Can bodybuilding hinder your potential in tennis?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by ramseszerg, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It's always funny to see how shredded those guys can get, but they still have the distended stomach (GH gut)
     
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  2. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    Ok so I'm watching Berdych now on tennis channel and never notice this before...his quads are freaking huge!!! I think that's where 40 lbs you are lacking :)
     
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  3. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    How are women/men even attract to body builders?
     
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  4. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    The guy who plays Thor has a girlfriend that's pretty cute. there is like an optimal ratio for men too..

    It's something like 1.6 shoulders to waist. Though to be honest I am not sure how to measure shoulders. My guess is pro tennis players aren't that far off - where pro bodybuilders are actually too muscular for most women.
     
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  5. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Fitness models strive for the "Greek ideal". Generally speaking, the average man needs to add ~15 lbs. of honest muscle (after he's fully matured / filled out) and be an honest 8%-10% bodyfat. However, not everyone is genetically proportioned to be a fitness model (this is the 1.6 ratio, etc referenced above).

    Pro tennis players aren't even close (nor is there any reason they should be).

    That said, if you were to look like a fitness model and be in good cardio shape, my guess is "all that muscle" wouldn't hurt your tennis game one bit. However, adding "only 15 lbs of muscle" might be harder than you think. Afterall, how many guys are walking around looking like fitness models?

    Most guys that work out are able to add 20 lbs. of muscle "easily". But these same guys complain that "it all goes away when I cut"? Doesn't take a genius to figure out what that 20 lbs. really was (hint, it wasn't muscle).
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
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  6. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    His name is Liam Hemsworth.

    Yeah, he was/is engaged to Miley Cyrus..

    [​IMG]
     
    #56
  7. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    Thor is played by Chris Hemsworth. Liam is his brother.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hemsworth

    But Chris's wife is a total cutie as well.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0665235/
     
    #57
  8. SuperDuy

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    It's a shame ain't it, they keep pumping themselves up with stronger and stronger drugs.

    Just look at Arnold and you won't even find a pic of him with a gut like that, or most others for example from the days of aesthetics and not mass monsters.

    Also seems that there is much more instances of bad side effects than back then, hair loss, organ growth, high blood pressure, and many others.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
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  9. T1000

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    Arnold and those guys only used steroids. Now they use insulin, hgh, and synthol with gear.
     
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  10. ctoth666

    ctoth666 Professional

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    This is a bit of a dated thread, but I would just like to chime in.

    Bodybuilding, in any sense of the word, is basically detrimental to tennis. Here's the thing: I am in great physical shape and my endurance is excellent. Perhaps the best I've been. But tennis wears me down, and I burn out easily. At 5'11" and 186 at my last weigh in, I am muscular, fairly bulky man, and honestly, every pound of muscle beyond what I need to play tennis hurts my game. It makes every step and stroke take more energy, and the cumulative effect of that over a match is significant. Let's assume that two people have the same level of conditioning: the more muscular individual is burning out sooner. And his joints will hurts sooner, etc. It's just the way it is. My mass only works against me in tennis. I mean, I would say my ideal tennis shape is literally 15-20 pounds lighter.
     
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  11. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    You were 6,1 and weighed 130? WTF?! That's crazy skinny. There's no way you should have ever been below like 160-170.
     
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  12. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    That's crazy indeed! I was 5'9 and 125 once, and thought that was skinny. Then I got to gym, and within just 5 years I bulked up to 170 where I've been ever since. The jeans size went up just one inch, now I'm in a trouble of finding jeans that have enough room in the thighs. :lol:
     
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  13. Bionic slice

    Bionic slice Semi-Pro

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    Having a good cardio plan, a good plyometric program and some form of weight training can greatly help your tennis game. Cardio like hitt can help you recover between points and improve your court speed. I may not be the fittest guy but I am the fastest person on the court which I need for my tennis game to be successful beside hitting regularly. Plyometrics can help with coordination, speed, for singles OR doubles as you want to have fast reacting muscle fibers ie..fast twitch , weights are good for strength , you want a strong core, I do legs, arms, shoulder training mostly to help my tennis game but my goal is not to bulk, but to handle the demands of tennis and try and prevent injuries.
    I have a problem with staying with the program, life, work , etc gets in the way sometimes and my performances suffer on the court. I've met nadal , nov, Murray, berdy and so on.....they are all very lean, I would say nadal carries a lot of upper mass but since become a bit leaner.
    I train weights for fitness not mass.
     
