T Nation

Bench Hand Width

I read the article about positioning the body in a stronger benching position but I haven’t seen any articles on how to determine hand width? Any help would be appreciated.

A good idea is to vary your grip, wider you go the more pecs and closer the grip more anterior delts and triceps. That being said I am in the understanding that at the bottom of your rep it is best to be at 90 degrees or a bit less btw your arm and forearm. Just my 2c.

most people start closer and work their way out. there is no “perfect” grip. I wouldn’t go wider than index finger on the rings though.

[quote]TwistedLocal wrote:
… I am in the understanding that at the bottom of your rep it is best to be at 90 degrees or a bit less btw your arm and forearm. [/quote]

While I would agree with this (and state the forearm should be vertical) this won’t determine grip width.
If you don’t agree try this:
Lie down on the bench, bend arms to the aforesaid 90 deg angle and perpendicular to the floor. Then maintain this relationship while moving your elbows in an arc from level with a line drawn through your shoulders (ie at 90deg to your torso) down to your sides. This will indicate about every grip width you’ll be capable of.
Many Powerlifters would say use a grip where your upper arms are at a 45 deg angle to your torso (when viewed from above)

Dax

4 sure vary your grip.

This is also dependent on goals.

For instance I have recently started to concentrate on a wider grip due to the fact my tris and shoulders were blowing up and have surpassed my chest development, size and strength. So that is now my weak point(chest). So now I am going wider and doing more dips and decline bench.

Your best bet it to not ignore any grip width or angle. Also find your weak point and put more concentration on that.

Hope that helps,
Phill

Is it true or not that a grip wider than shoulder width, while hitting the pecs more, is in effect more risky for the shoulder joint than beneficial for the pec?

Old Dax

What I was trying to say is that at the bottom of the movement your arm and forearm should be at that angle. Basically I think it comes down to what your trying to concentrate on when benching… wider more pecs, closer more shoulders and triceps.

I broke my wrist many years ago and can’t bench with a wide grip. When I do closed grip benchpress I still get bloody sore in my pecs, more than in my triceps.

Anyone gets the same?

Twisted,
I was only trying to clarify the position for raiderbowl, not trying to nit pick your input.
Sure wide r= more pec, but can also = more shoulder stress.
BTW I’m surprised Zeb hasn’t posted yet!

Dax

Thanks for the posts. I can understand closer/pecs wider/shoulders but what I originally thought of when I started the post is if I want to keep going stronger I need to find where on the bar to put my hands to get maximum strength. I vary my width when I am trying to hit different areas with lighter weights. I do believe there is a definate width when powerlifters bench. I hae been lifting with the arms at 45 degrees (at bottom) and that seems to be advantageous to more weight. Thanks to all. Go strong

Raiderbowl,
re-read my post re-grip width. As I said many powerlifters use the 45 deg arm position. Powerlifters are, of course, mainly concerned with the amount of weight they can move. The main technique is one of minimising the work done i.e. reducing bar travel (ROM)to a minimum. To do this they arch the back to raise the chest, inflate the chest and lower the bar to the highest poin on the chest. One of the best ways to find out more would be to read all of Dave Tate’s stuff here on T-Nation.
Good luck,
Dax

[quote]Mr. Moose wrote:
I broke my wrist many years ago and can’t bench with a wide grip. When I do closed grip benchpress I still get bloody sore in my pecs, more than in my triceps.

Anyone gets the same?[/quote]

Do you keep your elbows in close to your sides? (ie touching your sides at the bottom; to do this your hands should be at least 12 inches apart) When you bring the bar down does it stop at the bottom of your sternum or lower? If you are doing both of these things and you still feel it more in your pecs than I am puzzled.

[quote]Old Dax wrote:
Raiderbowl,
re-read my post re-grip width. As I said many powerlifters use the 45 deg arm position. Powerlifters are, of course, mainly concerned with the amount of weight they can move. The main technique is one of minimising the work done i.e. reducing bar travel (ROM)to a minimum. To do this they arch the back to raise the chest, inflate the chest and lower the bar to the highest poin on the chest. One of the best ways to find out more would be to read all of Dave Tate’s stuff here on T-Nation.
Good luck,
Dax[/quote]

Actually the air is pulled into the diaphragm (ie stomach) not the chest.

[quote]cap’nsalty wrote:
Mr. Moose wrote:
I broke my wrist many years ago and can’t bench with a wide grip. When I do closed grip benchpress I still get bloody sore in my pecs, more than in my triceps.

Anyone gets the same?

Do you keep your elbows in close to your sides? (ie touching your sides at the bottom; to do this your hands should be at least 12 inches apart) When you bring the bar down does it stop at the bottom of your sternum or lower? If you are doing both of these things and you still feel it more in your pecs than I am puzzled.[/quote]

Gripwise I have app 30 cm between my forefingers, I lower to the sternum and I have my arms at app. 45 degrees away from my body. I might flare the elbows out a bit during the press. Strange thing is that I always get very sore pecs regardless of what I do. A few sets of flyes and I’m sore, same with my calves they get sore as hell for almost nothing.

Good muscle-mind connection or some other crap??

[quote]cap’nsalty wrote:
Actually the air is pulled into the diaphragm (ie stomach) not the chest.[/quote]

That must be why Powerlifters burp so much!