T Nation

Locking Out on Bench

Just wondering what everyones take is on locking out vs not locking out on bench. I hear locking out is a BIG taboo everywhere I go… I know it prob isnt the greatest thing for my elbows, and i do get elbow pain once in a while (not sure if its from the skull crushers though since thats where i feel it the most!) but anyway, i try to bench as heavy as possible everytime to bring up my strength and achieve my goals… but should i be doin a little less weight and stay away from locking out on my reps…? thanks

like you said the general rule is not to lock out, muscle soreness is one thing but joints is a different matter, i also get bad elbows, like you said skull crushers kill em, i ended up with two bruises on the backs of the elbow after a bit of reading turned out it could be tendonitis, so now while it sorts it self out lower weight and higher reps, which means i can really concentrate on technique, and i go quite slow

depends on your goals… if you are looking to build mass in the pecs, maintaining tension on the muscle by not locking out would be the way to go. if you are looking to compete in powerlifting, you would need to do quite a bit of your benching variations to lockout.

Ditto Marauder. If you don’t lock in the gym, you’re not likely to do it on the platform. FWIW though, on some training lifts, I don’t sweat the lockout- especially higher-rep stuff and/or close grip work where the normal mechanics of locking out don’t really work.