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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-24-2011, 08:11 AM   #11
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Reverse Grip Bench? Feedback appreciated, especially from Chris Mason

In the past I have run into problems but that was because of programming design. In the fall of 2010, my left shoulder froze after I had to take some time off of upper body work as it was wracked at the time.

Occasionally, my right shoulder pulls lightly but that generally recovers within about 3 days. To note, I've had rotator cuff tears in both shoulders and a shoulder seperation in my right that changed the placement of the shoulder (it sits lower than it used to ) forever besides a hyperextended left elbow that acts up ever since sometimes when training gets too intense.

Once upon a time in 2003, my shoulders, elbows and wrists were all pretty invulnerable and with real flexible shoulders but never since after a wrist and shoulder injury. Eventually the rotator cuff tears happened with the seperation after 2004. I still have a lot of shoulder and wrist flexibility compared to most people, but not since those days. For a few years it got pretty bad but I did a lot of external rotation work and mobility and that got my shoulders functional in 2008.

My left elbow does not like pronated strict pullup work but neutral or supinated is fine. I've given up with virtually any pronated pullup work though I can do some if I'm asking for irritation. I can actually kip pullups standard or BFK if I care too which generally leads to some elbow soreness the next day or two later but fine for a day or WOD.

I'm kind of concerned about regular bench because of the left elbow as such. No problems with HSPU or OHP though or ring strength for the most part.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:08 AM   #12
Donald Lee
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Re: Reverse Grip Bench? Feedback appreciated, especially from Chris Mason

Try out a fairly wide-grip (index fingers on the rings or wider) on the Bench. Do a big arch and touch low (bottom of sternum). These two combined may help with the elbow and shoulder issues. You can play around with the grip until you touch your chest at a spot that causes no shoulder and elbow discomfort.

Here are some things you may also consider doing:

- Stretch your pec major, pec minor, subscapularis, lats, anterior delts, and biceps prior to benching to put your shoulders in an optimal position while benching. I assume your setup is decent (shoulders retracted and depressed).

For stretching the pec major, stretch with your arm at 90 degrees and approximately 130 degrees. For the pec minor, you can either do the doorway stretch or do a similar stretch with a hand behind your head and try to have your scapula lift off your ribs. So, you'll be angling down and away from your arm. For the subscapularis, you can try to ext. rot. while doing the doorway stretch or do the broomstick stretch. For the ant. delts and biceps, you can do the basic hands behind you stretch or do German hang type stuff.

While you're stretching your pec minor and subscaularis, try activating the antagonist muscles. It'll increase the stretch and activate the lower traps and ext. rotators.

- I don't know what your form looks like, so if you still have shoulder/elbow pain while benching, try doing pause benching instead of touch and go. Pause at your chest for a 1 count (not 1 second...just enough time for you to say 1 in your head). This is basically what you'd be doing if you were competing at a PL meet where they enforce the pause.

- If you have trouble with leg drive, look at Jennifer Thompson's instructional video.

- Consider wearing an elbow sleeve.

- If none of these work, you may just be better of dropping benching with a bar.
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