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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-02-2009, 01:19 PM   #11
Ryan Webernick
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

I'm going to agree with the suggestion to do ring work and OHP. For me, the problem with bench press was that I typically don't workout with a spotter. Without a spotter you just can't push yourself as hard in bench press as you need to to really increase in strength.

I found that by focusing increasing my OHP, and hitting my chest via ring dips, my bench press went up more than when I specifically worked on bench.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #12
Ryan Hoegner
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

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Originally Posted by Brad O'Hara View Post
thanks for the input-this is gettin my psyched to workout today. also, i forgot to mention that any soreness I get from benching is mostly accumulated way on the outside of my pecs and even on my rotator cuffs. As a baseball player, I have always had stronger shoulders/rotator cuffs than my friends, but they all outbench me on flat bench. However, I hold my own on incline, even doing better than a guy who maxes bench press at 250. Am I overcompensating by using my shoulders too much on flat bench maybe?
Going too wide. I like my hands just beyond should width.

Like somebody else stated, if you want to increase your bench, add it to a couple WOD's a month. I do a bench press maximum effort day when the same workout is posted for front or back squats. Also, I would recommend doing some dumbell presses or weighted dips.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:55 PM   #13
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

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Originally Posted by Ryan Webernick View Post
I'm going to agree with the suggestion to do ring work and OHP. For me, the problem with bench press was that I typically don't workout with a spotter. Without a spotter you just can't push yourself as hard in bench press as you need to to really increase in strength.

I found that by focusing increasing my OHP, and hitting my chest via ring dips, my bench press went up more than when I specifically worked on bench.
That's what I'm going to do as well. Maybe throw some Tabata ring push-ups into the mix before my next physical fitness test. 3 sets of 3-5 reps overhead press + ring work + 1-2 sessions of Tabata ring push-ups probably means sufficient push-up ability for any military fitness test, even for a long-armed man like me.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:13 PM   #14
Ted Apollo
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

here are a few tips:

1) like an early poster said narrow your grip. i try to keep my elbows in tight by your sides. when they get wide it puts more stress on the shoulders.

2) push ups are more then just chest. you are in a plank position and it requires core strength. core strength is so important for both push ups and bench press. not alot of people realize how important heavy deadlifts are for bench press.

3) old power lifting trick: use a spotter, load the bar with 120% of your max, have the spotter help you with the lift off, then just hold the weight at lock out position for as long as possible. this helps your body get used to handling heavy weight and builds those stabilizing muscles. this will help you put up bigger #'s pretty quick.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:21 PM   #15
Travis Rask
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Could be worse...I can do 75 pushups consecutively, and probably 15 ring dips in a row, and I don't even think I can crack 200 on BP.
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:41 AM   #16
Stephen R. Lampl
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

I too have long arms and am beset by poor BP numbers. I am finding that doing sets of deep (full ROM) push-ups on parallettes is really starting to help me with both the push-ups and BP. If you have access to a set of parallettes or push-up bars and can also elevate your feet, you could well see some improvement.

It may be slow going to gain much improvement, but it should come. On the bright side, I know a couple of guys at my globo with large "wingspans" who are benching in the high 200s/low 300s.....
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #17
Joseph E. Morris
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

Like everything else in fitness, training to improve pushups (or bench, or both) requires variation. For pushups: bench heavy, do pushups with weight on your back or use the Power Pushup from Lifeline USA, do max-effort sets, do lots of little sets throughout the day, do them fast, do them slow, do many variations on the pushup (Hindu, Superman/jackknife, one-handed, Spiderman, etc.). But at least do pushups, and lots of them.

- Rick

Last edited by Joseph E. Morris : 08-13-2009 at 01:47 PM. Reason: I can't spell the word "day."
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Old 08-13-2009, 06:45 PM   #18
Michael Henry
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

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Originally Posted by Mark Lanza View Post
Brad,

Doing more pushups won't increase your ability to do more pushups. Sounds screwy, so let me give you an anology: a person that runs an 800M doesn't get faster at this event by running more 800M's, right? He gets faster by running sprints or intervals.
I disagree with this statement. And your analogy IS saying to get better at running you have to run, just use a different 'rep scheme.' I've always felt that my bench press and pushup ability were not related. The very first APFT I took I cranked out 53 push ups, which I thought was pretty crappy. But I could probably bench press about 275. After doing more pushup work, in addition to 'chest day' I was able to top out at about 106. Techniques I used were timed sets (which I don't think work but I didn't have a choice), various types of pyramids, sets where a # was the goal, and partner assisted where a partner would help you as you started to fail so you could maintain the same pace until muscle failure. The last 2 types were the most effective, IMO.

Oh, and I'm 5'10" with a 6'1" wingspan. I start with my arms as close to my body as I can when I do pushups.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:35 AM   #19
Adam Shreim
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

I am 5' 6" and 183 pounds @19% Body Fat.

I had a problem similar to this. 2 years ago, when I was in great shape for running/swimming/calisthenics (20X20 push-ups, 10X10 pull-ups, 20X25 sit-ups, 20X15 dips was one of my longer routines), I weighed 165 pounds and was calculated to be right around 9% body fat. I could barely bench press 160 Lbs. even one time. I thought my form was good.

Fast forward to 2 months ago. I sustained back-to-back injuries and gained 30 pounds and 13% body fat. I couldn't do a quarter of what I was capable of. I started CrossFit. On the day I was figuring out what my 1RM for Bench Press was - I only lifted 165. 2 days ago, I lifted 208 (After failing the first time, from improper technique) without too much effort.

There were 3 things to help me get this far in 2 months:
1) I could barely do 50 Push-ups in a row. In order to build this, I frequently do Ring Push-ups. They are always part of my warm-up and usually I do a couple sets of 10-15 after my WOD, as well.

2) My trainer created a really nice chest WOD for me that was pretty simple and very effective. 21-15-9: Ring Dips, Ring Rows, Ring Push-ups, for time (my last attempt took me 5:05). I also sometimes do 50 Ring-Dips for time (last attempt took 4:24). Trying to alternate every now and again. I've also chose to do Cindy, Angie and Barbara, at least once each, in the last 2 months.

3) My trainer was a former Power Lifter. His knowledge, coupled with a few things I learned watching Mark Rippetoe's Bench Press tutorials, helped me fix my technique. A few of the things I learned to do: Drive my legs to the ground - I could feel extra leg and core muscles being recruited through my body. Arch my back slightly off the bench. Grip the bar according to my lowered position's natural width. Turn my elbows in slightly, to utilize deltiod/lat muscles/triceps more. When under the bar, my eyes should be on the side of the bar closer to my chest. Not past the bar, closer to your head. Breath in before I lower the bar and lower it controlled and quickly. Once down, try to explode up as fast as possible.

I also stick pretty closely to the Zone Diet. However, going from 160 to 208 in 2 months was pretty significant for me. I can't do Linda as RX'd, but I can scale to a 7 set now. I used to think Bench Pressing my own body weight, let alone 10 times, was a goal that was many, many months down the road. Hopefully some of these things help.

As for Push-ups, I can do 98 before I fatigue for a single-set.
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #20
Eric Egan
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Re: Bench Press/Pushup Improvement

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Originally Posted by Adam Shreim View Post
When under the bar, my eyes should be on the side of the bar closer to my chest. Not past the bar, closer to your head.
im not sure if im reading this right,but it shounds like your saying that the bar should be over your forehead witch is NOT where the bar should be.you need to bench in a straight line,so where ever the bar is going to touch your chest the bar needs to be directly above that.i touch my chest right below my nipples butt i also arch a lot.
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