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How wide is too wide?

Training discussion on How wide is too wide?, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Well I'm speaking of bench and military press of the BB variety. I have for some reason slowly been moving ...


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Old 03-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
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Default How wide is too wide?

Well I'm speaking of bench and military press of the BB variety. I have for some reason slowly been moving my grip outwards on bench and military press. I don't know if there is a standard bar with the 2 rings on each side like at my gym but my index finger is on the outside ring now. I'd say its somewher around 36" apart but thats just a pure guess.

The other day during bench I think I tweaked my pec...now I'm wondering if gripping this wide is maybe what caused it (or contributed) or if it was bad form? Both?

Is there a better overall grip width for strength? Injury prevention?

I know the power lifters grip real wide on bench alot of the times but I believe this is to reduce the distance travelled by the bar for less overall work. I'm not really interested in any lifting competitions so I'm just wondering what works best for you people?

I haven't hurt my self with M.Press yet so I don't have much to compare to but I'll take any advice you guys have.


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Old 03-18-2008, 04:21 PM   #2
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I have been doing flat bench press with my ring finger on the ring on the bar. My shoulders have been bothering me, so I moved in a 1/2 inch. Things are getting better since the change. I might move in a little closer still.

With Military Press, I have just recently moved my grip wider...pinky is a 1/4 inch from the rings. I seem to have better balance/form. Just personal preference.

The wider you go, the more stress on your shoulders. I personally wouldn't go as wide as you are on bench for that reason.

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:42 PM   #3
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On bench just try to place your hands no wider than your shoulders, otherwise the shoulders will be targeted while lifting. If you feel stress on your shoulders, move your hands in closer until you feel the stress on the pecs and tris only.

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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I have never felt stress on my shoulders while benching. I always feel it in my pec for whatever reason.

However, duing M.Press today, I got some pain in my shoulder. I think it was due to method of racking the bar though not the actual lift.
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:48 PM   #5
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I bench with pinky on the ring. And I MP with my middle finger or ring finger on the ring. I've never tweaked anything *knock on wood*. I lose power very quickly on MP if I move my grip in. Wide grip on bench for reps is not good for your shoulders, its a different story when you're talking about a couple reps here and there, but I would not advise it for rep work.

I've got monkey arms basically (very long lol), so my grip may differ greatly from someone with short arms. The grip I use is comfortable/'safe' for me.

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Old 03-18-2008, 06:29 PM   #6
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i have used a wide grip on bench press with my index finger on the rings like you are talking about, but it was uncomfortable and i felt like it put too much stress on my shoulders so i have moved my grip in to the point where my pinkies are on the rings. with a slightly closer grip i feel a lot more comfortable and i can actually put up more weight.

on military press i like to take a slightly wider grip with my middle finger on the rings. for whatever reason that just feels the most comfortable for me.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
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Well I might try a narrower grip next bench day. I think it might help in getting my pec better.
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:40 AM   #8
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On bench, for most, the safest grip is going to be around shoulder width or a little wider, like the others have said they use. And most will use a slightly wider grip than that on MP's..this has also much to do with flexibility.

It is also important thought to ensure that you elbows don't flare out from your sides too much. It won't do you too much good to try to protect you shoulders with a proper grip and then flare out you elbows. Most will end up with their upper arms somewhere around a 30 to 45 degree ange from their body. Closer is probably better...but you don't have to try and tuck you arms completely to your sides unless this is what feels right to you.

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Old 03-19-2008, 09:00 AM   #9
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For bench I have the ring fingers on the rings as this is the most comfortable for me. As for MP my grip is just slightly wider. Any wider than this and things start to get dicey for me. Hope this helps.

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Old 03-19-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input guys. I don't really know what my arms look like when I bench. Guess I'll have to do a few sets and think about it. However, I've fallen under a terrible cold so I don't think I'm going to be able to get to the gym tomorrow. Wah.
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