1 Drill To Know Your Optimal Wrist Extension

A foundation of bench press technique is to keep the bar centered over your wrist joint and elbow as much as possible, just like in the squat and deadlift you are trying to maintain your center of gravity over your mid-foot. In the bench press, that center of gravity is creating a stacking position of the barbell over the wrist joint, elbow, and shoulder in the starting position. The degree of wrist extension that is optimal though depends much on your grip width, anthropometry, and the degree to which you are needing to internally rotate the hand. In general, the narrower the grip you have, the less you will bias in IR, and the wider the grip in relation to your body, the more you will bias into IR. In the videos above (CLICK HERE), you will find a drill I use often with my athletes to help them find what is their optimal wrist extension. Maybe from here we make slight adjustments, but for most this will give a really good baseline of where you should start. Also, for a more detailed explanation of grip setup in the bench press, make sure to check out my YouTube video on In-Depth Bench Technique. Lastly, as a small side note, notice how my grip internal rotation and wrist extension affect range of motion. This is something that would be much better talked about by Sean Noriega who is the bench grip master, but there is a reason you see a lot of high arch/max grip benchers using very internally rotated hand positions with large amounts of wrist extension (IE the Japanese grip)…it cuts range of motion. Now that is not optimal for everyone, but something that is worth understanding in the nuances of bench technique.

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