T Nation

'Bar Position On Incline Press'

Hey guys,

Just wondering where you guys allow the bar to travel to in the stretch position when doing incline presses? Closer to upper chest or more by the nipples? I’m not getting the development I want in my upper chest and I’m thinking to change the angle a bit on my incline.

Nipples, then press up in a slight arc until the bar is over your collarbones at full extension.

S

thanks stu

I see some guys at the gym do Inc. DB presses where they start with a regular grip and then turn the bells inward as they press, ending up with a neutral grip at the top. Is there a point to that, or is it one of those things like people benching with their feet in the air to “activate” the pecs?

I’ll give stu a big X2

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
I see some guys at the gym do Inc. DB presses where they start with a regular grip and then turn the bells inward as they press, ending up with a neutral grip at the top. Is there a point to that, or is it one of those things like people benching with their feet in the air to “activate” the pecs?[/quote]

'Bout a year ago I was speaking with Cordova at a seminar, and his take is that the only reason most trainers press with their hands pronated (facing down) is because when people first created barbells, it was just never questioned (just a matter of simplicity). When you let your hands just drop ‘normally’ at your sides, they will be facing inward, not back. Now I’m not sure if any real electro-imaging shows this to be true, but his take (and just by feel, I tend to concur) is that you get more chest activation with a neutral grip (think about how many really old school bodybuilders has insanely thick pecs from doing mostly neutral grip dips!)

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
I see some guys at the gym do Inc. DB presses where they start with a regular grip and then turn the bells inward as they press, ending up with a neutral grip at the top. Is there a point to that, or is it one of those things like people benching with their feet in the air to “activate” the pecs?[/quote]

'Bout a year ago I was speaking with Cordova at a seminar, and his take is that the only reason most trainers press with their hands pronated (facing down) is because when people first created barbells, it was just never questioned (just a matter of simplicity). When you let your hands just drop ‘normally’ at your sides, they will be facing inward, not back. Now I’m not sure if any real electro-imaging shows this to be true, but his take (and just by feel, I tend to concur) is that you get more chest activation with a neutral grip (think about how many really old school bodybuilders has insanely thick pecs from doing mostly neutral grip dips!)

S[/quote]

That’s interesting, and I do press with a (almost)neutral grip myself. Thanks, Stu.

Plus, a neutral grip is easier on the shoulders, if I’m not severely mistaken. And definitely easier on the wrist (provided your radius isn’t messed-up: it’s a lot stabler than the ulna).

At least, that’s the case for me.

It’s strange though, I feel less stable and can DB press less when I press with a neutral grip…hmm could be something that just has to be learned like all exercises, since I never do it.

Turning the bells in at the top also allows for a better “squeeze” of the chest (think flyes or DB squeeze press). Personally it’s never been something that I’ve done regularly though. Regular old semi-pronated hand positioning seems the most comfortable to me, while recruiting the pecs just fine.

Try it out if you want though and see how it works/feels for you.

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
I see some guys at the gym do Inc. DB presses where they start with a regular grip and then turn the bells inward as they press, ending up with a neutral grip at the top. Is there a point to that, or is it one of those things like people benching with their feet in the air to “activate” the pecs?[/quote]

I’m the opposite, my shoulder is f’d up and I prety much can’t do the normal grip at the bottom of the db press. I need to turn them in 45degrees at least, and the top I can squeeze and have a more normal position.

I have a feeling you flare your elbows way too much when you’re incline pressing with a neutral grip. You need to work out your elbow and hand position well with a neutral grip.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
It’s strange though, I feel less stable and can DB press less when I press with a neutral grip…hmm could be something that just has to be learned like all exercises, since I never do it.[/quote]

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Turning the bells in at the top also allows for a better “squeeze” of the chest (think flyes or DB squeeze press). Personally it’s never been something that I’ve done regularly though. Regular old semi-pronated hand positioning seems the most comfortable to me, while recruiting the pecs just fine.

Try it out if you want though and see how it works/feels for you.[/quote]

Semi-pronated, yes that is what I do but didn’t find the word for. lol

Elbows semi-tucked as well, I can’t do the wide grip elbow flared thing without bothering my shoulders/ bicep tendons.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I’ll give stu a big X2[/quote]

It’s nice to see some confirmation on what I’ve been doing. I have always seen people at commercial gyms touching the bar to their chin or clavicles and that does not feel good. I thought I was alone bringing the bar lower.

[quote]greggio wrote:

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I’ll give stu a big X2[/quote]

It’s nice to see some confirmation on what I’ve been doing. I have always seen people at commercial gyms touching the bar to their chin or clavicles and that does not feel good. I thought I was alone bringing the bar lower.[/quote]

I’m a big fan of doing all my pressing movements with elbows tucked. I feel that elbows flared is just asking for injury, so if you are tucking your elbows while pressing it’s pretty much impossible to bring the bar up that high. I just see that as a recipe for shoulder issues anyways.

Slightly off topic, but do you use a PL-type setup on the incline bench, if you catch my drift? I have tried, and it just feels like I’m arching too much and turning it into one of those old school presses, the ones before they had benches. If anyone has any idea what I’m talking about, some help would be swell.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Turning the bells in at the top also allows for a better “squeeze” of the chest (think flyes or DB squeeze press). Personally it’s never been something that I’ve done regularly though. Regular old semi-pronated hand positioning seems the most comfortable to me, while recruiting the pecs just fine.

Try it out if you want though and see how it works/feels for you.[/quote]

x2

The whole point of the rotation in this type of DB press is to actually squeeze the chest together at the top. This can be done with flat or incline bench presses.

I’ve done presses this way and find (for me) it works well with volume training only, for it’s near impossible to rotate through the movement when pressing a weight that’s 90% of your 1rm.

This doesn’t mean the rotation/squeeze of the movement isn’t beneficial, it just depends on what your goals are at the time. I will do this approach exclusively when cutting (volume training) for it helps me activate more of my pectorals with the lighter weight.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
I have a feeling you flare your elbows way too much when you’re incline pressing with a neutral grip. You need to work out your elbow and hand position well with a neutral grip.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
It’s strange though, I feel less stable and can DB press less when I press with a neutral grip…hmm could be something that just has to be learned like all exercises, since I never do it.[/quote]
[/quote]

I suspect your right. One of those things ya gotta learn in the gym

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Slightly off topic, but do you use a PL-type setup on the incline bench, if you catch my drift? I have tried, and it just feels like I’m arching too much and turning it into one of those old school presses, the ones before they had benches. If anyone has any idea what I’m talking about, some help would be swell.[/quote]

Personally, it feels strange to arch much on incline presses, I do it fairly flat-backed aside from whatever arch comes from keeping my scapula pinched together.

[quote]That One Guy wrote:

[quote]Therizza wrote:
Slightly off topic, but do you use a PL-type setup on the incline bench, if you catch my drift? I have tried, and it just feels like I’m arching too much and turning it into one of those old school presses, the ones before they had benches. If anyone has any idea what I’m talking about, some help would be swell.[/quote]

Personally, it feels strange to arch much on incline presses, I do it fairly flat-backed aside from whatever arch comes from keeping my scapula pinched together.[/quote]

Yeah, I wouldn’t go for a real extreme arch, trying to get your ass closer to your upper back or anything, but I do try to ‘set’ my shoulder blades together before actually beginning the motion.

S