bench question

    I've started using rvgb's once again in my exercise arsenal after I tweaked my form a bit and realized it really hits the nail on the head when it comes to pain-free chest training. So far I'm loving it, today I hit a 350x13+7+5rp set, it seems I finally found an exercise that agrees with me for once.

    However I'm wondering about form and safety, I never played around much with this exercise, so here's a few questions for the more experienced guys:

    Question 1 - It's still flat bb pressing regardless of arm supination... so I'm wondering if it's still an "ok" exercise safety wise to rest-pause, or if the general consensus about this exercise has changed since it's just a variation of the flat bench.

    I can usually go decently heavy on regular flat bench when my elbows feel ok and when I'm a bit heavier (400x10 at 230-240 is my personal best), but it feels "weird" and I feel some discomfort in my shoulders and elbows during the exercise.

    With the reverse grip there's no discomfort at all, everything feels fine and the pumps are awesome. I'm pretty hyped about this exercise. I did read however that Big Dave Smith tore his pec doing these, reason I'm asking.


    Question 2 - This is the main the reason I made this thread. It concerns the form/ execution of the exercise. Since I never really used this exercise before, I'm a newbie to it, I don't know what's the bar path supposed to look like nor where I'm supposed to bring the bar down to. So far I've been doing what feels comfortable.

    I have no trouble controlling the weight, however I noticed that for the movement to feel alright, instead of lowering the bar all the way down to my lower chest/upper abs ( down near the xiphoid process) like we are taught to do so when doing the flat bench, I need to lower the bar to the middle of my sternum, exactly the way we are taught not to do.

    The elbows are still tucked, but this is the only way I feel like in a good mechanical position. Too low ( like in a flat bench ) and it all feels very weird and I can't control the bar. Middle of chest = bar moves in a perfect line, everything feels perfect, heavy weights shoot up like the plates are made of paper. Am I mucking it all up or is it fine the way I'm doing it ?





    Any input appreciated
    "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

    "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

    “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

    The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

  • #2
    Are you doing this on a smith machine?
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    • #3
      damn... that's some impressive weight. I could only get 275 for a straight 10 set tonight. But IMO my tri's are my weakness although they have come a LONG way in the last 6 months.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post

        Question 1 - It's still flat bb pressing regardless of arm supination... so I'm wondering if it's still an "ok" exercise safety wise to rest-pause, or if the general consensus about this exercise has changed since it's just a variation of the flat bench.
        I am only speaking for myself and my personal experience....so take it for what it's worth.

        I haven't used normal width RGBP as part of a DC program (I have used them before, pre-DC), but have use Close Grip RGBP Rest-Paused. Having a previously dislocated left shoulder, I feel completely stable with the underhand grip because it allows me to tuck my elbows and seems to alleviate some of the stress on the shoulders. On any chest movement, when my elbows come out to my sides a little too far I can sense a difference between my left side and right side, as if there is a little instability.

        When looking back at regular RGBP, not the close grip style I have used more recently, I can recall a really good contraction in the pec minor it seemed like.


        Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post
        Question 2 - This is the main the reason I made this thread. It concerns the form/ execution of the exercise. Since I never really used this exercise before, I'm a newbie to it, I don't know what's the bar path supposed to look like nor where I'm supposed to bring the bar down to. So far I've been doing what feels comfortable.

        I have no trouble controlling the weight, however I noticed that for the movement to feel alright, instead of lowering the bar all the way down to my lower chest/upper abs ( down near the xiphoid process) like we are taught to do so when doing the flat bench, I need to lower the bar to the middle of my sternum, exactly the way we are taught not to do.

        The elbows are still tucked, but this is the only way I feel like in a good mechanical position. Too low ( like in a flat bench ) and it all feels very weird and I can't control the bar. Middle of chest = bar moves in a perfect line, everything feels perfect, heavy weights shoot up like the plates are made of paper. Am I mucking it all up or is it fine the way I'm doing it ?
        With both the close grip and regular width RGBP, I personally feel much more comfortable in terms of shoulder stability bringing the bar down low and driving up at and angle through my chest. I feel good starting the movement around the line where my elbows bisect my abdomen, since this seems to put my in the strongest biomechanical position. My forearms are perpendicular to the ground and the bar is low, around the top of my abs, almost at the base of my ribs. Fore close grips, I don't like to drive up through my chest as much and try to keep the tension more on my triceps when I reach full extension (an angle you'd have to try for yourself to find what feels best) but when driving through my chest, although not able to go as heavy, the contraction feels much deeper.

