T Nation

Leg Cramps on Bench


#1

I get cramps when really pushing myself on bench. It happens randomly. Sometimes left leg, sometimes right. Always in hamstrings, can't recall a time of it being in quads. I never have any problem in any other work out. I drink a lot of water, eat bannans. I do a lot of recovery work and eat clean. It will happen when I'm flat foot, when I tuck my feet up, closed grip, normal, wide.

I don't think it is form since it happens no matter what way I set up. Once I am done, stand up and stretch it's fine. It's just like when you're sitting around and you bend your big toe a certain way and it locks up. That's how my leg feels on bench.

No one else in my gym that I've talked to about it has had any problems with it. And all the suggestions(look at form, drink more water, take more potassium) none of those are problems....I don't think.

Anyone had this? Any advice?


#2

Is it a full blown cramp that lasts a lengthy period of time or as you say when you get up it subsides?

I get lower back cramps and quad cramps when benching from arching very hard and using lots of leg drive. I usually use that as a signal I was tight enough and using proper leg drive :slight_smile:


#3

Ive had this happen but I cant really say for sure that its the same reasons. For me, its because my hamstrings were just in that bad of shape. Took me a while to figure out they were too long and weak, and my quads were too short and tight, among a few other things. Maybe you have something like that going on?

Also if you hammered em the day before with heavy squat/DL/isolation stuff they are gonna be more likely to cramp up.


#4

I don't think it is hamstring weakness or fatigue. I mean, they were fatigued yesterday and I did have cramps yesterday.

But a lot of people are fatigued and don't cramp. I am currently doing Mike Tuscherers reactive training.

Monday:chain squat/chain deadlift
tuesday:3ct pause bench/ close grip
thursday:chain deadlift/3ct squat
friday:chain bench/floor bench

That isn't all of the stuff I'm doing, but the meat of it. But I don't think it has anything to do with it, cause I've had cramps training more and less in the past.


#5

Maybe foam rolling before your hams and quads before you bench would help?


#6

I do foam rolling before and after my work outs. Helps a lot with soreness.


#7

You obviously have too big of an arch, bro.


#8

My only thought is that it could be gluteal amnesia. Try doing some glute bridges before you bench and see if that helps.


#9

I can get cramps through my hips if I have my feet to wide, it is - for me, due to having the muscles so tight and pressing but being in a static position that gives me the cramps.

Moving muscles for me rarely cramp on the bench. It is when they are stationary I can get the cramping through my hips. Probably a similar problem to yours.


#10

Its not an issue with fatigue necessarily, but of a muscle imbalance. Like I said, we may not have the same root cause, but if I did anything hammy the day before bench, the chances of a cramp were much higher. Maybe try staggering that program the other way so theres a day off after each squat or deadlift day instead? Soemthing like:

Mon:chain bench/floor bench
Tues:chain squat/chain deadlift
Thurs:3ct pause bench/ close grip
Fri:chain deadlift/3ct squat


#11

I get these exact same cramps, and also have cramped in my jaw/neck while bench pressing as well at times. This happens when I'm well-rested, hydrated, and using good form. I don't know how to solve them other than loosening up my body while benching, which I am not willing to do. I consider the cramps the cost of doing business and move on.

It is not from arching too much or being imbalanced or any of that. My theory is that when my mind tells my body to "tighten up" I'm overdoing it a little in a couple areas. No big deal. I'm so focused on that barbell that by the time the cramp gets noticed I'm getting up and stretching it out anyway. I can then go right into squats or deadlifts with no issues, so it isn't hurting anything.