T Nation

Bench Press ROM

Hey Guys,

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of crap from people that come into the gym I work at who say I am giving bad advice when telling others to use a full range of motion when bench pressing. So of course I end up telling them the reasons I believe a full ROM is better, many are things that I’ve read right here on Tnation. But I would really like to be able to give them a list of reasons so that when I’m done they will just be “oh, ok I guess you are right!” Obviously if someone has shoulder problems already that changes everything, but we are talking about totally healthy individuals here! So give me your top reasons to use a full ROM when bench pressing so I can quiet a full people up on Monday :slight_smile:

because you can…

It depends on what you are lifting reps wise, and if you are training for any athletic purposes. As the bar gets closer and clsoer to your chest, the use of your ligaments becomes more involved. This can be very effective for ligament strength, something beneficial in sports. However I would recommend this only when performing sub maximal lifts, maxing out and going all the way is considered by many to be very injury prone, and therefore useless to use complete range of motion.

Thats just one thought that could help you out.

If you use proper technique ie; keep the elbows tucked in and lower the bar to the point where your abdomen and pecs meet, shoulder joint rotation is greatly reduced. Less rotation equals a safer bench. Pressing up (and down) in a straight line WITHOUT pressing back toward the uprights is another critical way to keep your shoulders healthy. One final note… ALWAYS get a lift-off. Pressing the bar out of the rack by yourself that is behind most lifters heads when benching will also greatly increase the chance of injury.

Another side to this argument is this; muscles will adapt rather quickly to the ROM they are most often used in. Half or shortened reps performed on a consistant basis (which these guys are touting) will shorten the pectoral muscles along with the supporting musculature and tendons/ligaments. If anything will get you injured, it’s this.

Thanks for the help guys! Some good suff there… anyone else care to chime in?