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Bio-Mechanically, Can Lowering the Bar More Towards Your Stomach On Bench Activate More Chest?


#1

I am 5’7/ 170cm. I have rather long arms imho but if anyone doesnt think so thats fine. Im no expert lol. My palms rest just at my quads. Now when I bench I am trying to find my form and technique. Atm I feel leaving my feet a bit more tip toed than firmly flat. It feels more comfortable for me and gives me more of a spring board effect when I press making me use my core, hips and legs to help move the weight up. I will mention I have a metal plate in my left arm from an injury I got almost 10 years ago in a car accident. Keeping this in mind I try to figure out the best way I can move the most weight without compromising my left shoulder or arm and I feel as a recreational lifter working on getting my arch an inch or two up and moving the bar more more towards my stomach rather than just below my nipple line can activate more chest.

Here is a Picture of my bench set up and couple of videos of me benching. just slide right to see the next.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbc_U8IFY8j/?taken-by=duke_von_liftinscrubs

any tweaks and any answers relating to my question would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Bettering your form is always good. Where the bar ends up touching on body is determined by lots of factors e.g. arch height, grip width, tuck vs flare, limb segment lengths etc. so unfortunately there’s no easy answer.

Experiment: Do some sets with 75-80%1RM and do a couple of reps touching higher or lower until you find wherever feels best, strongest or allows your to move the bar with the most speed.

Biomechanically I’ve no idea. Heard decline bench activates more chest but lowering the bar more towards the stomach does not necessarily achieve this effect. If you arch more and the bar happens to touch below your sternum making it more like a decline press sure there’s more chest activation. If you are forcing the bar lower than maybe more delt action going on.

Either way a bit extra activation means fuck all to the amount of muscle you grow, where you should be focusing on overload instead and strength/the amount of weight you can put up.

Forearm or upper arm? To make internal fixative devices that restrict range of motion is kinda defeating the point. With proper rehab most return to full function ROM, strength and increase these attributes beyond pre injury levels. These peeps cannot use their internal fixation device as an excuse. However your injury may have been particularly severe. What kind of fracture/s did you sustain? What current limitations does the plate cause?

It’d probably be safest to check with your doctor/surgeon or other health professional (decade later is probably too late lel)

Is dis a formcheck… there’s no tag. No formcheck for you


#3

The pecs work to raise your arm and to bring your arms together (and to rotate your arms inwards). Most activation occurs in bringing the arms together, which is why some bodybuilders press to their throat. This is also a good position for leverages.

You won’t find many powerlifters using this though because it increases ROM, it is bad for shoulder health and if you slip it’s lights out.


#4

The plate rests on two inches above my elbow joint all the way down an inch or two down to my upper forearm. It was a hairline fracture. When it comes to mobility Cannot fully extend my arm to full flexion like my right arm. so if you were to imagine me locking out on a bench press you might see the bar be a teeny tiny bit lower than my right. with this being the case it seems my left shoulder over the years kinda compensated the inability to fully extend the arm to having the left shoulder be a bit more out. nothing too dramatic that you can see but it you look at me long enough from the front or back you’ll see.

this is the best picture I can find regarding how it looks. Not too bad but its there
https://forum.bodybuilding.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=4313643&d=1333644878


#5

Generally touching the bar lower on your torso uses less pec, not more, but can be a stronger position for a lot of people (hence powerlifters who touch below their nipple.
Also worth mentioning as this is the powerlifting section - doesn’t look like you actually touch the bar at all, rather press it from an inch or so above the chest.
For a bench press to pass in powerlifting you need to touch… Not sure if you’re aware of this or just prefer lifting the way you do.


#6

well 1 it goes back to my injury on my left arm and the general mobility of my left shoulder thats why I leave it an inch off my chest

and 2 Im not really a competitive power-lifter. Im more of a recreational lifter…


#7

Wut’s your goal/s? Strength, muscle (pecs specifically?), powerlifting, health/injury prevention?


#8

What are you really trying to accomplish? If you aren’t going to compete in powerlifting and you can’t touch the bar to your chest due to your injury then maybe you don’t really need to be benching anyway. If you want to “activate more chest” then you could do flys or dumbbell bench.


#9

Well I can say I have a pretty decent foundation. I have a 355 squat which I would still like to up, and my deadlift is at 405x3. My bench is 195. I want to become as strong as I can and milk my strength gains before focusing on other stuff. I really had a thing for unconventional style training but I feel I should maybe have a stronger base before venturing off.


#10

Pronated Grip Bench Press To Stomach Area

I haven’t seen any EMG reseach data that has determined the muscle involvement in a Pronated Grip Bench Press to the stomach area.

However, there is one method that will provide you with first hand knowledge.

The Vince Gironda Method

Gironda was one of the best body building coaches of his time.

Gironda stated if you really want to know what muscles are being worked in an exercise.

  1. Abstain from performing the exercise for a few weeks.

  2. Then perform the exercise alone in one training session.

  3. Perform 10 Set of the exercise to failure.

  4. That you’re total workout; the go home.

The next day, you’ll know exactly which muscle were involved in that movement.

Kenny Croxdale