zi0nx5 saidI just got into barbell bench presses, as bogus as that might sound. I usually do dumbbell presses. I've had a history of wrist problems so is it best, when doing any type of chest press, to hold the weight with the backside of your hands near-parallel to the floor or in-line with forearms)?
Also, I've read up on how you should (or shouldn't) keep your lower back flat against the bench. I forget which one is correct? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance
Welcome to RJ, Zion, and thank you for increasing the hot guy quotient here. Rawr!
But enough of the drooling...
After staring at my hands like a recently-cured paraplegic, I think I finally understand what you're asking. As someone who has long suffered from wrist issues, my completely biased and uninformed answer is that I don't think such a grip choice as you pose makes any real difference.
The problem I (and a number of other wrist problem types I know) have is that when holding on to a fixed straight bar, regardless of the position of your wrists, when that bar moves toward and away from you, there is a flexion of the wrist that I can only describe as a side-to-side wobble. I know this description sucks -- it really requires a live demo or a video to completely get across. Without trying to torture you with some long-winded verbiage, I'll just pretend you understand what I mean and come right to the conclusion:
If you want to work with a bar and you find it bothers your wrists, try an ez-curl bar instead. Try both the "inner" and "outer" grip positions on the ez bar. If that doesn't help, then stick with dumbbells or machines with independent movements for each arm. To this day my wrists still can't deal with bench presses using a straight bar with any significant amount of weight, but I don't feel I've lost the ability to develop my chest -- there's a lot of other options besides a straight bar bench.
As for the back - a healthy back should touch the bench on your butt and on your upper back -- the small of your lower back will naturally be off the bench if your spine is aligned properly and you're relaxed. A good rule is don't arch, but don't try to lay your whole spine (including lumbar) flat. Just keep the position you naturally have when you lie down on the bench unweighted.
Other folks really should chime in here. I don't think I did all that well on this one