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Thread: Lifting head up during bench press or any other exercise.. bad for neck?

  1. #1

    Default Lifting head up during bench press or any other exercise.. bad for neck?

    Hey guys, when benching or doing any movement on a bench, do you lift your head up a bit while pressing. Seems like I get a better workout but I know it may be causing some problems in the neck (have had shoulder and finger pain due to what my chiro and other docs think is a pinched nerve coming from my neck).

    What do you guys do and what do you think on this topic?

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    Amateur Threat bobbydigital's Avatar
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    Whenever I did bench presses I always lifted my head up just a tad to watch the bar throughout it's motion. I don't know why but for some reason focusing on what I was moving helped my overall concentration.
    "To alcohol! The cause of... and solution to... all of life's problems"

  3. #3

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    I get a better stretch out of the pec when I've got my head down.

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    I think i have the perfect form down for max torque. Thats my friend i taught.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Rector View Post


    I think i have the perfect form down for max torque. Thats my friend i taught.
    Your statement is correct but this is horrible if you are having pinched nerve issues. The more i tried to improve my arch and get on my traps for power pressing the worse my nerve compression got ending in a cervical fusion. This form does not bother everyone, just not a good idea if your neck is already compromised.

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    Team MD Mike's Avatar
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    Move your head to where it feels comfortable. I broke my neck years ago and had C-4/C-5 fused.

    I move my head up and off the bench in order to ensure my head doesn't push back on the bench and causes strain on my neck.

    Some with elbow placement, dumbell movement: make them go where they feel good and there's no strain on the joint.
    "What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?" ~ Lin Yutang.

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    Mike after your fusion did you have more headaches? My fusion was done in Feb. and everything was good 3 months. As i started getting back to the gym and trying to regain my strength i have been getting horrible headaches with no relief. I have tried everything imaginable from therapy, stretching, pain meds, muscle relaxers, NSAIDS with no real relief. Any suggestions?

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    Team MD Mike's Avatar
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    My neck hurts everyday but I don't get headaches. Then again, I my fusion was done at a younger age - 23 I think. Back then I didn't lift weights. I did a lot of calesthetics and running.

    When I started powerlifting, it had been 10 years since my surgery. There was pain but no headaches.

    However, what I did find was constriction would occur overtime that would cause headaches and visiting my chiropractor for an adjustment helped a lot.

    Lately, stenosis has been settling in and that does mess with my grip and create headaches.

    I dropped benching and it's helped. I do heavy close grip barbell for triceps and incline dumbbell presses with no issues. I also stopped holding my breath which has alleviated some of the headaches.

    One thing I did try for a while was to stop lifting and believe it or not that created more pain.

    And who knows, the neck thing may be a red herring thus the headaches are caused by something else like the environment, your deodorant, hydration, thyroid, etc.

    I can offer a bunch of pieces of advice but without know what or how you lift, etc, I would only be guessing.
    "What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?" ~ Lin Yutang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    My neck hurts everyday but I don't get headaches. Then again, I my fusion was done at a younger age - 23 I think. Back then I didn't lift weights. I did a lot of calesthetics and running.

    When I started powerlifting, it had been 10 years since my surgery. There was pain but no headaches.

    However, what I did find was constriction would occur overtime that would cause headaches and visiting my chiropractor for an adjustment helped a lot.

    Lately, stenosis has been settling in and that does mess with my grip and create headaches.

    I dropped benching and it's helped. I do heavy close grip barbell for triceps and incline dumbbell presses with no issues. I also stopped holding my breath which has alleviated some of the headaches.

    One thing I did try for a while was to stop lifting and believe it or not that created more pain.

    And who knows, the neck thing may be a red herring thus the headaches are caused by something else like the environment, your deodorant, hydration, thyroid, etc.

    I can offer a bunch of pieces of advice but without know what or how you lift, etc, I would only be guessing.
    Thanks Mike. I have been reading on the use of magnesium for the control of migraines and will start using ZMA soon to see if it helps.

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    Beach Body RavenMB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Rector View Post


    I think i have the perfect form down for max torque. Thats my friend i taught.
    You might lift heavy weights but how can you honestly call that a bench press.
    Tim Martin over Levrone? I still can't stop laughing.

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    Yikes that pic looks painful!

    Anyone else have anymore advice?

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    Moderator He-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeloop View Post
    Yikes that pic looks painful!

    Anyone else have anymore advice?
    I believe in doing what feels natural to YOU. We are all different...but just Like how breathing, blinking, your heart beating are all subconscious so, in a large way, should be lifting be it if you raise your head up a bit during a bench press or how you stand during a squat, maybe one legs slightly forward or one foot turned out a wee bit etc or deadlift too etc. They say dont look UP during a squat but I ALWAYS have....just a bit and more with my eyes and I've squated 500 lbs for 10 reps many times.....my back is fine. After 30 yrs of lifting my right shoulder is fucked and EVERYTHING else is perfectly fine LOL so do what feels natural and don't over think it....if you do you WILL have issues!!!! IMO
    FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE

  13. #13

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    I lift my head during bench and have been doing it for years without issue. My right shoulder experiences a pinching sensation if I dont.

    Different strokes for different folks.

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    Beach Body zeroman614's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Rector View Post


    I think i have the perfect form down for max torque. Thats my friend i taught.
    Great improvised decline bench press.
    "Hallelujah, holy-shit!! Where's the Tylenol?!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Rector View Post


    I think i have the perfect form down for max torque. Thats my friend i taught.
    Ummmm your but needs to be on the bench. Your but has to actually touch that bench for it be an actual press. What are you stimulating by doing that horrible form?

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    Wow. Great thread. I unconciously do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomSelleck'sMustache View Post
    Ummmm your but needs to be on the bench. Your but has to actually touch that bench for it be an actual press. What are you stimulating by doing that horrible form?
    In powerlifting you would use this form to reduce the range of motion and put yourself in a favorable pushing position. Did you ever notice how strong you are on declines as compared to flat bench? He is trying to mimic a decline. As for stimulating muscle this form is purely used for power.

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