Bench Press and Leg Extensions?

I’ve heard that doing bench press is one of the worst things that a pitcher can do? How true is this? I know personally i used to love doing bench press and then I injured my shoulder and after surgery it kills me.

Also I’ve heard from a couple different people that leg extensions are also bad becuase they cause a chemical imbalance that will affect running? Anybody else here of this?

lol. See, right when I say something about leg extensions… :wink:

Bench presses are misunderstood. It is not the exercise in itself that is bad for a pitcher, but how it is used. If you do your benching like a bodybuilder, trying to maximize muscle size without thought to strength, then it will hurt your pitching. If you focus on adding strength (speed strength, maximal strength, endurance strength) then it will certainly help you out. The topic of sets/ reps has been talked about many many times on this forum. Hit up the search function if you want specifics.

Leg extensions just got discussed- check down about 3 threads. Basically you are looking at an exercise that isolates muscles whereas a baseball player would never isolate their quads in a game. The quads work along with the hammys, calves, etc. Doing a squat, deadlift, or basically any other lower body lift will be better for you in terms of baseball. Compound lifts are #1

The problem is with the bench press is with how you do it.

You do not want to bring the bar down to your chest, because that forces your elbows behind your back, which puts too much stress on the muscles of the rotator cuff (because it puts it in an mechanically inefficient position).

For the same reason, when doing push-ups you do not want to lower your chest all the way to thr floor.

The problem is with the bench press is with how you do it.

You do not want to bring the bar down to your chest, because that forces your elbows behind your back, which puts too much stress on the muscles of the rotator cuff (because it puts it in an mechanically inefficient position).

For the same reason, when doing push-ups you do not want to lower your chest all the way to thr floor.[/quote]

When you sprint you violently bring your arms violently past your shoulder and, for many repititions. Are you going to tell me that you shouldn’t do that?

No, you should only do “panic sprints” where you flail your arms directly over your head in a short range of motion, all while running as fast as possible and screaming like a small child. This seriously gets the hurt pumping :lol: :lol:

In all seriousness, I have only had one instance of rotator cuff pain after bench pressing. It was the one day that I lifted before getting warmed up. I talked to one of the trainer/ coaches and he said to shorten up the ROM so that the elbows went parallel to the shoulders, and to do my benching like that until I could lift without pain. I followed that advice and by the next week I could lift without feeling it at all. After that I went back to the full range of motion (bar to chest) and never had another problem. If you are afraid of rotator cuff injuries, then dont do them. However, I have not seen any clear cut evidence (beyond subjective evidence) that bench pressing is bad for the rotator cuffs.

Just curious Chris: would you say the same thing about rows? They would put the body in the same position at the top of the movement.

The problem is with the bench press is with how you do it.

You do not want to bring the bar down to your chest, because that forces your elbows behind your back, which puts too much stress on the muscles of the rotator cuff (because it puts it in an mechanically inefficient position).

For the same reason, when doing push-ups you do not want to lower your chest all the way to thr floor.[/quote]

When you sprint you violently bring your arms violently past your shoulder and, for many repititions. Are you going to tell me that you shouldn’t do that?[/quote]

No.

That’s a different movement than when doing bench presses or push-ups.

For one thing, you aren’t moving that much mass. Also, you arms are at your sides rather than abducted 90 degrees.

This works best when running into a body of water. :wink:

If you’re talking about this, then it’s OK because the elbows stay in front of the back.

Wide rows like these are potentially bad because of where the elbows end up…

I don’t like these Cable High Rows for the same reason…

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/BackGeneral/CBOneArmHighRow.html

i didn’t read the responses

but if something “kills you” by being so painful then that’s a sign you shouldn’t do it

Well, I’m not a physical therapist, but I would still have to disagree with you on this one. Bringing the elbow behind the back is within the natural range of motion. If you only train a limited portion of your range of motion, then your muscles will not be fully stretched/ extended. I think that this weakness within the shoulder, especially the small muscles that make up the rotator cuff, would cause more injuries than the exercise itself.

I think that your views of causality may be somewhat skewed when it comes to exercise. When you break down a pitcher’s mechanics looking for flaws that cause injuries, you are seeing something that is done hundreds of times within the span of a week. The action of pitching is ballistic and violent. The arm goes from rest to extreme action within 2 seconds. The stress of that kind of action will obviously place even more pressure on areas that do not have optimal mechanics.
But when you look at weightlifting, you cant really take the same set of “absolutes,” such as the ones you have developed for a pitcher. First off, most of the movements in weightlifting are done at a slower pace. There is not the explosive element that adds stress (such as a pitch). It is a controlled movement that uses added weight to ellicit an anabolic response. You are building up the muscle, making it stronger than it was originally.
Why would it be dangerous to bring your elbow behind your back in this context?

In the case of bringing the bar all the way down to the chest while doing bench presses, the problem is that this puts the muscles of the shoulder in a mechanically inefficient position because it focuses the load on the Subscapularis (in most cases loads are shared between muscles). Do this with too heavy of a weight, and you can end up exceeding the capabilities of the Subscapularis and tearing either the muscle or the tendon.

Hey Chris, I stumbled onto this article
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1276773
today and I think it definitely applies towards what we were discussing. The author is a professional strength coach. The whole article is basically how to avoid injuries. He dedicates one section entirely to upper body injuries (he mentions rotator cuff injuries specifically).

Let me know what you think.