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Old 10-27-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Cramping problems

often when i go for a heavy set on the bench press, near failure, either one or both of my hamstrings or my lower back cramp up like hell.

usually, it's with pretty low reps. like tonight i did 3 reps and thought i might have a fourth, but my lower back cramped up and i knew i'd fail. i don't remember it being so much a problem when i go for say 10 reps, even if it's maximal effort.

i don't know, when i think cramping my mind goes to dehydration or vitamins or something. but this only happens with bench. i never get cramping doing squats or deadlifts. so, maybe a form issue? flexibility?

i tried stretching my hamstrings before benching today, and come to think of it, it was my lower back that cramped up.

thoughts?
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Old 10-28-2013, 12:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronco View Post
often when i go for a heavy set on the bench press, near failure, either one or both of my hamstrings or my lower back cramp up like hell.

usually, it's with pretty low reps. like tonight i did 3 reps and thought i might have a fourth, but my lower back cramped up and i knew i'd fail. i don't remember it being so much a problem when i go for say 10 reps, even if it's maximal effort.

i don't know, when i think cramping my mind goes to dehydration or vitamins or something. but this only happens with bench. i never get cramping doing squats or deadlifts. so, maybe a form issue? flexibility?

i tried stretching my hamstrings before benching today, and come to think of it, it was my lower back that cramped up.

thoughts?
I have the same issue off and on and I have found that electrolyes and minera supplements help some, I always have a couple of grams of magnesium before training and a multi mineral supp. I also had some sucess with squatting very light before benching to get blood flowing in hte lower body and to get loosend up.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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I also had some sucess with squatting very light before benching to get blood flowing in hte lower body and to get loosend up.
Neat idea, thanks. Not that I've got to the sort of bench press weights where it might matter yet, but still, I'll keep this one in mind for that day.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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I get hips cramps quite often benching but that's usually because I've squatted/deadlifted heavy beforehand, not sure whether that would be the same for you.

As for lower back, if you really force arching without bracing your mid section, especially your abs, then you end up driving your legs into over-extending your lower back. I used to do that a lot and it would cramp my lower back up and mess up anything after bench. Again might not be the same for you.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big_swede View Post
I have the same issue off and on and I have found that electrolyes and minera supplements help some, I always have a couple of grams of magnesium before training and a multi mineral supp. I also had some sucess with squatting very light before benching to get blood flowing in hte lower body and to get loosend up.
thanks, i'll try that stuff.

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I get hips cramps quite often benching but that's usually because I've squatted/deadlifted heavy beforehand, not sure whether that would be the same for you.

As for lower back, if you really force arching without bracing your mid section, especially your abs, then you end up driving your legs into over-extending your lower back. I used to do that a lot and it would cramp my lower back up and mess up anything after bench. Again might not be the same for you.
i always start off with heavy benching on those days.
i don't understand what you mean by "force arching without bracing your mid section...". but it sounds like the sort of thing i'm worried about. i'm pretty new to the arching and leg drive stuff so there's a good chance that i'm doing something wrong.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:57 AM   #6
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i always start off with heavy benching on those days.
i don't understand what you mean by "force arching without bracing your mid section...". but it sounds like the sort of thing i'm worried about. i'm pretty new to the arching and leg drive stuff so there's a good chance that i'm doing something wrong.
I just meant that a lot of people drive with their legs but never think to get their stomach tight like with a squat which usually means they overextend their lower back. It's what I used to do anyway, and it killed my lower back.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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How is your hamstring flexibility? When my hamstrings/lower back cramp on my bench press it's almost always because of tight hamstrings.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JTurner View Post
I just meant that a lot of people drive with their legs but never think to get their stomach tight like with a squat which usually means they overextend their lower back. It's what I used to do anyway, and it killed my lower back.
i've never thought about stomach tightness either.
i'll definitely try to think about that next time.

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How is your hamstring flexibility? When my hamstrings/lower back cramp on my bench press it's almost always because of tight hamstrings.
i do think my hamstrings are terribly inflexible.
i guess i should work on that.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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I used to get cramps in my hamstrings benching. Now I supplement with E-Lyte. It has potassium, sodium, and magnesium in it. You also need calcium, but I drink a lot of milk for that. It has worked for me.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:53 AM   #10
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I swear by 3-5g of taurine per day. Jeff Frank turned me in to it and I haven't had cramps when taking it since
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