T Nation

To Touch, Or Not to Touch


#1

What is your opinion on touching the chest with the bar during benching?

-I personally do not like dropping the bar all the way to my chest.

-If i bench with a useful close grip and have the elbows tucked, my elbows drop below parallel before the bar touches my chest.

-When i do horizontal medicine ball throws (pressing type akin to bench) i can throw the ball the hardest when i bring my elbows back to just about my midline so the upper arms are vertical. Im sure this is the same with many people.

-I am somewhat compact and have longer forearms than upper arms. I do not have a big thick chest, the bar needs to go down a long ways.

Therefore i do not like dropping the bar all the way to my chest when benching.


#2

You shouldn’t be dropping the bar anwyays. I have been taught, and teach, to bring the bar to your shirt, not your chest (so its a light touch) before coming back up.

With close grip, some times my wrists are the limiting factor and I can’t bring the bar the whole way down. I don’t go with a really close grip very often anyways.


#3

If you bench properly your elbows shouldn’t be much below parallel. Go to youtube and look at Dave Tate’s So You Think You Can Bench.

Review that.


#4

The answer would depend on what you’re benching for.
Powerlifting: Yes.
Bodybuilding: Maybe. What is most comfortable for you? Does going all the way down put stress on your shoulders? Do you feel your chest working fully without going all the way down? It’s up to you and your personal preference really.


#5

The bar goes to your chest, that is how you bench press. Next slide.


#6

[quote]The Rattler wrote:
The answer would depend on what you’re benching for.
Powerlifting: Yes.
Bodybuilding: Maybe. What is most comfortable for you? Does going all the way down put stress on your shoulders? Do you feel your chest working fully without going all the way down? It’s up to you and your personal preference really.[/quote]

I agree with this. I would also say, if you are benching for purely bodybuilding-purposes, with no care for powerlifting, ie no reason to want a better bench press, there are probably better exercises than bench press to choose from. I bench press because I want to get better at bench pressing while also building my chest, so I bring the bar all the way down, because that is a requirement of it counting as a bench press. If I didn’t care to be good at bench pressing, bench press wouldn’t be a staple of my chest training anyway.


#7

[quote]Gmoore17 wrote:

[quote]The Rattler wrote:
The answer would depend on what you’re benching for.
Powerlifting: Yes.
Bodybuilding: Maybe. What is most comfortable for you? Does going all the way down put stress on your shoulders? Do you feel your chest working fully without going all the way down? It’s up to you and your personal preference really.[/quote]

I agree with this. I would also say, if you are benching for purely bodybuilding-purposes, with no care for powerlifting, ie no reason to want a better bench press, there are probably better exercises than bench press to choose from. I bench press because I want to get better at bench pressing while also building my chest, so I bring the bar all the way down, because that is a requirement of it counting as a bench press. If I didn’t care to be good at bench pressing, bench press wouldn’t be a staple of my chest training anyway.[/quote]

x3 I have found that aesthetically, I got much better results from DB movements than bb bench. BB bench is a must for powerlifting and that’s why I did it for so long but if concentrating on building chest, I would not be using that movement.


#8

[quote]cparker wrote:
The bar goes to your chest, that is how you bench press. Next slide.[/quote]

Read my post above yours. It isn’t necessarily like that.


#9

[quote]The Rattler wrote:

[quote]cparker wrote:
The bar goes to your chest, that is how you bench press. Next slide.[/quote]

Read my post above yours. It isn’t necessarily like that.[/quote]

You are correct in that distinction, but this is the beginners forum and theres no need to start examining prime integers as to why benching some specialized way is better.


#10

[quote]Jackie_Jacked wrote:
x3 I have found that aesthetically, I got much better results from DB movements than bb bench. .[/quote]

What about reverse grip incline bench. If we are talking about the aesthetics, i think this version is complete boss-wear.


#11

Depends on how pretty she is