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Stuck at chest not lockout


Yellow Belt
Jun 22, 2004
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So i used the search function. And I looked and looked. So don't flame me for that.
When I max at bench whether its a single or the end of a set, my sticking point is about 4 inches off my chest. I thought maybe bands maybe chains will help. So i looked that up too. If i use the lightened method with bands, the weight is still being increased at the top of my ROM not the bottom. If i use chains it is the same thing. How do i strengthen the bottom half of my bench?
When you bench regularly do you pause the bar on your chest at all?

(just wondering if you use the stretch rebound of your muscles instead of using their strength to get out of the hole)
Triceps. Try board presses, closegrip bench, and strengthening your triceps in general.
when im in my working sets i pause. its not an extended pause but im not bouncing the bar until my last two sets or so
Pause reps are the bane of chest weakness. I'm still a lousy bench presser, but I was constantly failing just off the chest before I began to integrate pause reps. Pause reps have improved my bench more than anything else, except perhaps heavily weighted push ups, but that's another discussion entirely.

Pause reps train your muscles to work in the very bottom of the rep, rather than relying heavily on the stretch reflex. Then, when you acutally DO have a stretch reflex, the weight feels suprisingly light.
Long pauses reps in the bench press. Strengthen your shoulders. Incline pressing, overhead pressing for higher reps. Depending on your particular biomechanics, floor press may put the bar right into the sticking point and be a good lift to use.
Lower the weight.. if you get stuck off the chest on your PRs, you need to lower the weight. Getting stuck at the chest is akin to PRing weight you can't unrack. Drop it 5-10lbs and try again next week. Also, pause at the bottom, as mentioned. I've seen too many people bouncing the weight off their chest for every rep... sure it might be nice when you are showing off or competing with friends, but it doesn't help your 1RM.
Dumbell presses (go all the way down - don't cheat), pause presses, wide-grip pause presses, speed work alternating wide-normal-narrow.

Bands or chains will allow you to work your sticking point and continue to work the rest of your motion.

Maybe even plyos would help - anything that will increase the explosiveness of your initial push.
I agree, the weight might be too high, and I also agree with the suggestion of pauses, since you might have been benching with a "touch-and-go" technique. Since you have no problem with lock-outs, you probable focus on full reps, so that's nice.

You just need more power off of the bottom, and since I suck at bench all over, I've thought about this a lot, too. Do lots of pause work, and also do pause work with dumbbells, i.e. holding at the bottom for a full 3s and then FIRE up.

Make sure that when you are benching, you're just not laying there like a dead fish. Roll your shoulders back, and when you unrack the weight before you let it just drop, feel it and let it set. Stay tight though your upper back and through your lats and lower more slowly that you are used to (dropping to fast with a weight your not used to can hurt your speed off your chest as well).

Don't forget, how to make your bench improve the most? Bench more.
Oh, I should add: also do some speed work, where you practice being very quick off your chest, but with weight that you can handle.
i dont think the weight is too heavy. i stall at the bottom but i push through it. lockouts are never a problem. but i just dont like the feeling of stalling. i want to be able to press straight through without hesitation, even when the weight is a PR for me.

Im going to try doing the puase presses today during my working sets of bench because i do the dumbbell presses, the tricep work, and the floor presses. Thanks for the info.
Pause bench and board presses is your answer. /Thread
so i did sets with a pause at the bottom.
then i for my last set i pushed my weight up to 205 and tried to keep my elbows in instead of flaring them and i put it up twice relatively easily. i think the flaring of the elbows had something to do with it
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.

It means the weight is too high. If you are stuck at the chest, it is just as useful to be stuck unracking the weight.
when i say stuck at my chest i dont mean i cant move the weight. it means i stick a few inches above my chest and the finisht he lift. i want to work that so i blast through it instead of slowing down right there and having to fight through the lift