T Nation

Bench Grip Compared to Press

I always hear about how a real wide grip on the bench is hard on your shoulders and chest. I think I bench with a pretty wide grip, but where is a good place to grip the bard in relation of your hand placement to your shoulder?

And I bench much wider than I press. I press less than a thumbs length from the smooth and bench about a 1/4" from the rings. Am I setting myself up for injury? Also for reference I’m 5’5" with the same wingspan.

If it works for you go ahead. Just move your grip in if your are starting to feel pain in your shoulders.
I got the same grip witdh for military press and bench press (3/4 of a tumb from smooth) but my grip hasnt allways been so narrow, had to move it in cuz i experienced pain in the right elbow.

If you’re concerned about the bench beating up your shoulders, take heed of Tate’s advice below.

[quote]Young33 wrote:
I always hear about how a real wide grip on the bench is hard on your shoulders and chest. I think I bench with a pretty wide grip, but where is a good place to grip the bard in relation of your hand placement to your shoulder?

And I bench much wider than I press. I press less than a thumbs length from the smooth and bench about a 1/4" from the rings. Am I setting myself up for injury? Also for reference I’m 5’5" with the same wingspan.[/quote]
I bench ring finger on the rings, and honestly using a closer grip hurts my shoulders. If your shoulders feel good and you’re keeping your back tight I think you’ll be fine. Close grip takes a certain kind of pressure off the shoulder, but it also creates significantly more internal shoulder rotation. It’s not a black and white thing.

I do all my pressing, and pulling with my pinkie finger on the ring (clean grip) This is where I’m strongest, and pain free. Also this grip means that when my upper arm is paralle to the floor, my elbow is at 90 degrees, might be somthing to keep in mind

^ Thats a good rule of thumb. I bench pinkie on the ring to pinkies one finger inside the ring. Any wider hurts my shoulders and close hurts my elbows!

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
I do all my pressing, and pulling with my pinkie finger on the ring (clean grip) This is where I’m strongest, and pain free. Also this grip means that when my upper arm is paralle to the floor, my elbow is at 90 degrees, might be somthing to keep in mind[/quote]

x2. Used to put my middle fingers on the rings but when I switched to pinkies on the ring all my presses felt much better.

[quote]AnytimeJake wrote:
I do all my pressing, and pulling with my pinkie finger on the ring (clean grip) This is where I’m strongest, and pain free. Also this grip means that when my upper arm is paralle to the floor, my elbow is at 90 degrees, might be somthing to keep in mind[/quote]

you mean your elbow is at 90 when the bar is on your chest?

On the bench press, when my upper arm is paralle to the floor, the bar is about 10-12 inches off my chest, for me anyway. On military, when my upper arm is paralle to the floor, it’s sticking straight out from my shoulder. I like my elbow to be at a 90 at this point. This is what I look for with my clients, when I’m teaching pressing, it varies in everyone, depending on the length of upper arm - from shoulder to elbow. This is a good starting place I’ve found, and make minor adjustments from there.