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Old 06-24-2008, 12:12 PM   #11
Jonathon Brown
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

Thanks for the info guys. I think I'm going to try feet off the ground with only the bar, and see how my body is. If I can keep the arch, then I'll slowly add weight. If not, then I'll toss the idea out. Thanks again for the input.

-Jon
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Old 06-25-2008, 04:18 PM   #12
Sam Ser
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

hey, jon, not to be a wiseass or anything, but benching with your feet off the ground is a GREAT way to hurt yourself and/or keep yourself from making real progress in the bench press. please look into this more before you try it.

(i'm sorry, but chris butner, your advice is terrible! lifting with your feet on the ground is NOT "cheating," it's the CORRECT way to get the most benefit out of the lift and not f!@#$% up your spine!)

jon, the problem isn't that you will automatically fall off the bench if you do it once. hey, you may in fact become quite good at this. the problem is that, when you're lying on a bench that's not even as wide as your shoulders, while holding a weight over your chest, and you take your feet off the floor, you have ZERO stability. nothing to keep you from rocking side to side.

besides, man, there are better ways to "blast your pecs." try some pre-exhaustion (db flyes, perhaps, or dips). or kick up the intensity by "stripping" the bar again and again in one big drop set. (work up to a set of 6 to 12 that really taxes you. then take five pounds off each side, and lie right back down for however many more you can squeeze out. get up, take five pounds off each side, and kepp going like that until you either run out of weight or run out of gas.)

however, if you simply MUST try the legs-in-the-air thing, then at least do it in a floor press instead of on a bench. you'll eliminate the possiblity of falling and get a built-in "spot" from the floor.

benching with your feet off the floor may look cool, but it's dumb for lots and lots of reasons. the bottom line is, it's dangerous, and it won't turn you into a champion bench presser. doing the lift correctly, and intensely, is the only way to go.

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Old 06-25-2008, 05:09 PM   #13
Nick Gagnon
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Noble View Post
It's entirely possible to keep the scapulae retracted with feet off the ground.
Yes, it is still possible. That's not the point. As Sam just stated above your feet keep you balanced, and that a floor press would be a sound alternative (good point!). Besides keeping you balanced, a proper bench gets power from your legs and back as well. Keeping your back tight and butt cheeks clenched will create more stability and allow your pushing muscles to contract harder allowing you to lift more weight.

Also, I can't imagine that the feet-in-the-air advocates on here are moving around heavy weights. Try repping 225 for max reps with your feet in the air.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:09 PM   #14
Chris Butner
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Sam Ser View Post
hey, jon, not to be a wiseass or anything, but benching with your feet off the ground is a GREAT way to hurt yourself and/or keep yourself from making real progress in the bench press. please look into this more before you try it.

(i'm sorry, but chris butner, your advice is terrible! lifting with your feet on the ground is NOT "cheating," it's the CORRECT way to get the most benefit out of the lift and not f!@#$% up your spine!)

jon, the problem isn't that you will automatically fall off the bench if you do it once. hey, you may in fact become quite good at this. the problem is that, when you're lying on a bench that's not even as wide as your shoulders, while holding a weight over your chest, and you take your feet off the floor, you have ZERO stability. nothing to keep you from rocking side to side.

besides, man, there are better ways to "blast your pecs." try some pre-exhaustion (db flyes, perhaps, or dips). or kick up the intensity by "stripping" the bar again and again in one big drop set. (work up to a set of 6 to 12 that really taxes you. then take five pounds off each side, and lie right back down for however many more you can squeeze out. get up, take five pounds off each side, and kepp going like that until you either run out of weight or run out of gas.)

however, if you simply MUST try the legs-in-the-air thing, then at least do it in a floor press instead of on a bench. you'll eliminate the possiblity of falling and get a built-in "spot" from the floor.

benching with your feet off the floor may look cool, but it's dumb for lots and lots of reasons. the bottom line is, it's dangerous, and it won't turn you into a champion bench presser. doing the lift correctly, and intensely, is the only way to go.

Your response tells me you did not even read my second comment properly. Nothing to keep you from rolling side to side you say with your feet off the ground. Fall off ? Are you kidding me ! Keep a tight mid section, and a grip a bit more than your shoulder width. I can even add hanging KB to the bar on each side, and stabilize myself with feet up.
Who said we wanted to be a champion bench presser with feet up ? Who said we wanted maximum benefit out of the isolation movement ? You said this. No one else. So doing this with lighter weight, proper spine form, in a stable manner(without falling off the bench), as a combination movement.......is dumb for lots of reasons you say. Then lets hear your list.

Sounds to me like you have a weak mid section, and you very rarely think "outside the box". I can't believe I am even arguing with someone that goes to a web site everyday to be told what they do in the gym on a given day.

The best you have is we can't do that cause we will fall off the bench. Think about your comment. Sounds really silly, and is incorrect. Certainly a rookie that is not strong. Using improper technique with too much weight. Could certainly fall off though, but that would not be me......

I do understand CF does not promote this, but that in no way means that it can not be done properly. As a variation using lighter weights as a combo movement.
Many of you have trapped in your head "boring max isolation movement", and I do not have that trapped in my head.

