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View Full Version : Benching and squatting in the bottom position


Dean Saunders
08-13-2011, 02:22 AM
I have been reading about starting the bench press from the bottom (Brooks Kubik) and squatting from the bottom (Bud Jeffries) and I have been experimenting with bench press in a power rack occasionally (because I personally don't like benching) and starting the lift from the bottom position. Apart from some difficulty in getting my shoulders in the right position before pushing, I haven't really had any problems. I was just wondering if anyone else has tried bottom position bench or squats in their training and how it worked out for them.
The main reason for benching this way for me is simply safety, because I train at home and at irregular times

Bee Brian
08-13-2011, 11:52 AM
I have been reading about starting the bench press from the bottom (Brooks Kubik) and squatting from the bottom (Bud Jeffries) and I have been experimenting with bench press in a power rack occasionally (because I personally don't like benching) and starting the lift from the bottom position. Apart from some difficulty in getting my shoulders in the right position before pushing, I haven't really had any problems. I was just wondering if anyone else has tried bottom position bench or squats in their training and how it worked out for them.
The main reason for benching this way for me is simply safety, because I train at home and at irregular times

Although I don't really start at the bottom position, I always pause for at least a second everytime I squat (front or back).

In my experience, this method has greatly helped me reinforce good position habits. It teaches me to get in the proper position at the bottom before ascending. Regular bouncy squats will not teach you this.

It is the same type of benefit with segment cleans and segment snatches. It teaches you position.

Doing this in a dead, bottom position from a power rack will not provide the same motor habits because you really will not be in the same position as you would when you come from the top and go down. Not to mention you are supposed to be tensed the entire time, unlike the pin squat, where you are actually relaxed at the bottom.

Dean Saunders
08-14-2011, 02:16 AM
Thanks for your reply Bee, just out of curiosity, when you pause at the bottom of the squat, does that take the stretch reflex action of the muscles out of the movement and as a result do you find that makes the movement a "dead start" from the bottom position? As I mentioned before, I train my bench in a squat rack because circumstances don't usually allow the freedom to train in a commercial gym (work hours and looking after young children while my partner goes to work). I do occasionally use dumbell bench press for a change.

I am not overly concerned about correct movement patterns because I am unlikely to compete in anything and am just training for my own amusement. But initially I was experiencing some shoulder pain at the start before finding the correct shoulder position at the start and attaining correct body tension before each rep.

Bee Brian
08-14-2011, 07:58 PM
Thanks for your reply Bee, just out of curiosity, when you pause at the bottom of the squat, does that take the stretch reflex action of the muscles out of the movement and as a result do you find that makes the movement a "dead start" from the bottom position? As I mentioned before, I train my bench in a squat rack because circumstances don't usually allow the freedom to train in a commercial gym (work hours and looking after young children while my partner goes to work). I do occasionally use dumbell bench press for a change.

I am not overly concerned about correct movement patterns because I am unlikely to compete in anything and am just training for my own amusement. But initially I was experiencing some shoulder pain at the start before finding the correct shoulder position at the start and attaining correct body tension before each rep.

You're welcome!

For your first question: Yeah! It also depends on your skill. Some people have great stretch-reflex, others not as much. For example, Louie Simmons of Westside-Barbell has training methods designed specifically to improve the stretch reflex! So it depends... And I like pausing much better than bouncing, because I want to see my "genuine" strength, and not my ability to exploit my own stretch reflex (unless of course, I'm doing speed-squats, which I don't!).

Now that you mentioned your overall goals, what you're doing is fine. Pin squats and pin bench-presses are awesome.

And as always, a video of you performing the lifts would always help. I've heard that if the bar is positioned way above your sternum before pressing a weight up (in the bench press), it will be bad for your shoulders.



:)