Pros and Cons of False Grip Benching (aka Suicide Grip, Thumbless Grip)
False grip benching isn't all inherently bad. It can actually be very helpful and many like to bench this way for good reason.
It's like a cheat code to better benching, but if you play the game well, you will get more out of wrapping your thumbs.
What It Helps With
The biggest here is learning to bench with your lats. When you take away the activation you can get with your arms, creating a platform to bench on with your lats and controlling the weight there becomes a lot easier.
Its hard to engage with your lats well with a regular grip but false grip almost forces you to.
It is also great for teaching a lifter where to place a bar in their hand.
I always go back to the open palm strike. If you were to hit something open palm, you wouldn't hit towards the fingers or you'd snap your wrist! You'd deliver a blow with the heel of your hand to generate the most force.
False grip makes it easy to learn this concept.
False grip is also great for teaching alignment. Touching too low or too high with this grip does not bode so well. It's easier to learn why we want to keep the wrists stacked over the elbows.
The cons are that we can't create tightness into the bar, and that's a big con.
We can no longer torque into the bar and create that bend and spread type cueing. Without the thumb to create that anchor, we would simply slide about the bar trying to do this
The other con is it can be more dangerous. It's a great teaching tool but all the pros of this grip can be accomplished without this grip, so the fact that you can no longer create tightness and you're at a higher risk, doesn't usually make it worth it for a main training style.
I would leave it as just that, a teaching tool and a way to check in and make sure you're performing things right.
On exercises such as tricep targeted board presses or floor presses, I actually prefer using this grip. Best lat pump I had benching was floor pressing false grip with an axle bar
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