Bench Form - Good Read
- 10-31-2010, 11:38 AM
Bench Form - Good Read
THE ARCH- A good back arch is essential to many lifters. The key is to move your butt as close to your shoulders as possible without bringing either off of the bench (feet planted). You want most of the arch to come in your upper back not your lower back. This will do three things for you. First, it will transfer the weight from your delts to the lower pecs. This reduces the risk of injuring your shoulders. NOTE: If you are putting too much strain on your lower back, don't do it. You will also notice that if you have a good arch you will be bringing the bar down just below your pecs. This makes the bench more like a decline bench where most people have more power. Finally, you'll be reducing the distance that the bar will travel during your bench press.
THE SHOULDER TUCK- Many powerlifters do not realize how much energy is wasted by allowing the bar to travel further than they have to. Next time you get on the bench at the gym, notice how far the bar is traveling. Then get yourself set, pull your shoulders back as far as you can, and take the weight off the rack. Try to pull your shoulders back a little bit further and keep them back as you lower and press the weight. With this method, I have taken as much as 4 inches off of my bench while creating a solid base below my shoulders.
GRIP- I am a firm believer in trying new grips from time to time. The grip can change so many factors in your bench press. You do not want to change your grip just to close the gap, but sometimes a slightly wider grip is just what the doctor ordered to cheat an extra few pounds out of your bench. Do not assume that just because you lose power when your grip gets TOO wide that you can't try it in a bench shirt. If you find that you gain power toward the top of the lift with a wider grip, try it with your bench shirt on. The shirt will become tighter at the bottom due to the excess stretch from the wide grip. This will compensate for the weakness at the bottom. Then you will gain power as the bar travels upward. Finally, you have closed the gap a couple more inches.
- 10-31-2010, 02:20 PM
Pretty good read, you should post up a link to Dave Tates 6 week BP cure as well. Id do it cuz it goes over the same topics mentinoed but Im at a work computer lolSerious Nutrition Solutions
11-01-2010, 12:40 AM
Ive been trying to work some of Dave Tate's advice into my bench routine for a few weeks with moderate success. However, TheNeck, I see you pointed out that the majority of the back arch should come from the upper back. This is an area where I struggle. I am about 6'2" and almost every time I flat bench my lower back is a bit sore from my arch.
My question is, are there any pointers as to moving the arch from low to upper back.
I see so many powerlifters with insane arches, but when I do I feel like Im barely arching my back at all.
Thanks for any advice. And very informative post.
11-01-2010, 10:58 AM
Your already headed in the right direction following Dave Tate. I'm a PLer myself and it took me damn near a year to get my arch where it should be & I still drop the ball at times.. It's easier said than done. You pretty much have to train your arch & what we do in our gym it start out by placing a 1" peice of PVC about 4-5" above our lower backs & work up to a 2.5"-3" peice. This will feel weird as he11 at first, but after awhile it becomes creature of habit & you'll be able to do it naturally. The best time to practice bench form is on warmup sets w.bar weight only. Hope this helps a little.
11-01-2010, 11:01 AM
11-01-2010, 11:19 AM
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