Bench press is an awesome upper body exercise for putting on muscle in the chest, shoulders and arms. However, any lifter who’s benched for any length of time can attest to the torture it places on the rotator cuff’s. Enter the bamboo bar, also referred to as the earthquake bar due to the amount of oscillation that takes place while lowering and raising the bar while weights or kettlebells are dangling from the bar with elastic bands. Bamboo bars promote healthy joint function while forcing you to stabilize the bar during the lift. This is great for rehabbing shoulder injuries because the stabilizer muscles are firing more with this bar than with traditional oly bars.
This technique also promotes proper bar path and tempo due to Any misalignment of bar path or too much speed (this movement isn’t used for speed work) will cause additional oscillation which makes the lift nearly impossible. This would be a good time to inform you to put your ego in check! This movement doesn’t take much weight and should always be performed with the assistance of a spotter; try it for yourself and you’ll understand why it could easily be nicknamed “Nose Breaker” or “Widow Maker”!
Tip: If your gym isn’t equipped with bamboo bars try hanging the weights thru the handles as in the picture below. Leave a small space between the weights to give them enough room to move during the lift, this movement will mimic the bamboo bar and force your stabilizer muscles to fire in the same manner.
Written by: Gene Williams