T Nation

Technique Breakdown


#1

Hello everybody!
Im new here and this in my first post.

I've bin lifting since 2007 and I feel like Im way to weak.

I found some videoclips of me doing 1RM Benchpress and Squats.


The video reveals instability in both Benchpress and Squat.
I saw Chad Smiths video about upper back tighness and I hope that his tip with the narrow grip, pulling elbows together an forward will help my squat.

What can I do about the elbow-instability in the bench press?
More upper back tightness or do I need more muscles to solve it?

Thanks!
Selle


#2

Now I am not a good bencher by any stretch of the imagination, but you are right, your elbows tuck, but at the bottom of the lift, they flare and the weight doesn’t move until you flare your elbows.
More upper back work will probably help, and make sure you are squeezing the shit out of the bar. The harder you crush the bar, the more locked in everything is on the way up.


#3

For bench my personal opinion would be that you should move your grip in a bit so you can tuck your elbows more and work on keeping your butt on the bench. It came up on every rep.

Squat didn’t look all to bad to me, although I really think you should just slow down the video in the middle and tell people it was the world’s hardest grinder lol


#4

[quote]Alrightmiami19c wrote:
Now I am not a good bencher by any stretch of the imagination, but you are right, your elbows tuck, but at the bottom of the lift, they flare and the weight doesn’t move until you flare your elbows.
More upper back work will probably help, and make sure you are squeezing the shit out of the bar. The harder you crush the bar, the more locked in everything is on the way up.[/quote]

yea i agree. When the bar doesnt come up your chest fast the first 1 or 2 inches it means either you dont use your lats properly or your lats are weak.

what program have you been running?


#5

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
For bench my personal opinion would be that you should move your grip in a bit so you can tuck your elbows more and work on keeping your butt on the bench. It came up on every rep.l[/quote]

That seems like a logical step, but I don’t know if it’d bring much in his case, because he seems to be a long-armed lifter. Tucking “too much” would make him touch down lower on the breastbone, increasing the moment arm in the movement and meaning that he’d have to flare his elbows even more in order to eventually bring the bar in line with the scapular plane.

I’ve recognized this problem in myself and have found a couple of things to help: tons of paused work with longer pauses; strengthening the upper back; playing with maximum grip width and touching down a bit higher on the breastbone; playing with a greater arch. It sucks being a long-armed bencher. :wink:


#6

Thanks for all the replies! Thats freggin awesome!

Alrightmiami19c: I think you’re absolutely right and I tend to forget about squeezing the bar and staying tight when shit get’s to heavy for me.

tylerkeen42: My Ass got of the bench cause shit was to heavy for me som I cheated it upp with my ass rather than failing. If I put my feet wider and further up my ass tends to stay down even with some decent “legdrive”.

fat_powerlifter: I tryed to move my hands 2" in from both sides and I got way better speed from the bottom while losing some lockout power (with witch I never have had any hassle with on the wide grip bench). Im currenbtly 3 weeks into a custom version of the Cube Kingpin program.

kgildner: I’ve bought a foamroll to try and roll the shit out off my back and hips to increase my arch some. I do paused benches alot now cause I want do compete more in Swedish IPF competitions and the pauses are really long here. I also do some pause work 2" above my chest to improve the strenght in the weakspot part of my lift.

I’ll have a mock meet in 6 weeks and I’ll make sure to capture my lifts on video and It would bve awesome to here your 5cents about If I have improved or if shit went to hell for real.

Hope shit works out as I hope It will cause getting stronger is frekkin awesome and I’ve bin accepting my plateau for way too long without taking a closer look at all the stuffs I mess up with.

Thank’s alot for your time!


#7

Cool, man, keep us posted on how things work out for you! Sounds like you’re on the right track.


#8

Didn’t even see your set up and I can tell it’s sloppy, work on your set up. Your arch is all lumbar and little thoracic, and should be more thoracic and probably about the same lumbar. You have little elbow tuck. Now I’ve heard of guys flaring early and being successful, but you’re flaring before the bar even leaves your chest.

Your stability in the bench press starts at your feet. If there not stable your legs aren’t stable. If your legs aren’t stable, neither is your pelvis the whole way up. Your wrist is behind your elbow during the movement. You should fix that before you end up ditching the bar on your face.


#9

Awesome!
I think I got alot of ways to improve my bench now.
I think that I might got som mobility issues with my upper back after 25years of crappy posture but I will work on make it better if possible for sure!


#10

My bench used to look very unstable like yours but it improved after doing tons of work (especially paused) in the 80% of 1RM range. The moderate intensity allowed me to focus on all of the cues and get extremely tight in the setup (tight upper back, core, forearms and glutes). The muscle memory and technique work carried over to max attempts. Regardless of what setup you use I suggest dropping your training loads so your main focus isn’t getting the weight up at all cost and more on relearning a more effective setup.

Most times when you make a technique change it is a good idea to drop the loads so you’re in control of the weights and not vice versa. Strive to make your reps look identical, even the light weight. Envision the tightness and technique you would want for your 1RM during each rep. It’s all practice for the real test.


#11

Squat technique looked decent, but the slow speed well above parallel is notable. I would recommend some occasional partial rep work, high rep finishers (i.e. 50% for a set of 20 at the end of a session), jumping, and lateral step ups.


#12

For press: long pause work will definately help. Band pull-aparts would help with keeping upper back tight. Heavy hammer curls would help with stabillity(lift looks a bit shaky). Technique wise, your elbows go to the right possition when you lower the bar, but when you initiate the push they shoot to the sides, makes it look like bodybuilders bench.

Heavy lat work will help there. And of course try to keep your elbows slightly tucked(emphacise it on your warm-ups when weight isn’t messing with your form), and force your arse to stay on the bench.
Squat looks good enough.
Definitely need speed work. If you dont like conventional powerlifting speed work try jumping, sprinting and plyometric push-ups.


#13

Try adding in pause squats too. At first do light work to get used to them and then slowly add in heavier reps (or do some paused reps in place of straight reps) into your main work when you feel strong, making sure there is little to no form break down. The benefit of pause squats is that it forces you to stay as tight as possible throughout the movement and it’ll help your speed out of the hole. I’ve added in pause front squats into my routine and it’s doing wonders for core stability.


#14

I personally think you should touch about an inch lower. I think you can do that while maintaining the same grip width, or maybe a half inch in. That would reduce your range of motion, and keep your elbows tucked more. On your second rep, your wrist is not over your elbows when you touch your chest, so you are creating lever action and having to keep the weight from falling towards your face. Looks like you are just trying to touch on your nipple line. I touch 2-3 inches lower, on my upper abs.

Definitely start rolling out your mid and upper back to increase your thoracic arch.


#15

Mostly squats, narrower stance than before and with 1/2" heeled “oly” shoes.
Frontsquats were a mess… Maybe because I used to do them with higher 1 1/4" heels?
Or might be because I did multiple sets of squats with belt before going beltless frontsquat without “warmup” sets…

Benchpress was after A shoulder workout with 4sets of 12reps @9 Militarypresses…

Tryed to keep my wrists straighter and my elbows under the bar.
Also tryed to touch lower and pressing the bar straight up instead of pushing towards the rack.
Also tryed to stay tighter, get better arch and to not flare the elbows.
Hard to nail everything at ounce but at least I tryed.
Felt super akward to press straight up and without flareing.

Did I improve anything?