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  1. #1
    Registered User dusky99's Avatar
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    Why don't I feel bench press in chest?

    I use a flat bench with dumbells because it's the only equipment I have access to right now. When I do bench presses though I feel it way more in my triceps than my chest.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Hard to say with little info.
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    Technique?
    Or because bench just isn't a chest isolation lift...
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    Form video? I’m willing to bet you’re trying to replicate your barbell bench form with dumbbells instead of working the stretch on the pecs.

    Usually people do dumbbell bench because they can feel it in the chest more, but that shouldn’t be the goal of a compound lift. Save that for isolations or smaller compounds, machine work, etc.
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    It's how you do them that makes a difference.
    If you keep your body flat while doing the BP your shoulders and triceps get more.
    If you can maintain an arch and elbows more outward you will hit more chest but mostly the outer area.
    The upper arms need to come inward and contract the chest while pressing.
    You would really need to focus.
    That being said as a former competitive bodybuilder i don't think the BP is the best to build the pectorals.
    It's a good all around upper body movement for basic mss but not for specific chest building.
    You would be better to do the DB bench press and press in an arc while contracting the pecs each rep.
    The DB's give you freedom of movement unlike a bar in a locked position.
    Good luck.
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    This guy explains it pretty well
    Also, what GarageRat said

    "Reminds me of the good ol' days back in 03-04 when ripptoes/5 by 5/hit/doggcrap reigned supreme and you did not need direct arm work for big biceps. Rows and chins were it. "Ever see a guy rowing 300+lbs with chicken arms?". Ah yes those were the days. God bless amusclehead and his twisted one dimensional views along with the rest of the former flock."
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    Originally Posted by dusky99 View Post
    I use a flat bench with dumbells because it's the only equipment I have access to right now. When I do bench presses though I feel it way more in my triceps than my chest.
    maybe you should read more about the correct way to do it. be careful about how you push it and your arm angles.
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    Literally impossible to do a bench press without using chest

    Disregard mind-muscle connection, acquire explosive concentrics with good form and hypertrophied chesticles
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    Registered User Physiquist's Avatar
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    Could be because your triceps are too weak so that's all you're feeling it in. If you're locking out your elbows after every rep try not to, really helped me to feel it in my chest more
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    Registered User DayChallenger's Avatar
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    probably bad technique/to much weight , to much tension on the shoulders, or triceps instead of controlling it with the chest.. need to check some videos and lower the weight, do it slowly till you get it good .
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    elbows too close in. Flare them out.
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    You should not really feel a chest pump initially from a barbell bench press, weakness/fatigue is more of the effect you'll initially experience. If your getting a triceps pump your form and/or speed is way off. Slow down your reps increasing your time under tension and squeeze your chest, the weight doesn't matter if your using the wrong muscles to get the weight up. Soreness comes the next day if done right.
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    Try German volume training, you'll feel it. Or drop sets.
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    ^^ GVT is no joke. IME the difficulty curve sneaks up on you, too. The first 4-5 sets lead you to believe it's too easy, then by the 6th every relevant muscle is screaming at you.

    Your chest will be burning like fire if you make it to the 100th rep observing the designated rest intervals.
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    With the little info you gave, I'd say its most probably you keeping your elbows too close to your torso and transferring more load onto them as a result.
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    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dusky99 View Post
    I use a flat bench with dumbbells because it's the only equipment I have access to right now. When I do bench presses though I feel it way more in my triceps than my chest.
    I can't tell if you are saying you do DB flat presses now, but when you do BB flat presses you feel them in your triceps OR that you feel the DB flat presses more in your triceps.

    If it is the former, there is zero obligation to use a bar for your bench presses. There is usually an advantage for an individual for either (that is, some people get more out of BB bench, some more out of DB bench, for chest development at least). From observation, those with longer arms/more shallow chest tend to like BBs, those with shorter arms/barrel chests often prefer DBs. Keep in mind this is for pec work, not strength (the latter are often very strong at BBs).

    If it is the latter, there are a few things you can try. First, try using a parallel grip with the DBs (palms facing each other). For some people this will focus more on pecs.

    Another thing you can do, is to change the angle on the bench SLIGHTLY towards a decline. Put a 25lb plate under one end. The angle of a flat bench in terms of being suitable for a given individual is arbitrary. But moving to a slight decline can make a big difference.

    This is contrary to what many believe, but your body recruits the muscles with the BEST mechanical advantage, not the least. If it were the "least", then no one would have any weak points lol (theoretically ).

    So improve the mechanical advantage for your pecs by moving to a SLIGHT decline. I say slight, because too much and you are going to have an issue staying on the bench. A small angle can make a big difference.
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  17. #17
    Registered User _XYDREX_'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dusky99 View Post
    I use a flat bench with dumbells because it's the only equipment I have access to right now. When I do bench presses though I feel it way more in my triceps than my chest.
    Form comparisons are useful, record yourself & examine it, comparing with others.

    Ideally forearms should be vertical throughout - so elbows directly beneath the db's at all times.
    If the db's start falling closer to your body during the movement, the tris are needed to straighten out again.
    Likewise if the db's fall away from the body, then its the bis that are recruited to bring them back.

    If all else fails there is a trick you can do - join your hands together with a length of rope, strap or whatever.
    Set the length to be wider than you would normally use for db bench press - so it becomes almost like a fly at the bottom portion of the ROM.
    Normally your bis would be needed to maintain such a position - instead the joining length will be under tension to prevent the db's from moving any further outwards.
    At the top of the movement the length will just drop in slack as your hands come together.
    Experiment to find ideal length.
    So the end result will be similar to a fly, but the tension in the length will take the biceps out of the move & you will be able to handle more weight than a fly. And tricep involvement should be negligible.
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