T Nation

Bench Press - Wrists Bend Back


Hey all, im pretty confident in my bench press technique, but something i just cannot seem to get right is that my wrists keep bending back whilst doing the bench press. Ive tried squeezing the bar as hard as i can and tried fiddling about with my grip (except suicide grip) but i just can't seem to get my wrists to stay inline with my forearms, is there anything i can do to improve on this?


You said you tried squeezing the bar and that's always worked for me. Squeeze the bar and try to rip it in half.

You might want to try a thumbless grip. You'll be gripping the bar even harder that way.


A good pair of wrist wraps will help. This is just a technique issue. Do at least 100 reps with an empty bar with your hands in perfect position (and everything in perfect position) everyday until it becomes natural. Also, weak wrist extensor muscles (top of your forearm) can cause this. I think Ironmind.com sells little cheap bands to correct this exact problem, I have been meaning to pick some up myself.

How ever hard you think you are squeezing, it isnt hard enough.


I may just keep doing that as you say with the empty bar and see where that gets me, i guess if i really can't solve this i'll have to invest in some wrist wraps although i don't feel i should have to if i can alter it by technique.

@David - Don't be silly.


suicide grip... problem solved. i do all my pressing movements with a thumbless grip. i rarely even use wrist wraps because with a thumbless grip the bar is directly over the forearm bones and the thumb under the bar really stabilizes it.


Why..... are..... people..... advocating..... the..... suicide...... grip??????????????

Please don't start suicide grip. It may not seem like a terrible idea at first, but trust me it is. First off, you can't even do it in a competition, second you will bench less and third and most obiviously it is more risky. So really, practicing with the bar is a great idea and strengthening the wrists as well.

Also, I find that when I bench at full comp width it is hard on my wrists. So while that is likely the most efficient, do some training holding more narrow and it may alleviate some overuse if that is present.


Generally I'd say most people would listen to meat considering he's ridiculously beastly. Who are you?


i've competed using a false grip in competition for many years.

I've benched in the mid 500's raw in the gym and have a met best of 515 raw with a thumbless grip.

How is it more risky? I've competed thumbless AND used a reverse grip in competition and put up 485lbs. At no point did i feel unsafe.

If you don't like it that's fine but don't throw out blanket statements like that. There are plenty of people that use it and use it correctly and in a safe manner. I train with a team of competitive powerlifters and all but one of them do all their pressing movements with a false grip.


I think thumbless gets the bar in a better position. As long as you squeeze hard enough there are no problems.


Deadlifting is bad for your back, so be careful with that too.


Ok thumbless/suicide grip isn't what im after, and not something im looking into, i'll give the 100 reps or so a day with a good wrist position inline with my forearms and see if that helps, how much do wrist wraps/sleeves help?


why wouldn't you at least give it a try?? i learned a long time ago to not dismiss anything before giving it a try. this reminds me of the zercher thread where everyone was coming in to trash the lift when they hadn't even tried it.

how long have you been lifting? what's your bench numbers looking like right now?


shit,don't let him fool ya.... Meat doesn't even grip the bar it just sticks to him! haha


Meat's so strong he doesn't bench the bar, he presses the earth away from it....


If time has taught us anything, it is that you should listen to meat.


Yeah suicide grip failing videos. I've seen it in person, its ugly. And only with thumbless grip. Never seen it with thumbs wrapped around.

  • asks for advice in the powerlifting forum, concerning a powerlift
  • completely disregards the advice of the two most successful powerlifters on this forum



Really? Here's a video of something very similar happening to a very famous lifter.

Lots of people have success with thumbless grip.

There are also lots of different ways to hurt yourself lifting weights. This whole thumbless grip genocide seems like a knee jerk reaction by some people who've maybe never tried it? I find it a lot more comofortable for overhead pressing,personally.


Never had any trouble with a thumbless grip. Requires a bar with good knurling though... Sweaty hands + shitty bar = trouble (in that case the standard grip is better, but can be problematic too for me).

Thumbless grip = easier on the wrists (easier to tuck the elbows too), easier to keep the elbows under the bar or slightly in front of it... Better bar-path usually... Bar sits lower in the hand...

Not required for a big bench or anything, and some feds don't allow it... But I prefer it. (I bench fairly close though)

It works great for some back exercises too, especially when using a wider grip there (my wrists don't like a wide conventional grip on rows, pulldowns, pull-ups... Fucks up my grip strength).

Many deadlift with a mixed grip... Others bench with a thumbless grip...


I tried the thumbless grip for about 6 weeks in the past and I lost a ton of strength and never got it to catch up with my regular grip. However, it was very easy on my shoulders. It just seemed so tricep dominant that it was hard for me to recruit my larger muscles. Maybe I was doing something wrong. I dunno. But I love it for shoulder pressing. No stronger or weaker, but it's a lot easier on my shoulders.