        Does that help give you some ideas based on what you are currently doing?
        mentalflex
        ISOM Winner February 2012
        Last edited by mentalflex; 12-17-2012, 10:19 PM.
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        • #5
          I'm trying to figure out how you can get the bar to the middle of your sternum and not at the xyphoid? Are you going pretty wide + elbows tucked? Or do you have really short arms? Shrugging your shoulders into your neck?

          I love these on smith btw...cranking out 3 plates The best part is I feel no strain once I properly warm up and the triceps really do most of the workload.
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          • #6
            [QUOTE=mentalflex;1006913]I am only speaking for myself and my personal experience....so take it for what it's worth.

            I haven't used normal width RGBP as part of a DC program (I have used them before, pre-DC), but have use Close Grip RGBP Rest-Paused. Having a previously dislocated left shoulder, I feel completely stable with the underhand grip because it allows me to tuck my elbows and seems to alleviate some of the stress on the shoulders. On any chest movement, when my elbows come out to my sides a little too far I can sense a difference between my left side and right side, as if there is a little instability. [quote]

            We are spot on here to how the movement feels like. I also have dislocated my right shoulder in the past, and it feels stupidly more stable than the overhand counterpart, almost as if I'm using a smith machine, in terms of not having a problem controling the weight.

            Originally posted by mentalflex View Post
            With both the close grip and regular width RGBP, I personally feel much more comfortable in terms of shoulder stability bringing the bar down low and driving up at and angle through my chest. I feel good starting the movement around the line where my elbows bisect my abdomen, since this seems to put my in the strongest biomechanical position. My forearms are perpendicular to the ground and the bar is low, like you said, around the sternum. Fore close grips, I don't like to drive up through my chest as much and try to keep the tension more on my triceps when I reach full extension (an angle you'd have to try for yourself to find what feels best) but when driving through my chest, although not able to go as heavy, the contraction feels much deeper.

            Does that help give you some ideas based on what you are currently doing?

            More or less. I take it that when you say you bring the bar low, you mean bellow the nipples ( let's use those as a reference point since "sternum" is a quite large area). To get my elbows perpendicular to the floor, I need to bring the bar high (way above nipples), a midpoint between the clavique and the nipples, this is probably because I have very long arms, but what makes me worry here is that by using such a setup I might be placing a lot of stress on the rotator cuff due to extreme external rotation ( think flat bench with flared elbows )
            "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

            "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

            “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

            The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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            • #7
              If you do it "correctly", there is no danger like there is with regular BB bench.

              1) Do it in a Smith machine with a very wide grip.
              2) The bar SHOULD be touching VERY low on your torso. For me it's at the xyphoid process or even a little lower.
              3) Wrap the shit out of your wrists to protect them, since if you are holding the bar correctly, they should be in a slightly awkward position.
              4) The bar should be in your palm like i have indicated in the picture below.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by 0001Delta View Post

                We are spot on here to how the movement feels like. I also have dislocated my right shoulder in the past, and it feels stupidly more stable than the overhand counterpart, almost as if I'm using a smith machine, in terms of not having a problem controling the weight.


                More or less. I take it that when you say you bring the bar low, you mean bellow the nipples ( let's use those as a reference point since "sternum" is a quite large area). To get my elbows perpendicular to the floor, I need to bring the bar high (way above nipples), a midpoint between the clavique and the nipples, this is probably because I have very long arms, but what makes me worry here is that by using such a setup I might be placing a lot of stress on the rotator cuff due to extreme external rotation ( think flat bench with flared elbows )
                I actually edited my post because I realized that my sternum was much higher up than I really bring it down. The position I take it down to is reflected in what Sammich posted

                I also have really stumpy little arms, kind of like a glorified T-rex with triceps... I use a wand to wipe my ass.
                Be true to yourself and fuel your body with nothing less the highest quality supplements. Only available at TrueNutrition.com Use discount code: KSP945 to save 5% on your order!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by theroymccoy View Post
                  I'm trying to figure out how you can get the bar to the middle of your sternum and not at the xyphoid? Are you going pretty wide + elbows tucked? Or do you have really short arms? Shrugging your shoulders into your neck?

