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Bench and Press Grip
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Young33
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Join date: May 2013
Posts: 265

On the bench and the press should the hand and forearm be in a perfect line? Like the back of the hand is straight line down the back of the forearm? Or should there be a slight angle to your hand?

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BacktotheBar
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Join date: Jul 2013
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The barbell should be in line with your wrist and forearm. Keep your wrists strong though and don't let them sag towards your head.

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Young33
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Join date: May 2013
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BacktotheBar wrote:
The barbell should be in line with your wrist and forearm. Keep your wrists strong though and don't let them sag towards your head.


Well, when you say sag toward my head how extreme can it be? Or none at all? I've never had any wrist pain before, and I felt strong and my hands were only very slightly tilted back. But, I tried benching and press with a completely flat wrist, and it feels as though the bar wants to come forward out of my hands. Is that right? And also I make sure the bar is deep in my hand, not towards my fingers

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238
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Join date: Dec 2012
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I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.

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Young33
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Join date: May 2013
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238 wrote:
I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.


And you've never had any type of wrist pain?

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mertdawg
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Join date: Dec 2004
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Mechanically, with a shirt, I think that having the weight, wrists and elbows in line is optimal because, think about it, shirts are helping out to raise the humerus, but don't help the triceps.

If you bring the elbows back slightly, what it does is shorten the lever at the humerus. If your humerus is 12 inches long, and you can come back 2 inches with the upper arm then the lever at the humerus drops from 12 to 10, allowing 12/10s as much load (ie, more). Also if it didn't change your touch point, the humerus would even have a higher angle above parallel (which also lowers the lever length, which is the horizontal distance from the vertical line of the load, and the shoulder).

The problem is that most people will get a lower touch point and therefore a "more bent" elbow as they touch higher on the chest.

Ideally, the balance in strength between the triceps and the muscles that extend the humerus should determine how far back to take it, and for most people this ends up being "not much".

Ed Coan discusses touching higher with raw pressing.

But all in all, in reality just a very slight bending of the elbows will create the optimal raw pressing position.

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mertdawg
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Join date: Dec 2004
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Here's a good video, but I'm not sure if the raw pressing form is in this one.

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238
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Join date: Dec 2012
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Young33 wrote:
238 wrote:
I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.


And you've never had any type of wrist pain?


Nope. If you think about it, having the bar out of line with the wrist/forearm/elbow means that it's trying to bend your wrist forward or backwards, thus causing additional torque on top of the compressive force that you'll get regardless of where the bar is.

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mertdawg
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238 wrote:
Young33 wrote:
238 wrote:
I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.


And you've never had any type of wrist pain?


Nope. If you think about it, having the bar out of line with the wrist/forearm/elbow means that it's trying to bend your wrist forward or backwards, thus causing additional torque on top of the compressive force that you'll get regardless of where the bar is.



It should be in line with the wrist, and elbow, but I don't think the forearms should be quite perpendicular to the ground. If your triceps are strong enough to bring the weight back just 2 inches toward the head, then the muscles that extend the humerus can move 20% more weight.

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Young33
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Join date: May 2013
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mertdawg wrote:
238 wrote:
Young33 wrote:
238 wrote:
I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.


And you've never had any type of wrist pain?


Nope. If you think about it, having the bar out of line with the wrist/forearm/elbow means that it's trying to bend your wrist forward or backwards, thus causing additional torque on top of the compressive force that you'll get regardless of where the bar is.



It should be in line with the wrist, and elbow, but I don't think the forearms should be quite perpendicular to the ground. If your triceps are strong enough to bring the weight back just 2 inches toward the head, then the muscles that extend the humerus can move 20% more weight.



But I'm wondering how inline should they be? Should there a be a very slight angle between my hand and forearm, or should it be a complete flat line on the back of my hand/wrist to my forearm?

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mertdawg
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Join date: Dec 2004
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Young33 wrote:
mertdawg wrote:
238 wrote:
Young33 wrote:
238 wrote:
I personally hold the bar so that if my forearm is vertical the bar sits directly over my forearm. That leads to the back of the hand being slightly angled compared to the forearm.


And you've never had any type of wrist pain?


Nope. If you think about it, having the bar out of line with the wrist/forearm/elbow means that it's trying to bend your wrist forward or backwards, thus causing additional torque on top of the compressive force that you'll get regardless of where the bar is.



It should be in line with the wrist, and elbow, but I don't think the forearms should be quite perpendicular to the ground. If your triceps are strong enough to bring the weight back just 2 inches toward the head, then the muscles that extend the humerus can move 20% more weight.



But I'm wondering how inline should they be? Should there a be a very slight angle between my hand and forearm, or should it be a complete flat line on the back of my hand/wrist to my forearm?


NOT a flat line on the back of your hand. That would be like lining up your knuckles for a punch. The knuckles should not be in line with the wrist and elbow. When I only used a false grip, I kept my wrists almost back 90 degrees. I only got wrist pain when benching 3 times a week heavy for 10 weeks (but I literally had to pry my hands off of the bar after each set at then end).

A problem with a thumbs around the bar grip is that if you bend the hand back its harder to keep the bar directly above the wrist. If you straighted your wrist, the bar rests higher, and there is instability in the joint.

I could only bench 310 with thumbs around after 360 thumbless. I had to work on it and actually haven't matched that yet with thumbs around. Ideally I want a thumbs around grip, with the bar right on top of the wrist, and the hand tilted back into a locked stable angle.

Normally that angle is almost horizontal, and with thumbs around that puts the bar behind the wrist. The solution is to wrap your wrists so that they are locked with your hand at about 30-45 degrees back of vertical.

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Saur
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Join date: Jul 2012
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I read an article that explained it thoroughly at Rips site the other day called Gripping Matters: Anatomy 501 ffor Press Grip. Give it a read!

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Young33
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Thanks a lot for the replies

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AnytimeJake
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Posts: 1825

I agree with Mertdawg, at least for me, and I guess him as well at a certain strength level I had to go thumbless to avoid wrist pain. I have been doing all my presses this way for years with no injurys or pain. I would at least give it a shot if your getting pain. The bar rests in the shallow of my hand, and my fingers wrap over it. Really helps with the groove on OHP aswell.

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