Bench Press problem

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2009 7:08 AM GMT
    I use dumbbells the majority of time I work out my chest. Sometimes I want to do some straight up bench press with the bar. The problem is my back bows. I can't keep it on the bench.

    Any tips out there?

    Thanks.
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    Jul 23, 2009 12:37 PM GMT
    Mmm. Someone who knows what they are talking about will chime in, but what I do is put my legs up on the bench, knees pointing to the sky.
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    Jul 23, 2009 12:45 PM GMT
    Lostboy saidMmm. Someone who knows what they are talking about will chime in, but what I do is put my legs up on the bench, knees pointing to the sky.

    I think this is one possible solution. As an alternative, some benches have a bracket at the end where you can put your feet to give you more stability than you'd have by putting them up on the bench.
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    Jul 23, 2009 12:47 PM GMT
    pssst ... LOWER THE WEIGHT!
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    Jul 23, 2009 12:50 PM GMT
    Tapper saidpssst ... LOWER THE WEIGHT!


    Exactly what I was going to say. It's not about how much weight you can do....it's about form. If your form sucks, you're achieving nothing...except for possible injury
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    Jul 23, 2009 12:50 PM GMT
    I was going to say lower the weight too: controlled lifting is actually more impressive than lifting too much

    icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 23, 2009 1:33 PM GMT
    Tapper saidpssst ... LOWER THE WEIGHT!


    lol sometimes the easiest solutions are the last things people think of!
  • B71115

    Posts: 482

    Jul 23, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    Those are all good ideas, especially the putting your feet up on the bench. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with a curve in your back, depending on how severe it is.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 23, 2009 2:36 PM GMT
    Aside from needing less weight, it sounds as if your form is off causing a chain reaction to cause your back to bow. are your shoulders being retracted? opening up your air ways? Where is your grip on the bar? There's a whole bunch of form things to consider.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Jul 23, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    Your lower back? It doesn't have to stay flat on the bench.
    If it's arching too much, drop the weight, keep your core tight (i.e. control the arch of your back with your abs), or do the Lostboy and put your feet up.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Jul 23, 2009 3:28 PM GMT
    exhale and flex your abs as well....a small arch I think is ok too.
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    Jul 23, 2009 3:29 PM GMT
    Doing the full Lostboy would be: lower weight than you can "manage", but lifted with control and just slower than you want to (we all want to use momentum), feet resting lightly on the bench, but not pushing down for leverage and the core strongly engaged and pushing down. I often feel I am lifting with my core and not my arms (though it´s my arms that hurt after)
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    Jul 23, 2009 3:37 PM GMT
    Keeping the lower back pressed hard against the bench is good form for crunches not for bench. Concentrate on squeezing your pecs at the top press
    movement which kinda tenses and arched the lower back and lats.
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    Jul 23, 2009 3:41 PM GMT
    I've always read that it's a bad idea to put your feet on the bench icon_sad.gif
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    Jul 23, 2009 3:43 PM GMT
    Bodybuilding .com has an article on how to do a bench press. Nick Nilsson does not recommend placing the feet on the bench icon_confused.gif Nilsson writes " You will lose stability and potential power by doing this."
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru9.htm

    Does this guy know what he is talking about?
  • sracer

    Posts: 142

    Jul 23, 2009 4:21 PM GMT
    Take some weight off!!
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    Jul 23, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    Aznewbie saidI use dumbbells the majority of time I work out my chest. Sometimes I want to do some straight up bench press with the bar. The problem is my back bows. I can't keep it on the bench.

    Any tips out there?

    Thanks.



    you back bows because the weight you are lifting is too heavy. your body is trying to gain a mechanical advantage by aligning more fibers of your pecs to the plane of movement. if the weight is too heavy, your body will attempt to move the weight at a greater decline angle from your pecs, because that way it can recruit more fibres to do work. this is why you will generally be strongest at a decline bench press and weakest at an incline bench press (unless your anterior deltoids are much stronger and are recruited in the movement).

    using dumbbells is good when you are lifting alone; it is far easier to drop the weight away from you if something goes wrong. safety first, young padawan. it also forces your body to learn how to stabilize during movement much differently than using an olympic bar, although you should really add variety with the olympic bar too. it is entirely different kinesthetic input for your body to process.

    i would recommend that you lower the weight and concentrate on form first. you are lifting weight, not ego. disregard any perception of others opinions of what you are doing in the gym; chances are, they don't really understand why they are doing what they are doing anyway (even the REALLY big guys), and somewhere down the line they will find parts of them hurting for "no apparent reason".

    as far as putting your feet up on the bench, yes, you do lose more stability, but it also forces your core to work harder to stabilize you. i tend to do this when i lift because i also have a fair amount of tightness in my lower back from time to time and i haven't seen my massage therapist in quite a while to work it out.

    i hope this helps. be well.


    cheers,
    cogitor
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2009 4:45 PM GMT
    Oh good: I´m not insane. I put my feet up intentionally make my core work and not stabilize with the feets. I don´t lift for power, I lift for muscular balance/health and then aesthetics.
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    Jul 23, 2009 5:28 PM GMT
    Aznewbie saidI use dumbbells the majority of time I work out my chest. Sometimes I want to do some straight up bench press with the bar. The problem is my back bows. I can't keep it on the bench.

    Any tips out there?

    Thanks.


    Try doing bench on the smith machine first to get used to correct form. And, like what everyone else said here, take off the excess weight, and work on that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 23, 2009 6:32 PM GMT
    Remove some plates from the bar.

    Keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.

    Maintain a natural arch in your back.
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    Jul 23, 2009 8:11 PM GMT
    Thanks guys, some real solid advice.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 23, 2009 9:17 PM GMT
    A spotter, that knows good form when he see's it, wouldn't be a bad idea.
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Jul 23, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    You are right to be concerned about hyperextending your back (arching it more than is natural for you). To stop myself doing that before I learned to relax my back when bench pressing, I used to do this, and still do sometimes: lift your knees, but don't put your feet on the bench. Have your thighs vertical and your lower legs horizontal. Your feet should be in the air (cross your feet if it feels better). It's then much harder to hyperextend your back.

    I often used to see people doing this at gyms but I suppose it has gone out of fashion.
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    Jul 23, 2009 9:54 PM GMT
    Forgot to say, I have short legs and if I stick them firmly on the floor my back is vulnerable.
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    Jul 23, 2009 10:37 PM GMT
    tallchris said Your feet should be in the air


    You are not the first guy who said this.

    Are we still talking about the bench press?