We live in an era now where we have PTs (ouch) who have to justify their existence somehow. One way to do this is to water down pure movements such as the bench press. I hear a particular PT training organisation telling students that full range of motion bench pressing isn’t good for the rotator cuffs. I have seen this first hand. How can this ever be justified? Guys with long arms not believing they need to lower the bar to their chest.
The barbell bench press (I believe the incline barbell and decline barbell are in the same family) will always be the king of upper body movements. Any discussions about replacing it with machine or cable movements will come and go. It’s pretty simple- if you want a big, strong and powerful upper body, you need to be bench pressing in some form and with good form. Sure, dumbbells have got their place. But don’t expect me to be impressed if you txt or email me telling me that you have a new PB on flat dummbell press.
Good article on T-Nation about the bench press. Interested in your thoughts.