T Nation

Only Feeling Lats During Bench/Push Ups


#1

As of late I've been feeling my lats more than anything else when I'm doing my Bench. Tried doing some push ups to test this out and same thing, I can only feel my arms pushing against(?) my lats or some weird ass feeling like that. I've read a little online and this seems to be not the norm. Do any of you have any experiences with this?


#2

You mean you feel like your triceps sit on your lats?


#3

Do you feel any tightness in your traps? Have you felt your lats being used in the past?


#4

video.


#5

[quote]Benanything wrote:
As of late I’ve been feeling my lats more than anything else when I’m doing my Bench. Tried doing some push ups to test this out and same thing, I can only feel my arms pushing against(?) my lats or some weird ass feeling like that. I’ve read a little online and this seems to be not the norm. Do any of you have any experiences with this?[/quote]

What?


#6

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
You mean you feel like your triceps sit on your lats?[/quote]

Yes, exactly this.

[quote]lift206 wrote:
Do you feel any tightness in your traps? Have you felt your lats being used in the past?[/quote]

Traps feel hella tight. I could always feel my lats when I did any horizontal pressing movements. It just seems to be the only thing I’m feeling right now. No chest/triceps.


#7

[quote]Benanything wrote:

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
You mean you feel like your triceps sit on your lats?[/quote]

Yes, exactly this.
[/quote]
That’s normal


#8

Also remember that ‘feel’ isn’t necessarily the most important thing in a PL context. That’s why a video would be very helpful, to verify if there is a form issue and steps to fix it if there is one.

FWIW, I know I’ve been benching with good form if my lats and upper back are pumped and even a little sore the next day.


#9

Do the weights feel easier or harder to lift? Are you learning how to pull your shoulder blades down? Is the bar touching higher or lower?

A video would help.


#10


60kgs bench x5


70kgs bench x3, used iPod as a clip so that arc can be better seen.

Tried to work on my arc too.

[quote]lift206 wrote:
Do the weights feel easier or harder to lift? Are you learning how to pull your shoulder blades down? Is the bar touching higher or lower?

A video would help.[/quote]

It feels as if I’m working my back more than anything else. I literally feel my back more than my chest/triceps when I bench. Just think it’s really odd. In terms of muscular development (if i even have any muscle, I feel like my chest/triceps are severely lacking). In terms of the powerlifting movements, the Bench is without question, my weakest lift.


#11

[quote]Benanything wrote:
It feels as if I’m working my back more than anything else. I literally feel my back more than my chest/triceps when I bench. Just think it’s really odd. In terms of muscular development (if i even have any muscle, I feel like my chest/triceps are severely lacking). In terms of the powerlifting movements, the Bench is without question, my weakest lift.[/quote]

The only thing I can really see with the bench is straightening out your wrists so you can grip the bar hard and keep your forearms tight may help with keeping the bar over your elbows.

Don’t get too caught up in making the biggest arc possible. It doesn’t do much to have a huge arc if your entire back and abs don’t remain tight in that position.

Another suggestion is to increase your wide grip pulling work. Do some wide grip pullups, band pull aparts and/or wide grip barbell rows where you focus on keeping your chest up while pulling your shoulder blades down. That has helped me in developing upper back tightness (in addition to more overhead pressing work) and learning to create an arc in my upper back rather than my lower back.


#12

From that angle it looks like you are tucking your elbows too much and getting a little bit of the “alternate lifestyle” wrist as well.


#13

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
From that angle it looks like you are tucking your elbows too much and getting a little bit of the “alternate lifestyle” wrist as well.
[/quote]

Tucking the elbows too much? I wasn’t aware that’s a thing. What do you mean by “alternate lifestyle” wrist? Is it some kind of innuendo I’m unaware of?


#14

[quote]Benanything wrote:

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
From that angle it looks like you are tucking your elbows too much and getting a little bit of the “alternate lifestyle” wrist as well.
[/quote]

Tucking the elbows too much? I wasn’t aware that’s a thing. What do you mean by “alternate lifestyle” wrist? Is it some kind of innuendo I’m unaware of?[/quote]

Tucking the elbows = keeping them close to your body

“alternate lifestyle” wrist = bending your wrist like you just waved someone off in a feminine manner. Never heard of that expression but it makes sense.


#15

[quote]Benanything wrote:

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
From that angle it looks like you are tucking your elbows too much and getting a little bit of the “alternate lifestyle” wrist as well.
[/quote]

Tucking the elbows too much? I wasn’t aware that’s a thing. What do you mean by “alternate lifestyle” wrist? Is it some kind of innuendo I’m unaware of?[/quote]

What I mean is the main focus is to keep the elbow and wrist in line.

I did a quick youtube search and found a perfect video.


#16

I don’t think this is necessarily the reason you’re feeling your back more than chest/triceps, but your arch/overall tightness is garbage, and that IS relevant to the fact that your bench press numbers aren’t what you want them to be. You look way too comfortable. Proper bench press setup should be very uncomfortable.

When I first started working on improving my positioning, I got a lot of cramps, spasms, etc because it was so difficult to lift in the proper position for me. Hips, hamstrings, back, etc. But working hard on that has been the absolute best thing I’ve done for my bench press in the past year. Force your feet farther back under you and push your chest/sternum up higher. Shorten your range of motion, and get tight everywhere.


#17

An easy thing you can do to improve the bar, wrist and forearm positioning is to do reverse grip curls after every session for the next couple months. Focus on keeping your wrists straight and tightening all of your forearm muscles throughout the lift.

That should help to improve forearm strength which will make it easier to straighten and stabilize your wrists in the main lifts. It’ll make it easier to place the bar over your elbows. After that you won’t have to do much isolation work if you use all those forearm muscles in the rest of your main and accessory work.

Once you get the bar consistently over your elbows, it may be a bit easier to figure out how much to tuck your elbows and where to touch the bar on your chest since both positions will become directly related to one another. In general you want to use a position that helps you get significant contribution from your shoulders, chest, traps, triceps and lats. Getting the erectors, abs, hips and legs tight is also important. As flipcollar said, get tight everywhere. If an area isn’t tight, build those muscles up and get them involved.


#18

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I don’t think this is necessarily the reason you’re feeling your back more than chest/triceps, but your arch/overall tightness is garbage, and that IS relevant to the fact that your bench press numbers aren’t what you want them to be. You look way too comfortable. Proper bench press setup should be very uncomfortable.

When I first started working on improving my positioning, I got a lot of cramps, spasms, etc because it was so difficult to lift in the proper position for me. Hips, hamstrings, back, etc. But working hard on that has been the absolute best thing I’ve done for my bench press in the past year. Force your feet farther back under you and push your chest/sternum up higher. Shorten your range of motion, and get tight everywhere.[/quote]

Listen to this man. Bench setup should be massively uncomfortable in terms of how much tension every part of you is under. Since I’ve tightened up my bench has gotten much better. I feel happier benching than ever.

A good way I’ve heard it described is when you set up right you barely even feel the bar, the tension just moves it.

Push your traps hard into the bench and push your chest up, arching your upper back. Use the bar to push yourself into the bench. Push your heels down to created tension in your legs: your quads should feel like you’re squatting. For me, I try to get my feet directly under my butt, but then my fed allows heels up benching. Pull the bar apart and squeeze the hell out of it. After a while, the discomfort will just be something that tells you you’ve set up properly.


#19
  1. stop listening to geared lifters who think the lats are somehow the prime mover
  2. forget about your elbows and your arch. Get control of your shoulderblades and get your upper back tight…your elbows will go to the right position and you will arch as much as is necessary if you do those two things.