Hey guys hope your week is going great! I’m feeling better since my last blog, seeing the Packers lose like that helped me cope with the Cowboys season ending. I recently started up with a new client this week and while teaching the proper bench press technique I was asked what many others ask, how low should I go?
The answer to this?
Depends on how heavy you are going, when using lighter weight that is easy to control touch your chest to get the full range of motion, any time you perform the “chest touch” be sure to control the weight and incorporate just your chest to push the weight back up, when you begin shifting your shoulders and pushing them forward using them in the process to get the weight up you are no longer working just chest and are in fact damaging your shoulders and performing “bad form,” I suggest doing less reps or moving the weight down. It is important to control the weight and not rush through the movements as this will cause you to incorporate your shoulders.
What About when using heavy weight for less reps?
If you are not in a power lifting competition I suggest stopping 2-3 fingers above your chest, unless you are a competitive weightlifter there is no reason why 400 lbs should be laying on your chest. I know it is a common misconception that doing this hinders your strength, but a study done in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirms “partial reps” do not affect your strength levels but in fact “suggest that partial range of motion training can positively influence the development of maximal strength” (JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH Vol. 18 Issue 3).
The Verdict: When lifting lighter weight stick to slow and controlled reps that come down to your chest. When lifting the “big boy weight” let’s stop a few fingers above the chest!
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