“…The bar should go straight down and straight back up’ is incorrect.”
Data based on Dr Tom McLaughlin’s research from the 1980’s demonstrated the Barbell Bench Press trajectory is optimal when it travels in a arc.
McLaughlin went into even more detail in his book, Bench Press More Now.
Dr Greg Nuckols’ article (below) is based on McLaughlin’s research that was in the National Strength and Conditioning Research Journal.
Bench Press Bar Path: How to Fix Your Bar Path for a Bigger Bench
Paused Bench Press
This definitely decrease the stress placed on the shoulder joint compared to a Touch and Go; the slight bounce off the chest places more stress on the joint.
Additional Shoulder Issue Solutions
These method minimize shoulder stress…
1) Mastering The Reverse Grip Bench Press
Underhand Grip (Reverse Bench Press) minimizes shoulder stress.
2) THE BEST GRIPS FOR THE BIG LIFTS
“This will make you stronger and reduce shoulder strain.”
This because it is more of a neutral grip, which decreases shoulder stress.
“Due to the fact the bar itself offers angled or truly neutral grips, it puts the shoulder in a less compromised position.”
- Bench Press Bar Trajectory
The Bench Press Barbell should travel in an arc; the optimal bar path.
- Reverse Grip Bench Pressing
It minimizes shoulder stress. There is a learning curve to it, as with everything. It took me a while get use to it.,
- Angled False Bench Grip
As Thibaudeau stated, this decrease the shoulder stress.
- Swiss Bar
This Barbell allows you to use a neutral or angled grip, which decreases shoulder stress.
It was one of my best investments.