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  14. T1000

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  15. President

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    [​IMG]

    ^, lol jk man, great progress. Very impressive stuff, you were skinny as a rail before. How has this affected your tennis game? Do you find that you get more pop on the serve and more racquet head speed?
     
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  16. T1000

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    well right now i'm focused on powerlifting and getting a 500/315/700 before the year is over and a 905 block pull of 8" blocks so not really doing much tennis. when i was in tennis shape i def had way more power and could generate more when i was off balance or far behind the baseline. helped me on my serve too, changed my stance to mimic a squat so i could get more power. that was when i was totaling around 315/225/500 and haven't really done much tennis since that point so idk how my lifts now would affect my game. i'll probably try to get back into it next summer after i qualify for RUM (largest meet along with CAPO in the world) since that's my big goal right now.
     
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  17. hawk eye

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    James Blake was pretty muscular, as was Andy Roddick. And let's not forget Boris Becker. Of course, not compared to serious bodybuilders. But Andy Murray really buffed up from his teenage years so it can't be all wrong. I can't imagine it's only the body 'maturing'. Same goes for Ivan Lendl. Still lean athletes though, not overly muscular.
    But without being bulky and still look lean and athletic, nobody in tennis beats Edberg and Sampras after their teen years. Smooth movers, fast and agile with a good amount of muscle but definitely not bulky
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
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  18. hawk eye

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    double post
     
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  19. HtownTennis

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    Basically this. I am a former D1 college football player. In my football playing days, I played linebacker at 5'11" 225 lbs. I have slowly been losing muscle over the last few years, and I don't think it is a complete coincidence that my tennis game has improved as well. I play at a good 4.5 level now between 190-195 lbs.

    I have noticed several big improvements. The first is much better range of motion on my two handed backhand. I used to be so stiff and muscled my backhand simply because I could not create clearly between my triceps and back/lats. The second is my knees feel A LOT better after a couple hours of playing. I can play some pretty good tennis, but I agree with the poster here that optimally for tennis I should probably be around 175 lbs. Not sure that is going to happen, because I am pretty lean even at 190 and put on muscle very easily (good genes). But my strokes are very tiring I feel because of the extra weight that I am swinging around with my chest, arms, and shoulders. It absolutely has a cumulative effect.

    So can a bodybuilder hit good tennis shots with good flexibility and all that muscle? Sure. Is it ideal? Abo****ely not. And furthermore, I would have a hard time envisaging him being able to sustain it over 2 hours of play. Just my 2c.
     
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  20. HtownTennis

    HtownTennis New User

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    Should say 'clearance' instead of 'clearly,' and not sure why 'absolutely' was filtered.
     
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  21. Ash_Smith

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    I am fully behind the improvements lifting heavy things can bring to the tennis court, but there is always a limit to where it passes from effective into hindrance.

    I would rather try to turn Frank Medrano into a tennis player than Dorian Yates for example :D
     
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  22. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Some Lifting is good but if you are 230 Pounds of ripped muscles that is probably not ideal:). it is always a question of dose.
     
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  23. Sally Aronsson

    Sally Aronsson New User

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    you're gonna be one muscular tennis player!
     
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  24. GuyClinch

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    For almost all men - unless you change your diet and take PEDs the amount of muscle gain from bodybuilding is not a hindrance.

    Find a legit 'natural' bodybuilder - and prepare to be underwhelmed - and these guys have some of the best genetics. Even the ones that look good hardly look to muscular to play tennis..
     
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  25. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Even if they're natural, some can gain enough body weight to hinder their potential in tennis. Not that it is that big of a deal. It is definitely easier to drop muscle than it is to put it on. If the same man watches his diet, he's able to drop weight without putting on a lot of fat.

    I've known some natural guys who definitely had more endurance over the course of a match at 200lbs than at 225lbs of body weight.

    As a general rule, I think that Olympic lifting is probably better for helping tennis than bodybuilding. Partly just because I think that it is possible to reach diminishing returns faster with the upper body muscularity bodybuilding can bring to a tennis player. Partly because olympic lifting is more concerned with explosive movement and less concerned with aesthetics.

    Personally, I'd probably benefit in terms of muscular performance for tennis by bodybuilding, but I'd definitely lose playing time to muscle soreness and the demands of spending more time eating a lot more.
     
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  26. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Obviously you need strong muscles to play good tennis so muscle training makes total sense. But if you train to add 'bulk' it does not, it will only slow you down on the court because of the added weight but also due to the fact that 'bulky' muscles are slower than 'lean' muscles.

