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Thread: Bench Press Elbow Movement After Rebound

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2020


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    A moment arm is developed when the load is displaced from the upward force, which depending on the lift may or may not correspond to a specific anatomical structure. In the bench press, the upward force actually moves throughout the progress of the lift, going from the lower part of the sternum at the bottom, to nearly directly above the shoulders at the top. There is no "inevitable moment arm", only a displacement of the joint away from the upward force, which similarly changes throughout the progress of the lift both as the force changes and as the arms approach extension (reducing the cross section of the lever system of the arm).

    The position of the elbows relative to the pressing direction is a matter of anthropometry (a lifter with long arms might need to start the elbows several inches in front of the bar, and they might not reach directly under the bar until near lockout). This is compensated by them having a proportionally longer segment of the arm *behind* the bar.

    However, I see what you mean: it seems like he might not be fully extending his shoulders at the top of the lockout. If this is the case, it is likely compounded by the excessively wide grip: too wide a grip prevents the deltoids from pulling the arms "forward" (that is, up) because of the disadvantageous position this putes them in
    My mistake was not going directly to the blue book. Page 156, Elbows. Also, figure 5-13. I was pretty sure I wasn’t just making this up.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Your grip is a little too wide, and you may be hitting the chest too high/toward your chin. Narrow it one finger and try it again. I see nothing horrible here.
    I tried moving one finger in to narrow my grip width. I have the video which I am not posting because I see the exact same elbow movement on the left arm as before. It felt noticeably more difficult on just the first set, whereas the second set felt easier returning to the grip width that I had before. I think that the grip width I have been using is probably correct, since I had two different Starting Strength Coaches check it for me, in person, a couple of years ago. I would love to go that gym still but I would need to drive 2 hours each way to get there, which isn't reasonable long term. I did it for a few months though.

    With all of the other suggestions that came after yours, I thought it would be best to get video from several different angles.

    First set is 45 degrees on the right side.

    Bench 203 - Set 1 - YouTube

    Second set is 45 degrees on the right side.

    Bench 203 - set 2 - YouTube

    Third set is 90 degrees on the right side.

    Bench 203 - set 3 - YouTube

    This last video is on a different day, since I was only doing three sets on the previous day, but I thought 0 degrees would be helpful.

    Bench Straight On - YouTube

    What we see here is some asymmetry where the right elbow movement looks great, but the left one has this issue. When looking straight on, the bar looks tilted where the right arm is leading. The whole thing looks like a mess, but I'm not sure what the hell to do to fix it. Looking straight on, the way I grip the bar on each hand looks a little different. Not the width, but where the bar sits in my hand. I've started working on that and plan to film to see if that does anything. If I still have issues, after adjusting where the bar sits in my hand, do I just cue myself to push my left elbow forward after I rebound out of the bottom? Some reps looks fine, but half of them have this backward elbow movement, so I'm not sure that would help.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


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    I guess what I will try to do to fix the asymmetrical movement, where my left elbow comes back and the right elbow takes the correct path when rebounding, is to deload significantly and drive up a paused bench press. I will record each rep, even though it will be warmup weight for a little while, and hopefully get close to where I was without the left elbow movement. When it becomes necessary I can try to deload about 10% and then go back to not pausing and see if I can stop wiggling my left elbow.

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