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Bench Grip width, Long term considerations

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  • Bench Grip width, Long term considerations

    BLUF: As a 5'8" guy who's only ever benched 255# once, and is currently not that strong, since I bench with a nearly maxed grip width, when should I start considering narrowing my grip for the sake of my shoulder health (or other reasons you may provide)?

    So before getting into "Barbell training" (that is, SS inspired techniques) I was a bit of a bench bro, and skipped that section of SS on the first go-through much to my detriment. I had a considerate and knowledgeable individual in the gym correct some of the things I was missing from the book (particularly with my feet and lack of back arch), but he also encouraged me to adjust my grip practically to the widest allowable per competition, which is not per the book. I've had reasons to believe that my Tri's strength had always outpaced my pec's so when I actually went back and read the relevant chapter in the book and saw the sections on grip width calling for a medium grip for arm development, I stuck with the guy in the gym's recommendations.

    And I saw the GainzzZzz!

    So I've heard people mention how a wider grip is more stressful on the shoulders, especially for those with a wider wing span, (not me) and a bigger bench (something I am working towards of course). I don't have any pain or current shoulder problems (a couple old trauma induced right shoulder injuries that haven't bothered me at all for years though), and I'd like to keep things that way, so I thought I'd ask the hivemind if and when I should consider choking in my bench grip.
    Forum topics and other links I've found useful

  • #2
    I think grip width should be determined by your anthropometry. Start with a grip that yields a forearm position that's perpendicular to the ground when the bar is touching the chest. This should be the model that's in the SS:BBT. I don't know that "wide", or "medium" are useful terms. If your shoulders bother you at that grip width, then narrow it by a finger and see how she goes.

    That being said, I wouldn't think too much about it. If the grip you're using now isn't causing you pain what makes you think it will in the future?