    :grin:
     
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  27. T1000

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    Had no idea there were different types of muscles and they had different speeds
     
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  28. tennisdad65

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    Look at the 100 meter finals in the 2012 Olympics. Most guys look like body builders. Bolt seems like the 'slimmest' of the finalist.
     
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  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Best post IMO.

    I am built like a runningback. I went to college and had classes with some NFL "scat" running backs and we were the same size. Very muscular build, Bf hovers around 12%.

    I agree with everything you are saying. I am faster than a lot of players and can hit hard with a lot of spin, but the conditioning factor is there for sure. I should lose 20 pounds of muscle to improve my tennis stamina.

    Basically by the 2nd or third set I am prone to cramping if I do not hydrate perfectly. I can play for 2-3 hours at a time, but it is very taxing on the body.

    But I like having muscle and I don't play tennis for a living so I don't care. At the end of the day, the day to day benefits of being a bit jacked are worth it.
     
    #79
  30. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I agree with ctoth666 and PP, however it takes a lot of effort and dedication to put on substantial muscle. Unless you are a natural easy gainer for putting on muscle which very few people are you don't have to worry about getting big enough to affect your tennis.

    Just because you are doing body building does not mean you are going to look like a bodybuilder. But lifting weights is great for your health and definitely helps preventing injuries.
     
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  31. dlk

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    I'm 5'5" & 212lbs & I'm the best I ever have been in my young tennis career. However, only played ~6 years; so is my game following natural progression or has the 20lbs of extra muscle put on the last 2 years increased my overall power? Serve is same, but ground strokes certainly more powerful for longer period of time. Speed has not suffered, in fact, more explosive.
     
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  32. oble

    oble Professional

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    Whoa.. I'm 5'7" and only 130lbs.. *ashamed* :oops:
     
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  33. dlk

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    No question. I'm stout. An ideal, non-lifter weight for me would be somewhere around 180; I would be chiseled at that weight. :shock:
     
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  34. onehandbh

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    You will require more energy/calories to move the extra mass. I would expect endurance to suffer as a result.
    How are your joints? knees?
     
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  35. dlk

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    Surprisingly, the joints are holding up fairly well (had some bad left hip pain several years ago, but seems gone for now). I'm in far better shape than men my own age, did 9 years in Army Airborne Infantry. I do endurance-cardio x3 per week, not counting tennis.
     
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  36. GuyClinch

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    You have to be extremely good at tennis AND extremely muscular for it to really be a big problem IMHO. Strength training gets a poor rep in the general fitness community sometimes but there indications it build endurance. http://www.crpusa.com/effects-strength-resistance-training-endurance-performance/

    I didn't look very hard - this is well known that strength training can improve endurance. In addition, I have heard the bro science argument for this.. Which is essentially - imagine two people have to move a cord of wood. If with each trip the weak guy is using 75% of his strength and the strong guy is using 30% of his strength - who will get tired first? Bodybuilding in particular gets a bad rap - IMHO. There is this idea that because say Olympic lifting is the best for sports performance that doing 'isolation' exercises or basically anything else besides stuff like the clean and jerk leads to some kind of 'slow' performance on court. There is basically no real evidence for this - if anything the body is fairly remarkable at making use of any extra muscle when possible. Don't get me wrong there is evidence for the superiority of some movements compared to others..

    That say a squat is going to provide more benefit then a leg curl (fairly obvious if you consider how many more muscles the squat work). But the evidence that a leg curl will actually hinder on court performance - well I haven't seen it. So my opinion is that your average man could perform a full body building style routine several times a week and still improve on tennis. The only real detriment to tennis would be joint damage from bad choice in lifts and/or the time you would take away from your tennis.. This assumes of course that you don't get into pro style body building manipulations like a massive 'bulk' or take excessive PEDs and so on..

    I actually like some bodybuilding 'style' routines because they can be done correctly with low skill levels and lower time investment. Good Olympic lifting will improve your athleticism - but the very act of getting good at it becomes a hobby - and most men cannot support two hobbies. Most of the serious lifters here seem to be 95% powerlifter and 5% tennis player. Most people want to be the other way around..
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
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  37. newpball

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    Huh? :confused:

    How about not taking any PEDs at all?

    Some people......

    :shock:
     
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  38. Otherside

    Otherside Semi-Pro

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    Stick to the big compounds, avoid machines, work in full range of motion and you will be fine! If you keep progressing in deads and squats with perfect technique, as well as some complimentary exersises and functional ab workouts your tennis will be tons better and you will get that dream body of yours!

