Do whichever allows you to go pain-free.
Scapulae retracted and delts on the bench at all times is mandatory anyway if you don’t want to end up with bi-tendon or rotator cuff injuries…
As for tucking or flaring the elbows… The more you tuck, the more tricep is in there. Just find a nice balance I’d say.
Some people can go with their elbows out completely, others can’t… Your shoulders should tell you really fast whether you belong to the first or second group.
Also, doing only the bottom half or bottom three quarters of the movement can shift the emphasis towards your pecs…
Okay, so your shoulders (scaps/rear delts) should be pressed against the bench at all times (even on the positive portion of the rep)? I just want to know the absolute best tips for avoiding an RC related injury. Thanks - oh, and does the same principle apply for DB’s?
Yes, your shoulder joint should never rise during the bench.
Your shoulders must stay on that bench… You pull your scapulae together and down in order to provide a stable base, and so that your shoulders may stay in contact with the bench (arching definitely helps, but it needn’t be a big PL arch).
The positive (especially the uppermost part) of the rep is usually where most people end up pushing their shoulders forward…
Or if they’re very close to failure and their pecs/tris just aren’t able to lift the weight alone… Then they’ll automatically try to get the bar up by moving the shoulder joint…
Not good at all. My gym is close to a gym where a lot of benchers train (pl bench specialists, I mean), and a lot of these guys injured their shoulders just because of this very issue. They didn’t know about tucking the scapulae etc (none of them ever browsed the internet or consulted with any of the international greats…).
Most of them end up with tearing both their bicep tendon (the one connecting to the shoulder… I believe that pressing with rounded shoulders essentially causes impingement of that tendon and eventually a tear, but I’m not certain that this is the correct explanation… Cressey or X probably know better what the exact cause is), slowly and over time it seems, as well as busting some rotator cuff muscle.
I tore my left biceps tendon over a year ago and have been paying for it ever since. I was retarded and did not properly rehab it, then once I started training presses again I think I got way too overzealous (read:stoopid) in trying to get my weight’s back up to a respectable level.
Anyway, I have trouble lately getting a stretch while working my chest because once the bar gets withing a few inches of my chest I feel like my arm is literally about to tear off at the shoulder.
Does anyone have any tips for belatedly rehabing an injury like this, or know a good place I could go for information?