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DB Bench Form and Effect


#1

For me there is different ways of doing DB bench.

First you can have your elbows in near your body or out and perpendicular to your torso in a view from top.

Second you can press with your hands high at the level of your chest or even your upper chest or down at the level of your sternum.

I used to press with my elbows between in and out position and with my hands fairly high.

Recently my shoulders have started hurting (inflammation) and it started affecting my strength for some months. The pain stops my muscles from performing well in this case. I just started pressing with my hands lower near my sternum and it felt great. Strength was good, up from the level of strength I was stuck in because of inflammation, which is lower than what I was doing before inflammation a couple of months ago.

How is this going to affect overall pecs development and carry over to other exercise like bench press? What about what you get in the long run with this kind of pressing? Anyone have similar experience?


#2

this forum is dead


#3

I’d help, but I legitimately never worry about my form on assistance exercises. As long as whatever I want to improve with it IS improving, I’m good.

Why not run it this way for a while and see what happens? It sounds like you don’t really have any sort of choice in the matter.


#4

Elbows tucked and hands low takes my shoulders out, and keeps more emphasis on my tri’s and chest.

Elbows flared and hands higher hits me more across the fronts of my shoulders, and the upper part of my chest.

If I were working my barbell bench press, and I missed a lift at lockout, I would focus on neutral grip dumbbell benches on an incline, touching the dumbbells together at the top, for awhile. The grip and the incline make for a long, long range of motion. Its also natural to support the weights on the triceps, instead of with your upper chest/ front delts. Getting good at this makes barbell benches feel very smooth and short.

If I were going on Spring Break, and my shirt was going to be off a lot I’d do lots of incline and decline presses with my elbows more flared, at like 45 degrees. I’d still squeeze the dumbbells together at the top, but they would be end to end using this grip. The key to this style, for me, is to arch hard, and protect my shoulders. This is a “vulnerable position” in my opinion.


#5

Hi mate, I have an ongoing injury with my left should so always have to press with elbows quite tucked in and hands in line with lower sternum. My chest really hasnt suffered as far as development is concerned and it is actually probably my best bodypart. Just remember to focus on squeezing the elbows together at the top position to fully contract the pecs, and initiate the movement by trying to imagine bringing your elbows together in fron of your chest instead of just pressing the weight upwards.

Hope this helps.


#6

Shoulder injuries can ruin your bench pressing but with dumbbells you can still get by if you do it correctly.
For starters your hands should be directly above your elbows no matter what you do so not sure why you even mentioned hand position.
Having flared elbows will put pressure on your shoulder joint. It will work more pectoral muscle but if you’re injured then don’t even think about it.

45 degrees is pretty much spot on. This still engages pectorals as the primary muscle and doesn’t place undue stress on on shoulder joint.
Don’t hold dumbbells like a barbell though. They should be at they same angle as your upper arm. So if your upper arms are 45 degrees away from your torso then you should hold the dumbbells on a 45’ angle. This is important for shoulder health.


#7

[quote]jasmincar wrote:
this forum is dead[/quote]
Sadly yes.


#8

Whats better, getting strong on 1 angle, or doing dumbbell presses from a variety of angles?


#9

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
Whats better, getting strong on 1 angle, or doing dumbbell presses from a variety of angles?[/quote]
You can’t really do strength work on more then one angle in one session. The pectorals would be too fatigued so no strength would be gained making it rather a pointless pursuit.
You could however do DB flat bench press ramp up to 3-5 then do slight incline 3 sets of 7-10.
Any higher then slight incline then we are working front deltoid. Which is fine if we are training both in the same session but otherwise it takes away from pectorals.


#10

[quote]Angus1 wrote:
Shoulder injuries can ruin your bench pressing but with dumbbells you can still get by if you do it correctly.
For starters your hands should be directly above your elbows no matter what you do so not sure why you even mentioned hand position.
Having flared elbows will put pressure on your shoulder joint. It will work more pectoral muscle but if you’re injured then don’t even think about it.

45 degrees is pretty much spot on. This still engages pectorals as the primary muscle and doesn’t place undue stress on on shoulder joint.
Don’t hold dumbbells like a barbell though. They should be at they same angle as your upper arm. So if your upper arms are 45 degrees away from your torso then you should hold the dumbbells on a 45’ angle. This is important for shoulder health.
[/quote]

I mentionned hand position to indicate arm position. I guess now I am pressing at 45 and I was pressing at a higher angle than 45 degree.

I am feeling my pecs more from the inside and more in the lower part when I work my pecs this way. I am not sure this will be better for aesthetics.

I like DB bench has a main exercise and I go heavy.

I am also wondering if this kind of pressing is viable in the long term. What I mean is I am not sure anyone has ever repped with 180-200 DB with this kind of shoulder saver form.


#11

[quote]FlatsFarmer wrote:
Whats better, getting strong on 1 angle, or doing dumbbell presses from a variety of angles?[/quote]

I would focus getting strong for reps on 1 angle, from slight decline to slight incline, then work other angles after (not necessarily with dumbells), but what do I know.