    3 hours in the gym per week is enough and you will have plenty of time on the court, I agree that nothing can beat tennis for tennis=)

    Pete
     
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  39. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Professional

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    I think the right kinds of weight training can be really beneficial for your tennis. I started doing more gym training in January, and my game has really benefited from it. If you're doing the training specifically for tennis, I'd work a lot on core strength, and a lot on legs, with some arm training. The key is being strong and explosive while still being flexible and able to endure a long match... because if you lose your range of motion you're going to struggle defensively.
     
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  40. gut wax

    gut wax Semi-Pro

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    Endurance, Flexibility, Strength & Cardio thru Hiking.

    Stay hydrated throughout, collect interesting minerals & put in backpack, which can be hand-carried from time to time.

    Juice & Carb up before, with protein after for fuel & recovery.
     
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  41. KK Partizan

    KK Partizan New User

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    I don't believe that to be true whatsoever. Endurance is not an issue assuming that a) you work on conditioning and b) take a drug like Ephederine to open up your air passages.

    I'm 6'1" and weigh ~240lbs, yet played tennis probably 5-6/7 days a week (of 1+ sets) with my much smaller friends. They 'bully' me for the most part leading me to become a grinder and chase down balls, but I suffered zero joint issues and knees were in tact.

    I would definitely classify myself as a bodybuilder and in about 2 weeks, I'll run my first cycle.
     
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  42. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Why don't you pedal your cycle, or is this a new type of workout I'm not familiar with?
     
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  43. GuyClinch

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    PEDs are part of the bodybuilding lifestyle. So is a bulking and cutting cycle. My point was that if you fully embrace bodybuilding - as more then a hobby - that would interfere with your tennis.

    But for the average guy just doing some bench pressing and squats - his tennis is going to be unaffected and perhaps improved.

    With the caveat that the best exercise for tennis is in fact tennis. If your are lifting 5 days a week and playing tennis for 2 - you will likely start losing to the guy that does the opposite.
     
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  44. dman72

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    I agree to the extent that skill in tennis trumps strength in almost every instance as long as you have the endurance to get through a 3 set match.

    However, at my age (42), more than a certain number of hours on hard courts per week starts to have negative effects on me physically, because hips, shoulders, feet, elbows, all start hurting to the point where days off are needed to play without pain. In those days off, I can do my weightlifting without making most of these injuries worse..in many cases it seems to help. I feel that squats have improved the pain situation with my right hip. pull ups and rows have helped counter the overdevelopment issues with the front of my shoulder. Deadlifts have increased core strength.

    The 2 exercise I feel have little or no use for, and often hurt tennis, are bench press and military press, especially at heavy "starting strength" type weights. I did that workout for about 3 months and my shoulder health has degraded noticeably since then, while playing less tennis then I used to. I switched to a higher rep range and lower weight on bench, and ditched militaries completely, to try to at least maintain my gains in those areas, but I'm still thinking it's far from ideal for tennis to do those exercises. I think in a way curls,triceps, and foreamr work are actually better bets for a tennis players in terms of upper body.

    Cue the heavy lifting guys attacks...........
     
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  45. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^^

    I think you are dead on here. Bench press when you get older is tough on the body. Just how it is. Most guys do incline bench, which has a good angle that won't damage the shoulder or pecs. Just something to consider.
     
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  46. dman72

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    It's really about your rotators and impingement. Once they go, you're pretty much screwed. Mine are shot, and there's no reason to make them worse trying to get chesticles. I can substitute dumbbell presses, which using different wrist positions can take the strain off rotators. It's not a good feeling getting stuck under the bar when you realize you can't lift the same weight you did last week because your rotator cuff is failing. All you young guys out there...it's coming, don't say you weren't warned.

    I'm thinking of getting a swiss bar, because it seems to deal with the issue also by changing to a neutral grip.
     
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  47. scotus

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    Do you think the barbell bench press is bad for the rotator cuffs even when you have the elbows tucked and shoulder blades squeezed?
     
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  48. T1000

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    if you want to bench and you

    A) aren't a powerlifter

    and

    B) dgaf about your bench number

    then do barbell incline. bb flat can be safe but it's the easiest of the big 3 to mess up and get hurt on since most people don't pay as much attention to form on it compared to deads and squats.
     
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  49. dman72

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    No nearly as much, but then it becomes much more of a triceps exercise. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different.
     
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  50. onehandbh

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    Is the decline bench press also hard on the rotator cuff/shoulders?
     

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