Home > Uncategorized > Overhead pressing vs. the bench

Overhead pressing vs. the bench

Something is going around the interwebs lately that I’m kind of confused with.  I keep hearing that the bench press is, wait for it…wait for it….wait for it…”not funcitional”!!!! ……and dangerous..

Which, in many aspects, may be true…and reasonable.

But somehow, some way, overhead pressing is both…..”Functional” (which I can see but don’t totally agree with) but also SAFER!

Ronaldddddddddddd!!!!!!!! Stop, that’s not functional!

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot…..

jack-daniel-old-no-7-whiskey.gif (387×595)

Get it? Whiskey, tango, Foxtrot???? get it? (WTF…it’s very subversive)

How? How is pressing a weight overhead safer than a bench press? Anatomically this makes no sense….Take a skeleton raise the arm overhead, as would happen in an overhead press, and tell me if-

The head of the Humerus SLAMS into the acromion process….

I bet it does. That folks, is bad.  See, as we age and accumulate shoulder stress and injuries we lose sub-acromial space (the space between the top of your upper arm bone and your collar-bone) this can and usually does result in impingement.

See they say, “Bench pressing is bad for the shoulders! Do it long enough and you’ll tear your rotator cuff and your pec tendon and your triceps tendon and world-wide famine will increase to biblical levels.” ………Ok, so not the last part about famine, but it might…I can’t prove it won’t.

Lindsey Lohan is famine…not the bench press…

See, lately, like most things in fitness overhead pressing has become popular again thanks to CrossFad (lot’s of em’ don’t like it) and Dan John’s new book *Never let Go, which advocates overhead lifting. So everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

Fact is: BOTH exericises can be safe and dangerous it depends on YOU…and your limitations, strengths weaknessess and abilities. If your programming and technique sucks or you have certain physical limitations…YES…..YOU WILL GET HURT!

Guess what? It’s Your fault, not the exercises!

If you’re going to Bench Think about, realize and do the following:

First off, YES people do tear rotator cuffs and tear tendons benching.

Secondly, 99% of all people bench like crapola…..shite……bull dung pelets…..poo poo pie. Learn technique….and how to manipulate it.

Thirdly, those same people (doing the latest Muscle and Fiction pec blast thrash, monster mass gain, get shredded chest workout) probably bench just a wee bit much…See these things called “overuse injuries” come from……OVERUSE….Doing the same thing too often..

Fourthly, most people do like 800 sets and reps of bench presses (and it’s variations) but about 10 reps of rowing movements.

So maybe, just maybe, we should use correct form and a solid (balanced) program. Then, just maybe, the bench press would be safe again.

This is an example of what NOT to do…

How to bench:

Don’t just lie down on the bench.

Warm up the shoulders, thoracic spine and hips. All of theses play important roles.

Pull your shoulder blades together and push them down to your butt. HOLD THEM THERE!

Pull your feet in until there is tension across your hips. Yes your back will be arched, this is fine, preferable and safe.

Set your feet and keep them still.

Grip the bar with a shoulder width grip (plus or minus one hand width).

Get a belly, not chest full of air and hold it! Get as tight as possible….

Pull the bar out (or get a soft lift off) let it sit for a second and settle/ compress the shoulder/ wrist/ elbow complex.

Stay tight!!

Lower the bar in a controlled speed, tucking the elbows but keeping the wrists over the elbows, to a point between on the mid chest or lower chest (just under the nipples)

Stay tight!

Press back up, driving the feet into the ground, in a slight J towards to end over the neck/ nose flaring the elbows progressively as the bar rises.

Stay tight!

Even Marilyn Benched……

I’m not the only one who still thinks its safe if done correctly: http://www.elitefts.com/documents/defending-the-bp.htm

Do all of the above and you’ll be a lot safer and a lot stronger…but relatively speaking I’m pretty weak but Dave Tate isn’t…this article/ video is the BEST bench technique resource you’ll find on the interwebs…


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