T Nation

Not Lowering Arms Past 90 Degrees on Flat Bench?

I’ve been in the gym for about 6 months routinely. A lifer a run into there told me all you have to do on flat bench is have your arms go down to a 90 degree angle and there is no need to go down further. I don’t really see that since you can get a deeper lift going slowly all the way down to your chest. Does anyone have an answer or is this debated?

You don’t have to do anything. It depends on why you are doing something. So, why are you benching in the first place; what is your goal?

90 degrees isn’t a bench press, it’s a partial bench press - similar to a floor press, or board presses - and can be utilized for a range of reasons including overloading the movement in raw lifters (as in, lifters with no specialized lifting clothing), training a weak area, or for bodybuilding purposes to target a specific area. Shoulder injuries can also be a reason to use a limited range of motion. Etc, etc.

What I’m getting across, is that is you are going to shift away from tried and true methods of doing something in lifting, you should know why you are doing it, and the potential benefits & drawbacks.

It honestly sounds like he’s full of it though, doesn’t know how to properly bench, where elbows are tucked on the way down, then flared about halfway up the lift.