T Nation

Unracking Barbell when Benching

hey guys I wanted to know how bad it is to unrack the barbell by yourself and bench weather its incline or flat.

I mean Ive read Eric Cressey and others say how bad it is but I have no spotter and there isnt alwyas someone to ask so im asking how bad is it. Is it really going to fuckup my rotator cuff?

Doing it over a long period could be worse for your rotator cuff but i dont think it could be said in general…it also depends on the weight you lift on my opinion.

I don’t think it is that bad. Set yourself up under the bar as far as you can, have the racks pretty high, and go. I know a lot of great benchers (I wish I was one of them) that do this regularly, I do it myself just not with their weight. When you are going for a near max or above get a lift off if you need it and a get a spot for the brutal sets.

i think unless its the type of weight you need 2 or 3 spotters for youll be ok.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
i think unless its the type of weight you need 2 or 3 spotters for youll be ok. [/quote]

thats the kind of wieght I lift though duhh lol jk

Or use the smith… (seriously, it’s not the devil…)

I always preferred DB’s for free-weight stuff, and since you’re posting in the bb forum, I assume you’re not going to do ME work…
So DB’s should be fine…

One question for Mr. Henriques:
“have the racks pretty high” ?

I’d have them just a little lower so that you can keep your shoulders pinned to the bench while un-racking, or am I misunderstanding what you meant here?

[quote]crod266 wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
i think unless its the type of weight you need 2 or 3 spotters for youll be ok.

thats the kind of wieght I lift though duhh lol jk

[/quote]

Just keep plugging away and one day you will…

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Or use the smith… (seriously, it’s not the devil…)

I always preferred DB’s for free-weight stuff, and since you’re posting in the bb forum, I assume you’re not going to do ME work…
So DB’s should be fine…

One question for Mr. Henriques:
“have the racks pretty high” ?

I’d have them just a little lower so that you can keep your shoulders pinned to the bench while un-racking, or am I misunderstanding something here?

[/quote]

thanks man, no me work haha but yea smith and dbs for flat chest I never really liked.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Or use the smith… (seriously, it’s not the devil…)

I always preferred DB’s for free-weight stuff, and since you’re posting in the bb forum, I assume you’re not going to do ME work…
So DB’s should be fine…

One question for Mr. Henriques:
“have the racks pretty high” ?

I’d have them just a little lower so that you can keep your shoulders pinned to the bench while un-racking, or am I misunderstanding what you meant here?
[/quote]

Certainly you want to keep your shoulders retracted throughout the entire thing from lift off to the lift itself. But given that position, if the racks are really low then you have to do an awkward press to get the weight off the racks or do a skull crusher with the weight or something like that and that can be problematic.

The racks should be high enough so you can lift it off the rack and rerack easily, you should not have to roll your shoulders forward to do so, but not so low that you start with a significant bend in your elbows. This is assuming the rack is even adjustable. Hope that is more clear.

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Or use the smith… (seriously, it’s not the devil…)

I always preferred DB’s for free-weight stuff, and since you’re posting in the bb forum, I assume you’re not going to do ME work…
So DB’s should be fine…

One question for Mr. Henriques:
“have the racks pretty high” ?

I’d have them just a little lower so that you can keep your shoulders pinned to the bench while un-racking, or am I misunderstanding what you meant here?

Certainly you want to keep your shoulders retracted throughout the entire thing from lift off to the lift itself. But given that position, if the racks are really low then you have to do an awkward press to get the weight off the racks or do a skull crusher with the weight or something like that and that can be problematic.

The racks should be high enough so you can lift it off the rack and rerack easily, you should not have to roll your shoulders forward to do so, but not so low that you start with a significant bend in your elbows. This is assuming the rack is even adjustable. Hope that is more clear.[/quote]

Yeah that makes sense, thank you for the clarification.

Get a training parter or just someone general to give you a hand off. Trust me, it’s much more comfortable. Unracking near maximal weights will result in a loss of stability, because the shoulders will spread out (even if they just spread a little it could mean a few less pounds on your press).

A hand-off is so much more comfortable and better.

[quote]crod266 wrote:
hey guys I wanted to know how bad it is to unrack the barbell by yourself and bench weather its incline or flat.

I mean Ive read Eric Cressey and others say how bad it is but I have no spotter and there isnt alwyas someone to ask so im asking how bad is it. Is it really going to fuckup my rotator cuff?[/quote]

I’d be alot more worried about incline than flat. Flat ive never had any problems unracking/racking myself, but i did injure my shoulder racking the bar a long time ago on incline.

My left shoulder popped and totally gave out on me, luckily the bar was above the pins and landed on them. But this was back when i was new to lifting and made all the classic blunders like no external rotator work, no rowing, etc. I was all about the bench and curl…lol. So im sure that contributed to getting hurt.

[quote]Sick Rick wrote:
Get a training parter or just someone general to give you a hand off. Trust me, it’s much more comfortable. Unracking near maximal weights will result in a loss of stability, because the shoulders will spread out (even if they just spread a little it could mean a few less pounds on your press).

A hand-off is so much more comfortable and better.[/quote]

No your right i mean I have a partner but there are times he cant go and it always seem to happen on chest day lol so

If going to failure, OR doing low reps 1-3 I use a spotter. If higher reps like 5-12 I don’t bother.

Using a spotter easily adds 20lbs to my lift because I am in better form.

yea the going to failure thing might be a bitch without a spotter lol

even when i have a spotter i dont like to have a lift off. thats just me, i feel me comfortable doing it myself.

Any weight for me personally that I don’t think I can get for a strong set of 5 or 6 I’ll use a spotter. Or on my last set of using a higher weight so I can go all-out. I’d rather not have to worry about calling for help and deal with that.

Plus, I enjoy going to failure and beyond especially on my last set of certain exercises like bench and it gives me the confidence to focus on the lift and not my personal safety.

Then again, I’m sure I’m doing everything wrong as I always seem to learn around here. I know a lot of people don’t like to miss a lift or think it’s a bad habit to get into but oh well!

[quote]Tim Henriques wrote:

Certainly you want to keep your shoulders retracted throughout the entire thing from lift off to the lift itself. [/quote]

Sorry if this is a little off-topic but I remember reading in a thread discussing development of the serratus anterior a suggestion by CT to essentially extend the lift as close to the ceiling as possible (i.e. with shoulders protracted) and hold the position for 3 seconds on each rep.

What’s the general consensus here on that?

Sorry for the hijack!

Tom

if you hold weight up, with arms fully extended you work your serratus. personally when i do bench i do it for chest, not serratus.

[quote]Tommy28 wrote:
Tim Henriques wrote:

Certainly you want to keep your shoulders retracted throughout the entire thing from lift off to the lift itself.

Sorry if this is a little off-topic but I remember reading in a thread discussing development of the serratus anterior a suggestion by CT to essentially extend the lift as close to the ceiling as possible (i.e. with shoulders protracted) and hold the position for 3 seconds on each rep.

What’s the general consensus here on that?

Sorry for the hijack!

Tom
[/quote]

Are you sure he said it that way… Usually people do serratus pushups for that.

And most misinterpret his stuff to the best of their ability (not saying that this is necessary the case with you, I just want to see a quote here… That sounds about as wrong as it gets).