I'm currently using flat DB press as an assistance exercise to work on my bench press sticking point on the bottom off the chest. Being so used to the stability with a regular barbell, I can't seem to replicate it anywhere near that when using dumbbells. Laying back with the dumbbells in either Mark Rippetoe's method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM5Nw_QBA9A or with the db's at the bottom position when you lay back give me the same issues. I can't get any leg drive, back arch is very minimal and more importantly it's very hard to get scapular retraction for a stable base to push off of. I appreciate any help you guys can give me, thanks.
To me, the problems you are describing are actually kinda the point of doing that movement. Working through those mechanical disadvantages may or may not be soemthing that helps your sticking point though.
Would using a neutral grip instead of a pronated (or half way between pronated and neutral) grip help with back tightness since the elbows would stay much closer?
Dumbells never worked for my sticking point.
What worked best for me was doing paused sets of 5.
I can hit 345 on a good day.
So i would use about 265 for 3 sets of 5 with a 2 second pause at the bottom.
Try it out if ya want. Use a weight you can hit 3x5 paused 2 seconds then every 4th week try to up that number by 5 lbs. Do this after your main working sets. I dk if this will work for you but it has worked for me and i still do it.
Try it out and find out, is the best answer I can give ya. For me, DB pressing serves a few specific purposes: one is to train stabilizers. I used to feel like I wasnt in control of a barbell with more than 3 plates, once I got up to reps with 100+ DBs that problem went away. Second is to isolate the chest a little more, take out the triceps some. Third is convenience, its nice to superset DB press and DB rows with the same weights sometimes.
Im not sure if you can work DBs to fix that sticking point you were talking about, but maybe.