T Nation

How Far Do You Lower the Bar to your Chest?


Hey guys, I was wondering how far you tall guys lower the bar to your chest when you bench? I am just under 6"3, and when I am benching, I find lowering the weight right to my chest makes me push my elbows back further then I would normally like too.
I find it easier to crank out more reps and less discomfort when lower the bar about 2 inches from my chest.
How about you guys, do you go all the way down when you bench?


Thank god this forum doesnt have a "poll" function.


Yes I make the bar touch my chest. I'm 6'0"

Imagine if we did have a poll, we couldn't fit the wide, weird and varied responses. Some would be just plain wrong.


My bench was miserable (it still is, albeit much less so) until I stopped coming down to my chest all the time. I go back and forth between the two...one always carries over to the other.

Do what works.


I'm 6'3" and go all the way


BP is overrated. I usually stick to the treadmill!


On the first date ?


Of course; don't you?




to my belly :slight_smile:


Obviously some people don't have the mobility to touch the bar to their chest all the time without messing up their shoulders but I have observed 1 inch above the chest become 2,3 or more as the guy tries to do more weight.
Work on your mobility and in the mean time put something on your chest (2 by 4) that you can lower the bar to so you can keep your range of motion constant. That way it won't become shorter and you get a better idea of your progress.


I think that is my biggest concern. I have been going down all the way, but I was worried that if I change my style and keep it a bit off the chest, I might get into the habit of adding more space between the bar and chest as the weight increases. I was just worried that when I go all the way down to the chest, my elbow is at around 20 degrees. It is all relative to the length of the bar and ones arm length. So I was just interested if other people have the same issue or if they keep the bar a bit off the chest or not.


I'm 6'0'' also and I always go to the chest. Flat bench has always been super comfortable for me though and I've never had a problem with it. On incline though, I cant make it all the way down.


For bodybuilding purposes there is no reason to touch your chest if it creates discomfort, does not stretch the muscle further, and you use less weight. Competing in a comp is a different story. I'm 6'1" and touch my chest. Inclines I stop around chin height because the muscle is fully stretched and I only compromise my shoulder health and intensity if I go lower.


6'2 and I lower it right below the nipple line to be exact


I'm only 5' 11", but I find that using a medium-wide grip, having a good arch and chest full of air, and keeping my shoulder-blades tight and together prevent my elbows from dropping too low while touching the bar to my chest. This is obviously leads to a more restricted ROM, but it promotes consistency and possibly allows for heavier weight.


I have no idea what the relevance of someones height is WRT to this.

How does your height affect your flexibility?


It doesn't, but perhaps OP thought height related to length of arms and therefore affects the lowering?

I don't know man, I don't write this stuff I try to make sense of it.


He obviously wanted an excuse/rationalisation for his behaviour that simultaneously hinted that he is in fact superior to the "common mortals" that touch their chests.


but lets give the kid what he wants:

i agree with the op. sometimes, i just load up the bar unrack it and shaaaaake it up and down real quick. full range of motion does nothing for my chesticles.