T Nation

No Flat DB Bench Stability?


I can't seem to get a groove down for DB flat bench, even with low weight. I have zero problems with incline DB bench and flat/incline BB bench, but flat DB looks like wind is blowing the DB's back and forth. Is it just that whatever stabilizes the movement is weak and I need to use ridiculously low weight for a while? I know it's hard to diagnose problems over the net, but I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction because the disparity between my flat vs incline DB is so high.


I used to have the same problem when I first started back up after my car accident durring my redovery. My plan, and it worked for me was to use light weights with perfect form untill I could maintain perfect form going up. Like you siad Barbell weight was no problem but individual weight was harder to maintain stability. So I just continued to challange myself with what I could handel and stayed patient but now I have gotten my self pretty comfortable with the heavier stuff.


Can you not lift heavier dumbbells on flat bench than you can on incline dumbbell bench?

If you don't have a problem with incline dumbbell bench I don't know why you find flat dumbbell bench a problem. That's pretty interesting.

Maybe it's your back setup and you're not pulling your scaps together when you get down. Maybe it's because when you lie back you don't lie down with good control and you end up starting with the weights in your armpits (happened to me today).

I guess you should get someone to check you out and see whats up.


I can't control 50 pound db's for flat, but I can do 95's for incline reps, it really is weird. I'm not sure how my back form is, but I'll try this week pulling my scaps back. Maybe I can get a video of it.


I think I can actually do mor weight on an incline BB than flat BB simply because I havent done flats with a bar in so long. When I do them, and this may be similar to what you experience, my scapulae seem to be tracking oddly, and it's quite uncomfortable. If I use DBs, I can move some heavy weights, but the BB just seems to be gone (which is fine, considering it always irritated my shoulder, but it's still odd)



Ha! Can't control the 50s but you can military press 135 and you can do high reps with the 95s on incline? You can probably curl the 50s but you can't press them with control? Maybe it's elbow position. Maybe you're picking up the 150s and a sticker fell off.


Assuming you mean the avatar, push pressin 225 lol. I thought it was elbow position, but that doesn't do much for me either. Wide bodybuilder style I have the worst control, but arms tucked doesn't help much either.


then just dont do them? no biggie, inclines and dips should still hit the chest good enough


But there's obviously a reason I have a lack of stability, and if I can figure that out then I add another exercise to my arsenal which I believe will give good chest gains, not to mention may possibly bring up performance in other movements like flat BB.


I think its clearly a mental thing. Are you doing Flat DBs at the very end of your workout? Do them before anything else since you're using such light weights it won't really hinder your other lifts. Get used to the movement at weights you can use and with the strength you already have you'll probably progress up the rack pretty quickly and have the 100s down by thanksgiving.


Whenever I try them it's usually the first exercise or the second. Thanks for the advice, starting tonight I'm going to try to lower the weight even more so and hopefully build up from there.


One more thing to consider- when on the flat bench are you sure that you're pushing upwards and not backwards? Might sound like an odd question, but i still have to make sure that my forearms are perpendicular to the ground before I start pressing, or I have a tendency to push the weights 'backwards' towards my head; you might be unconsciously mimicking the angle of your arms used for incline benching, and thus doing the same. I think it's easier to do with DBs than a BB because you don't have the visual reference point of the bar.
Get someone to view you side-on while you're flat benching and check it out, you never know...


I find I have more stability issues with lighter weights when it comes to dumbbell presses. I think the inertia of a heavy dumbbell keeps it in line more. That's been my experience.


Thanks for the pointers spit and mytch, I hit chest again on thursday and I'll be definitely examing my form more closely and trying some heavier poundage.


when you kick up the dbs into locked overhead, sorta snuggle your scapula into a benching groove, then when you lower for the first rep tighten the traps and finish the groove off, then rep away