:stir::stir::stir::stir:

Last edited by Chris Butner : 06-25-2008 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:25 PM   #15
Chris Butner
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Nick Gagnon View Post
Yes, it is still possible. That's not the point. As Sam just stated above your feet keep you balanced, and that a floor press would be a sound alternative (good point!). Besides keeping you balanced, a proper bench gets power from your legs and back as well. Keeping your back tight and butt cheeks clenched will create more stability and allow your pushing muscles to contract harder allowing you to lift more weight.

Also, I can't imagine that the feet-in-the-air advocates on here are moving around heavy weights. Try repping 225 for max reps with your feet in the air.
With both your paragraphs clearly you did not read my second comment. It is not about a heavy lift. It is not even about isolation. It is about taking a boring movement. Creating a variation, and doing it safely with lighter weight. As a combo movement. No I will not try repping 225 with feet off ground, but then again I don't want to rep 225 period. You missed the point. May I suggest checking my second post. If you really want to waste time on this nonsense. Good day.....

I'm not going to beat the horse anymore. If you don't want to "think outside the box". That is fine, but don't tell me I can't do something. When I can do it, and do it with proper form. It is not like I do it all the time. My library of movements is large enough I don't repeat these movements all the time. I can stretch out my choices for a given workout. I guess this is why I'm not a "wod" person. I don't limit myself to only a few movements like the "wod" choices. If you don't want to do the variation that is fine. I'm not going to pressure anyone in doing it.

We can have different views. I'm not going to ramble anymore. It is not my intentions to upset, or attack anyone. I just want to be clear.

Last edited by Chris Butner : 06-25-2008 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:38 AM   #16
Chris Walls
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

We do barbell lifts to get stronger, you get stronger by pushing the heaviest loads possible, to do this your feet have to be on the ground. period. If you're not interested in getting stronger and want to do neat/cool/interesting/outside the box stuff, then go ahead and do it... squat on a bosu ball while you're at it, looks impressive but is pretty useless functionally speaking, as you can't push enough weight to make you stronger, just a big risk for injury at low weights with little benefit.

You don't have to think outside the box, there's good stuff in there. That's why it's been in the box so long.

Find better ways to "mix it up"
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #17
Ian Haya
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

I just want to throw my opinion in because this seems like a no-brainer and I can't really imagine anyone that follows CrossFit would advocate benching with your feet off the ground. Heck, we barely advocate the bench press as it is.

Sure you can think outside the box if you want, but CrossFit is about going back to the basics and sticking to the fundamentals. You take a solid pressing exercise and by lifting your feet off the ground reduce it to a mediocre pressing exercise, and a mediocre core exercise. You'll get mediocre pressing results and mediocre core results.

With feet off the ground, your kinetic chain ends at your rear. With feet on the ground, your kinetic chain is extended all the way to the ground and you can use your whole body. Done correctly you'll feel your hamstrings engage much like in a squat or deadlift.

I think Rip said something along the lines of people that bench with their feet off the ground are only using it as an excuse for the light weight that they're using.

If you want a strong press, bench with your feet on the ground, overhead press, and do weighted dips.
If you want a strong core, work some of the gymnastic hold progressions, overhead squat, turkish getups, and deadlift.
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Last edited by Ian Haya : 06-26-2008 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:20 AM   #18
Chris Walls
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

Ian, that's more or less what I was wanting to say but I'm not much for wordiness.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:40 AM   #19
Sam Ser
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

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Originally Posted by Chris Butner View Post
Your response tells me you did not even read my second comment properly. Nothing to keep you from rolling side to side you say with your feet off the ground. Fall off ? Are you kidding me ! Keep a tight mid section, and a grip a bit more than your shoulder width. I can even add hanging KB to the bar on each side, and stabilize myself with feet up.
Who said we wanted to be a champion bench presser with feet up ? Who said we wanted maximum benefit out of the isolation movement ? You said this. No one else. So doing this with lighter weight, proper spine form, in a stable manner(without falling off the bench), as a combination movement.......is dumb for lots of reasons you say. Then lets hear your list.

Sounds to me like you have a weak mid section, and you very rarely think "outside the box". I can't believe I am even arguing with someone that goes to a web site everyday to be told what they do in the gym on a given day.

The best you have is we can't do that cause we will fall off the bench. Think about your comment. Sounds really silly, and is incorrect. Certainly a rookie that is not strong. Using improper technique with too much weight. Could certainly fall off though, but that would not be me......

I do understand CF does not promote this, but that in no way means that it can not be done properly. As a variation using lighter weights as a combo movement.
Many of you have trapped in your head "boring max isolation movement", and I do not have that trapped in my head.

:stir::stir::stir::stir:

chris --

you are apparently having difficulty accepting the FACT that bench pressing with your feet off the ground is not merely UNORTHODOX, it is absolutely UNSOUND. this has NOTHING to do with "not being able to think outside the box," and EVERYTHING to do with correct biomechanics.

let me ask you something: can you name a single respected strength and conditioning coach who advocates your methods? can you name a single elite athlete who follows your ridiculous suggestions?

...i didn't think so.

really, my response wasn't about me at all. or you. i'm sorry your ego got dented when i told you that you were just plain WRONG. sorry, dude.

what's that? you disagree? okay... whatever... best of luck to you!
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:43 AM   #20
John Alston
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Re: Bench press with lifted legs

Usually the technique that allows you to use the most weight (excepting when it is by reducing range of motion) is the one that is most structurally sound.
Put your feet up to screw up your stress.
Bench on a bosu ball to be silly.
Go ahead and see how much this lets you lift, or what you do when the ball pops.
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