Dumbbell Bench Press

dumbbell bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a horizontal bench with your feet on the ground to stabilize you. Hold the dumbbells with arms outstretched and your hands are face to face.

  • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to your chest’s level. Bend your elbows and rotate your forearms to have your hands in pronated grip.

  • Press the dumbells back up and do an isometric contraction to isolate the stress on the upper chest. Exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise works the pectoralis major and a little bit triceps and anterior deltoids.

The difference of this exercise with the barbell bench press is that there is a greater movement’s amplitude, which favors the stretching of the pectoralis major.

Variant

You can do this exercise without forearm’s rotation.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Push-ups

push ups

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Face to the ground with your arms stretched and spread to your shoulder’s width (or little more). Your feet tight or slightly apart :

push ups

  • Inhale and bend your arms to lower your torso to the ground without arching your back.

  • Push up to the extension of your arms and exhale at the end of the movement.

This exercise mainly works the major pectoalis and a little bit triceps. You can do this exercise everywhere.

Variants

You can change the inclination of your torso :

  • Elevate feet work the upper part of the pectoralis major

  • Elevate torso work the lower part of the pectoralis major

You can change the gap of your hands :

  • Hands with a wide gap work the outer part of the pectoralis major

  • Hands with a closed gap work the sternal part of the pectoralis major

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Neck Position

neck

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

In bodybuilding, having a bad neck’s position during an exercise can create neuralgia.

These neuralgias are numbness of the arm with tingling.

These sensations arrive a few days after doing exercise like dips, pec deck rear deltoid lateral, squat and deadlift. The cause is that the exercises were done with the neck extension, head back.

dips bad neck position

The truth is that the head back’s position triggers spasms and contractions of the deep muscles of the neck, which creates compression of the spinal nerves at their exit from the cervical vertebrae.

This compression creates a neuralgia that usually affects the brachia plexus around the vertebrae C4, C5, C6, C7, C8 et T1 (C for cervical and T for thoracic).

plexus brachial

Solution

Do dips or pec deck rear deltoid lateal with head forward by bringing your chin to your chest. This avoids these neuralgias.

neck position

Do deadlift or squat with your head straight (neutral position) looking forward. This avoids these neuralgias.

If the neuralgia installed, it’s important to stop any exercise with the head back (neck extension).

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Parallel Bar Dips

parallel bar dips

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

On the parallel bars with your arms outstretched and your legs in the void :

  • Inhale and flex completely your forearms to have your chest at the bars

  • Flies back to the starting position and exhale at the end of the movement.

During exercise, the more your chest will be inclined, the more you will work the lower part of the chest. On the other hand, the more your chest will be straight, the more you will work your triceps.

This exercise is excellent to stretch the pectoralis major and relax shoulder girdle .

If you’re a beginner and have difficulty doing this exercise, you can use the machine dips to have more power. Sets of 10 to 20 reps give excellent results.

For athletes who are used to do this exercise, it’s possible to increase the difficutly with a weight attached to a belt or between the legs to have more power and volume.

Attention : In all cases, it’s necessary to do dips with caution to not traumatize shoulder’s joints.

Share this articles if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Leverage Bench Press

leverage bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Lying on a horizonzal bench with your butt glued to the bench and your feet on the ground :

  • Inhale and press

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This guided exercise works the pectoralis major, mainly the sternal parts at the end of the movement. This guided exercise also work a little bit the triceps and anterior deltoids.

Variant : By pulling out your chest and arching your back, you work more the lower part of your pectoralis major (chest). But beware, this technique is harmful for people with back problems.

Share this articles if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Decline Bench Press

decline bench press

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

By lying on a bench with you head down and fix your feet so as not to slip. The bench is declined between 20° and 40° Take the barbell with a pronated grip and a hand gap equal to or wider than your shoulders.

  • Inhale and by controlling the movement, lower the barbell on the bottom of your chest.

  • Press and exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise works the pectoralis major (particularly the lower part), triceps and anterior deltoids.

You can also to this exercise with a light weight and down the barbell at the neck. This allows you to stretch your pectoralis major (chest) in an excellent way.

You can also to the decline press with the Smith machine.

Share this article if you think if can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Bench Press And Morphology

bench press morphology

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

I think you’ve noticed that the bench press is the most practiced exercise in a gym. And as this is the most practiced exercise, it’s also the exercise that create the most injury per year. This is why, it’s important to have basic morphology’s notions to be able to do this exercise correctly.

Arms length

bench press morphology

The majority of injuries with the bench press are muscle tears or rupture of the pectoralis major tendon (during the descent of the barbell).

The pectoralis major inserted on the humerus. As a result, during the descent of the barbell, more the arm go down and more the pectoralis major is stretched and vulnerable.

But the descent of the arm and the stretching of the pectoralis major vary from one individual to another. More the arm is long, more the humerus will go down, which causes the pectoralis major to be stretched. It’s for this reason that willowy people (a person with long body members) often have this type of injury.

Rib cage thickness

bench press morphology

More rib cage is thick and less the barbell can go down. This means a limited strech of the pectoralis major therefore less risk of injury.

It’s for this reason that the majority of great bench press champions are brevilineal type (a person with short body’s members). Having a thick rib cage and short members allow to achieve a record with a morphological safety that limits the risk of muscle tearing or rupture of pectoralis major.

Morphology has a fundamental place in sport success and it’s injuries that limit the progression. Sport progression isn’t only based on mental (mindset), diet and workout type.

It’s fundamental to adjust the training program with the morphology. Let couple things be clear : what’s good for the person next to you, is not automatically good for you.

Limit the injury risk

bench press morphology

There is a bench press variant and it’s close-grip bench press. This variant limits the arm’s descent and this reduces the pectoralis major’s stretch thus limits the injuries risks.

This variant used by bench press champions with willowy type but the disadvantages are reduced performances, triceps work more and the movement’s amplitude is more important.

There is also another variant, the partial bench press. The concept is to decrease the barbell’s descent for it doesn’t touch the chest. This avoids excessive pectoralis major’s stretching.

Muscle predominance

Depending on the muscular strength of a person, there are 2 ways to do bench press :

  • Elbows spread to make more work the pectoralis major

  • Elbows close (to close arm/chest angle) to make more work deltoids.

Regardless morphology, these techniques can be used to specifically target a muscle (elbows spread => pectoralis major or elbows close => deltoids).

Attention : for bench press, it’s necessary to adjust the technique according to the different morphologies

bench press morphology

Image A

A thin rib cage with long arms when the barbell approaches the chest during the descent dangerously stretch the pectoralis major. The risk of muscle tears or tendon rupture are increased with the weight on the barbell.

Image B

A thick rib cage with short arms when the barbell approaches the chest during the descent limits the movement’s amplitude and the pectorlis major’s stretching. It’s for this reason that there are many bench press champons with this morphology.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph