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    Default Bench press, do you use your thumbs?

    I personally wrap my thumbs completely around the bar, I am too afraid to drop it on my chest or neck. Most people i see at my gym don't use their thumbs when gripping the bench press barbell. What is the benefit of this and what grip do you use?

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    Regular Poster santosa's Avatar
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    I use what you use. This is the safest way of doing it. The other grip is called suicide grip, which, for some reason, some people like to use.

    If you already use this grip, don't even try to use the other one. Make sure your wrists are straight if you use this grip though. Otherwise, you'll put too much stress there. You can always use gloves with wristband to help you get the proper form.
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    Gotta go with thumbs wrapped around. Im pretty sure the "suicide" grip is HORRIBLE for your wrist.
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    Seasoned M&S Veteran BLITZKRIEG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brancobob View Post
    I personally wrap my thumbs completely around the bar, I am too afraid to drop it on my chest or neck. Most people i see at my gym don't use their thumbs when gripping the bench press barbell. What is the benefit of this and what grip do you use?
    Quote Originally Posted by santosa View Post
    I use what you use. This is the safest way of doing it. The other grip is called suicide grip, which, for some reason, some people like to use.

    If you already use this grip, don't even try to use the other one. Make sure your wrists are straight if you use this grip though. Otherwise, you'll put too much stress there. You can always use gloves with wristband to help you get the proper form.
    X2, use your thumbs, there is no benefit in getting hurt.
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    Cutting crimsonvike's Avatar
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    The placement of the hands is a much debated question. Is it better to use a closed regular grip (thumb around the bar) or the open hand "false" grip (thumb behind the bar)? World records have been set using either style, so apparently this is not what makes world records. However, I have seen many lifters carried to the hospital with broken ribs and internal injuries from using the false grip, so in my opinion, and we know about opinions, the false grip is unwieldy and dangerous. If the bar starts rolling in the hands during the ascent (and it usually does), what's going to stop it? Well probably your chest, certainly not your thumbs, that's for sure! Unless you are in some sort of pain from injury, avoid anything but the regular grip.
    This is a paragraph from deepsquater.com (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength.../tombench.html), talking about proper bench form and technique.

    Definately go with closed grip.
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    Ambassador of pain Possum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonvike View Post
    Gotta go with thumbs wrapped around. Im pretty sure the "suicide" grip is HORRIBLE for your wrist.
    Actually no, suicide grip is better for the wrist as the load is centralised above it. I personally do maxes using suicide grip because I prefer it.

    I regularly bench using normal closed grip though as it is safer.
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    NOT ripped, NOT concerned LtL's Avatar
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    My wrists find suicide grip much more comfortable.

    LtL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Possum View Post
    Actually no, suicide grip is better for the wrist as the load is centralised above it. I personally do maxes using suicide grip because I prefer it.

    I regularly bench using normal closed grip though as it is safer.
    Really though, anytime you are properly gripping the bar the load should be centralized above the wrist. If it isn't you are doing it wrong.

    I'll try to find something explaining what I mean.

  9. #9
    M&S Elite Member AlexE's Avatar
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    I used to use a normal grip then one day i changed to a suicide grip, no idea why! But now i always use a suicide grip i much prefer it over normal grip.

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    Check out around 3:20. I couldn't have put it any better. I'll post more as I find it.

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    A great example of why you shouldn't use the thumbless grip.

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    Seasoned M&S Veteran BLITZKRIEG's Avatar
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    BigJosh,

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    Coming Up The Ranks brancobob's Avatar
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    wow interesting.......i am sticking with my grip.....Especially since i rarely use a spot. Unless i go really heavy.

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    M&S Senior Member PhillyDev's Avatar
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    Good post Josh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brancobob View Post
    wow interesting.......i am sticking with my grip.....Especially since i rarely use a spot. Unless i go really heavy.
    Thats a good idea.
    Even if you did have a spotter a thumbless grip still isn't prudent. As the second video clearly illustrates. That guy actually had three spotters, not just one, and it still didn't make a difference. A spotters role is to assist you if you need a little help completing the last rep, not to catch falling or flying barbells.

  16. #16
    Ambassador of pain Possum's Avatar
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    Doc. Sust. (a chiropractor from Anabolic Review): it is simple bio-mechanics, u r stronger when your thumb is joining your fingers in flexion on the bar then if it was your regular grip and your fingers were in flexion and your thumb was opposing in the oppsite direction. it comes down to leverage and muscle groups working together with the thumbless grip. with regular grip your felxors and extensors are basically fighting each other instead of working together...think of when you pushh open a door, your natural push position with your hands is all fingers back including the thumbs, it gives your hand more surface area, better leverage, biomechanically correct.so when you do the thumbless grip on the bar you are making it a more natural press motion,therefore giving you more, it does wonders for me, love the thumbless grip.

    As always there's 2 sides to every argument.

    Heres a video of a guy using regular grip, dropping the bar.

    Last edited by Possum; 03-02-2010 at 09:17 PM.
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    I to love using the thumbless grip. I used to use the regular grip till I worked out with my friend one day and saw the grip he used and I tried and stuck with it ever since.

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    i use to use thumless grip, until i saw what happens when it slips, now i use the proper grip, id prefer not to chrush my sternum
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    I HAVE to keep thumb opposite my fingers, because of the way I hold my bar most of the times. With thumbless grips, the bar would simply roll off. (I grip the bar as if I am punching the air)

    Anyway, in conventional style I find the thumbless grip easier for pressing movement. Perhaps due to the explanation given by Possum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJosh View Post

    Check out around 3:20. I couldn't have put it any better. I'll post more as I find it.
    nice post Josh
    Last edited by YoRR; 03-03-2010 at 05:49 AM.
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    I have never tried the "suicide" grip as it doesn;t look comfortable in the first place. After working out for the little time I have, I find that I have more "power" or can push harder if I am tring to sqeaze the crap out of the bar with my hands.
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    It would be foolish of me to simply state that it is impossible to drop the bar even when using a standard grip. It can and does happen.
    HOWEVER, it cannot possibly be argued that accidents involiving "standard" grip occur just as often as they do with the thumbless grip. Therefore, it cannot possibly be argued that the thumbless grip is just as safe or safer than the standard grip. Simple common sense and basic mechanics tell you this.
    Humans were created with opposable thumbs giving us the ability to grab, grip and hold objects, including barbells loaded with weight. Removing the thumb from around the barbell greatly reduces that ability.
    I wish someone(including myself) could drum up some statistics of bench press accidents using standard grip vs. thumbless, if they exist.

    So, I'm not saying the thumbless grip does or doesn't offer some sort of mechanical advantage, because it is possible. But I am saying that clearly the thumbless grip increases the probablity of an accident and one must make the descion of whether or not that risk is worth the reward.

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    Seasoned M&S Veteran BLITZKRIEG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJosh View Post
    the descion of whether or not that risk is worth the reward.
    Very Simply "No", and this is Basic Common Sense.

    Of all the things that the staff writers of M&S try to convey is that "Safety is First".

    If your Injured or worse Dead, you can't Train.

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  24. #24
    Watchin what yer doin! tadolfi's Avatar
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    Nice thread guys.
    I see both sides and as I train longer I do see the science behind a lot of this for the suicide grip.

    I used to use suicide and have no problem with it, however, I have taught myself to grip with thumb wrapped and actually try to picture pulling the bar apart from the middle...this gives me a solid base for my upper body while on the bench, forces me to "block" my body in position and also gives me more gripping strength on things like deads, one arm rows and shrugs.

    All I can add is that the right bar can sometimes make a difference when doing suicide vs. wrapping the thumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJosh View Post
    It would be foolish of me to simply state that it is impossible to drop the bar even when using a standard grip. It can and does happen.
    HOWEVER, it cannot possibly be argued that accidents involiving "standard" grip occur just as often as they do with the thumbless grip. Therefore, it cannot possibly be argued that the thumbless grip is just as safe or safer than the standard grip. Simple common sense and basic mechanics tell you this.
    Humans were created with opposable thumbs giving us the ability to grab, grip and hold objects, including barbells loaded with weight. Removing the thumb from around the barbell greatly reduces that ability.
    I wish someone(including myself) could drum up some statistics of bench press accidents using standard grip vs. thumbless, if they exist.

    So, I'm not saying the thumbless grip does or doesn't offer some sort of mechanical advantage, because it is possible. But I am saying that clearly the thumbless grip increases the probablity of an accident and one must make the descion of whether or not that risk is worth the reward.

    I used to use standard grip until my buddy introduced me to "suicide grip." I had dropped the bar on my chest my second time using the grip and it's deathly terrifying. If anyone deciding to try the suicide grip use a lower weight to see how it feels for you using the proper form. this grip allows less stress on my wrists and more comfort benching, but i think it might be a matter of preference also...
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