In terms of raw benching and utilizing a wider grip, would it be beneficial for someone to tuck the elbows less for safety in the associated problematic areas (shoulders, etc)?
the answer to this may be painfully obvious, please feel free to tell me if it is.
thanks in advance guys [/quote]
Tucking the elbows protects the shoulders more than flaring, but at about half way up on the press, flaring becomes more necessary as the weight needs to drift up to get centered over the shoulder joint. [/quote]
thanks for clarifying, I appreciate the straight forward answer you gave. In terms of engaging the lats (this is asked to anyone who mentioned them) how exactly would you go about teaching someone to bench with them? always had trouble engaging them
This probably won’t be popular, but I always feel the need to point out that the lats aren’t THAT important in a raw bench. They don’t move the bar away from your chest, and they really aren’t as important as the mid and upper back, IMO.
Try this cue: as you bring the bar down, try to reach your chest up to it. This works well for most people, in my experience, and it gets you engaging the muscles around the shoulder blade correctly.
I bench a paused 435, so obviously my opinion is super important :)[/quote]
The lats help tuck your elbows, and with a narrow enough grip they do allow for a bit of a spring off the bottom, but in doing so, they place the pecs in a mechanically inefficient position. As to pushing the bar up, mechanically, the lats can only assist to the point that the humerus is parallel to the torso. Beyond that, the lats do nothing. Maintaining lat tightness helps keep the shoulder girdle stable, most likely the reason for painfree benching noted by Reed.
My opinion doesn’t matter much at all though, as I have only paused 315.