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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-07-2004, 10:27 AM   #1
Alex Kus
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I know that bench press isn't used very much in Crossfit, but I was wondering about technique. I read over at the Westside Barbell Club website that you should keep your lats contracted and pulled back. They say this is to create a more stable platform to press from, which I think is good, and to reduce the distance you have to press the bar, which seems like cheating to me. While I see the advantages to this for competition, wouldn't it be more functional to press the bar to your full range of motion?
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Old 03-07-2004, 11:01 AM   #2
Larry Lindenman
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This is going to sound like a weasel answer but, yes and no. Westside is closer grip, arms held close to body, explosive, shoulder blades pulled together, bar hits low straight line up (not a J). They also wear bench shirts in lifting meets. Is any of this cheating. . .NO. They are lifting the most weight with their sports acceptable form. Does their bench form place emphasis on the pecs, NO; more tricep involvement. If you want to move big weights use the westside form, if you feel you must develop your chest, flair you arms out and let the bar hit high on your chest, widen your grip. Besides injury potential, there is really no wrong or right, just diffrent stimulus. That being said benching very heavy with the arms flaired to the side and high could cause some damage.
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Old 03-07-2004, 01:23 PM   #3
Alexander Karatis
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Larry, maybe I'm not visualizing this correctly, but how is tricep recruitment vs pectoralis recruitment going to help with bigger weights?
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Old 03-07-2004, 05:08 PM   #4
Brian Hand
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Alexander, if I may chime in on the question you asked Larry ... the narrow grip, elbows tucked, lower the bar below the nipples form is more efficient because the bar travels less, because the rotator cuff is subjected to less strain (which will cause weakness over time), because the lats can be used as a launch pad, and because it works well with an elastic shirt. It just happens to use the pecs less, too.
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Old 03-07-2004, 05:32 PM   #5
Larry Lindenman
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Thanks Brian, well said. Alexander, run a google search on Dave Tate, Louie Simmons, and Westside Barbell, tons of stuff on BP form. Closer grip = more tricep. Westside guys are always pounding trainees to increase tricep strength to increase bench.
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