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Benchpress Problem (Elbow Flare)

In the powerlifting style of benchpressing the corect technique states that the elbows are to be tucked and the barbell travels in a somewhat diagonal line from the xiphoid process to a perpendicular position to the shoulders.

Now my problem is, everytime the weight gets heavier and I lift the bar explosively off the chest, my elbows flare out instantaneously.

How can this problem be corected? What muscles have to be stenghtened so this problem dissipates?

Thanks in advance.

It’s not uncommon to want to revert back to what the body knows. If you have been pressing BB style, that’s what you are good at. You will most likely be weaker keeping your elbows tucked for a while.

If I were you I would work on a couple of things. If you don’t already do close grip presses, I would add them in. The hand position will force you to keep your elbows tucked.

It will also help build your tri’s which is likely one of your weakness. Your grip may be too wide to allow you to keep your elbows tucked as well. You could try using 3 different grips inside the O rings.

I don’t know what your set/rep scheme looks like and I’m sure you don’t want to lose strength while you are making the transition, so one thing you could do is to perform on or two sets at a heavy weight with the form that you are currently using, just to maintain strength. Then force yourself to lower the weight to a point where you can keep your elbows tucked for the rest of the session. It only took me a few weeks to make the transition, and my shoulders thank me every day.

Took me a few months to get accustomed to the new form.

Maybe board press would help? Start with 4-board, then move down to 3 and 2-board when you feel more comfortable.

Lats may be weak, the lats play a large roll in stabilization on pressing. Many people also don’t realize that the lats are not exactly the oposit of the pecs. The lats primary functon is to bring the arm to the body (Adduction), its actually the opostie muscle grop of the shoulders, kinda neat. so weak lats may be an issue due to control of the bar. But I agree with the other guys, close grip presses helped me transition to the correct way to press. If you have long arms like me, it may be awkward at first, just practice practice practice. Do plenty of experimenting with grip width. I myself found my strongest grip is actaully small finger on the ‘power ring’ (I typically would press middle finger or index finger on the ring, elbows flared a lot). Good luck!

I found the best way to teach proper bench press groove was to have the trainee perform close grip bench presses on a decline bench.

Lower the weight to the upper abdomen/lower portion of the sternum and make sure to lower the bar using the lats - keep the elbows at a 45 degree angle to the torso.

Give it try, it will feel strange at first, particularly if you are used to benching with the elbows wide. Practice the movement for 4 - 8 weeks and then gravitate to the traditional flat bench, but maintain the groove you developed while performing the decline close grips.

Slowly inch your grip out towards the power rings, but never lose that groove. Your pressing numbers should improve, and you will minimize the potential for pec tears.

[quote]HOV wrote:
Took me a few months to get accustomed to the new form.

Maybe board press would help? Start with 4-board, then move down to 3 and 2-board when you feel more comfortable.[/quote]

This is a great way to learn the shirt, but doing each rep perfectly, starting with the bar lower from the start and bringing it to the sternum. Push up and roll the elbows so they stay under the hands and bar. You need strong lats so bench pullups, db rows, and underhand chins are great for this.

For the bench pullups are done by putting a bar int eh power rack at waist height, then putting yoru feet on a bench or box and with yoru body roughly parallel to the floor, pull the bar to the chest in yoru BP groove. Hold it at the chest if you can. This will show lat weakness like nothing else, and fix it.

I was gonna go with weak lats… but it seems like more knowledgable people than me have already said the same.

THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!! I have the same problem and was waiting for the replies to this question.