                  I love these on smith btw...cranking out 3 plates The best part is I feel no strain once I properly warm up and the triceps really do most of the workload.
                  It was a poor example.

                  I actually have very long arms, so here's a detailed explanation of what I'm doing

                  - Wide grip, almost touching outer rings.

                  - Elbows tucked ( I realized they probably aren't tucked because of the grip width, but feels to me like that )

                  - Chest very high and shoulder blades squeezed tight together.



                  I think I'll probably have to get a video. Either I'm having a hard time describing this or I'm doing something totally different than what I'm saying
                  "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                  "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                  “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                  The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                    If you do it "correctly", there is no danger like there is with regular BB bench.

                    1) Do it in a Smith machine with a very wide grip.
                    2) The bar SHOULD be touching VERY low on your torso. For me it's at the xyphoid process or even a little lower.
                    3) Wrap the shit out of your wrists to protect them, since if you are holding the bar correctly, they should be in a slightly awkward position.
                    4) The bar should be in your palm like i have indicated in the picture below.
                    I see

                    That's exactly how I hold the bar.

                    Concerning where the bar touches, like I said, I think I'm mucking up my description (my ribcage has been expanded to ungodly proportions using dark sorcery and obscure methods only Dante knows about). I'm probably bringing the bar low and thinking it's high because of the lengh of my pec. I'll try to get a broomstick and see where the bar is really touching when I mimick the motion.
                    "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                    "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                    “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                    The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mentalflex View Post
                      I also have really stumpy little arms, kind of like a glorified T-rex with triceps... I use a wand to wipe my ass.
                      That's the second time I spit water in my monitor because of something you say lol.
                      "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                      "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                      “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                      The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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                      • #12
                        delta -

                        you never answered if you use a smith or a BB...i really like these but they really really awkward on smith (for me) and great with a BB. The problem is unless its really light relly need a hand-off and somebody spotting...
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                        • #13
                          Somewhere on here Dante posted a long description of reverse grip benches on the smith... A clever person could probably find it.

                          EDIT: I AM YOUR MASTER, MFER

                          http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=45015
                          [youtube]MxWJjelHZ2s[/youtube]
                          Sammich
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                          Last edited by Sammich; 12-18-2012, 01:28 AM.
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                          • #14
                            Found one of Jason Wojo doing them...starts at 3:10ish but the rest of video is pretty golden

                            [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14QcYGsryN8[/YOUTUBE]
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by trucelt View Post
                              delta -

                              you never answered if you use a smith or a BB...i really like these but they really really awkward on smith (for me) and great with a BB. The problem is unless its really light relly need a hand-off and somebody spotting...
                              I prefer BB.

                              For some reason when I use a smith I get more tris than chest out of it.

                              I don't have trouble unracking the weight, I push my head/body out really far in the bench, that way the bar doesn't travel much from the pins to the point where I bring it down.

                              I still do use a spotter so I don't get decapitated in case the bar slips lol.



                              Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                              Somewhere on here Dante posted a long description of reverse grip benches on the smith... A clever person could probably find it.

                              EDIT: I AM YOUR MASTER, MFER

                              http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=45015
                              Nice find.

                              Uhmm, I guess Dante wanted to look good for that vid cuz he wear matching shirt, hat and wraps. hahah


                              Originally posted by Sammich View Post
                              EDIT: I AM YOUR MASTER, MFER
                              NEVAH
                              :moon:
                              "If you're ready to do DC, you're not gonna give a flying f*(k about fatigue from the previous exercise. You get under the bar and kill it, each and every time." - homonunculus

                              "Nothing better than coming to IM and seeing a Wall of Text next to that big Tricep pic." - Lonnie123

                              “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” - Homer

                              The scale doesn't show a number. When he steps on it, it simply reads: Big Mother Fucker. - Skip

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