T Nation

Elbow Position on Dumbbell Presses?


#1

I was wondering what my elbow position should be on incline/decline dumbbell presses? I remember hearing somewhere that keeping your elbows at almost 45 degrees give more chest isolation than the usual elbows flared out, but I'm not sure about this. I'm going for mass on my chest, and I would love to get this cleared up. Thanks


#2

Having your elbows flared out is going to F%ck something up. Keep them tucked to your sides, flex your back, and push through your whole body.


#3

I have mine just under 45 degrees, never suffered any shoulder pain during this exercise; does that mean I should be alright, or it it just a matter of time before some thing goes pop?

How tucked to your sides do you mean, surely not parallel with your torso?


#4

On incline/decline I flare the elbows out even further than that and really squeeze the chest on the press movement.

However I tend to do these at the end of a session in addition to bench presses so I dont go very heavy on them and use them instead of using my gyms pec dec (as the ones they have are going to tear my shoulder out of place).

Dave Tate put a video up for flat bench pressing where he reccomends keeping the elbows tucked in tight to maximse the amount of force you can bring to bear. I dont know whther that principle works for incline/decline pressing as well


#5

OP's talking about dumbell presses, not barbell. I imagine somewhere between tucked 45 degrees and completely flared is the way to go. I've never heard of tucking giving more chest activation, for me it seems to hit the chest less.


#6

x2

The more you flare, the more chest involvement. The more tucked, the more tricep involvement.


#7

These 2 guys have the right idea ^

Tucking the elbows and arching the back is pointless when using dumbells because they are being used for building big pecs, not to lift the most weight possible.

Shoulder blades should be retracted and elbows should be in a comfortable position. There is no one number (angle) that suits everyone. Some people can bench just fine with flared elbows and some cant.