If your elbows are flared on the way down, that's gonna stick a lot of pressure on your humerus and you're looking at a shoulder injury. If your elbows have no place to go when you touch the bar to your chest, then flaring the elbows is what gets horsepower back under the bar once you get about halfway to 3/4 of the way through the bench press. If your elbows are already flared, they have no place to go... it's just gonna stop and fall back down to your chest. So what I recommend doing is trying to keep your elbows tucked at about a 45 degree angle. You do not want them right next to your side... and you do not want them flared out.