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Bench Press Hand Placement for Big Numbers

Hello i’m tim and 16 yrs old

Yeah idk where to place my hands for pressing big numbers. (Lol i also have long arms, it’s not ideal for benching but idc lol)

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About the same width you would use for pushups is a good starting point. Also wide grip and close grip are useful variations, if you start to notice that you are stronger with one of those grips or even equally strong then it is an indication that you might want to change your grip.


“big numbers” come with time. If you in fact have long arms you may never get there. I’m 5’8" with an arm span of 6’2". My best bench is 400 tng at 190ish. That’s not a “big bench” in my opinion when I see what everyone else is hitting. You may be better off trying to deadlift something big.


This is a battle with myself
I could care less about what anyone else does


:sob: This was not encouraging!

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I’m in the very same boat. My arms are so long that I have trouble with my elbows banging into my thighs when I squat. As a general rule, people like us will bench more with a wider grip simply because it reduces the range of motion.
Btw, I think your attitude is the healthy one to have - that is, lifting is a battle with ourselves. Obviously we’re not as well suited to the bench press as the guys with barrel chests and t-rex arms, but it’s still possible for us to hope to move respectable poundages. Look at Arnold. He didn’t set any world records, but he was still moving 400+ for reps. With a fairly wide grip, I might add.

Then why do you need a big bench and how do you define “big bench”? Big in comparison to what?

James Strickland has long arms. He might bench 700 in a couple weeks.

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I wanted to know how one would bench for strength.

What’s considered wide. With finger placement on the rings

81 cm between the forefingers is the maximum allowable width. You may not need to all the way out there though.

This isn’t quite the same as this

To bench the most you can, you’d put your hands as wide as your body will tolerate, arch as much as possible, make your technique as perfect as possible and build the muscles required for this setup.

To bench for strength you’d use a variety of grips, make your technique as perfect as possible and build as much muscle everywhere as possible.

Similar but different, see?

@guineapig is right on with the pushup width I think. I’ve has the best results since doing that compared to gripping wider and arching as much as I could.

Another tip I’d offer is forgetting about long arms. My arms are long-ish and I’m much more of a natural deadlifter than bencher. I started being a much better bencher when I stopped worrying about long arms and decided to bench more like the big guys with big benches and fuck the whole long arms idea. Sure, my bench is still lagging but for one, it’s better than it was and for two, it keeps getting better.

Lastly, for your bench to go up practice technique and add muscle. Those two things will do more than anything. Learn how to lock your shoulders down, learn how to use your lats and rear delts to do that, learn how to keep your wrists above your elbows and forearms vertical and learn how to drive yourself backwards onto your traps with your heels (heels to traps).

Get those right and your grip width will most likely sort itself out.



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What is long? What’s your height and wingspan?

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Where you are strongest!!

There’s an article on here about measuring and some specific distance, yeah that’s great and all but you know what, if you want to press more, press from the position you are strongest.

As long as the elbows are inline with the wrists grip width doesn’t matter too much. Some people can do really well wide, some do really well close grip ( finger on smooth ).

Ed Coan and Matt Wenning like to teach thumb length off the smooth ( or have in the past and to me personally ). I won’t lie, it’s a pretty solid position for me usually.

Find what works, hammer the technique, and profit.


Well you might want to care cause everyone else sets the mark for a big bench. If we didn’t have guys like derstine, haack, brett gibbs, ect then high 300s would be a big bench.


Literally higher than I did last time
Is a good mark.

I don’t care

Good luck with that. Sounds like you’ll get far in the sport, Bench, whatever your doing.

I’m pretty sure you could get stronger and bench more than you did last time without changing your grip. If you are trying to compete in powerlifting then you should definitely be concerned with what other people are lifting. If not, then I’m not sure why you would seek advice from competitive powerlifters. Do you want to get strong so you can bench more or in order to do something else?

Oh i’m not a powerlifter
Let’s just say I like lifting heavy things
For fun
I don’t plan on competing
And you guys lift heavy stuff
So it makes sense doesn’t it

It’s a hobby

There is a lifter named James Strictland. He has super long arms and uses a close grip and he benches near 700lb. I would advise you use a grip that leaves your forearms straight up and down when the bar is on your chest. Start there and experiment until you find what works for you. Hope that helps, have a good one.