I have trouble properly retracting and keeping my shoulders back when I bench, I was looking for maybe assistance tools online that I could maybe place under my back to help, and was thinking would a small half foam roller where its flat on one side and circled on the other help? This way I have something between my shoulder blades?
Probably not any more useful than using your imagination to squeeze something there or the physical sensation and feedback from your muscles and the bench.
Are you doing specific drills and warm ups to help with this?
Having something between your shoulder blades would be a bad thing, you want to pinch your shoulder blades together as much as possible. Where do you have problems keeping your shoulders back? Can you not get them set in the first place? Can you set them, but then need to loosen them to unrack? Do they stay set until you start the lift, and they come loose at some point during the lift?
Purchase a Donnie Thompson Bowtie online from Spud Inc. It’ll teach you how to set your scapula and you can utilize it during warmups. Also, wear it at work, when you’re driving, etc. It’ll force you into good posture and you’ll feel like you have a new pair of shoulders. I wear it several times a day.
Do the exercise at the start of this video, start with retracting the shoulders:
Practice on the bench. Do extra warm up sets if necessary.
100% a bowtie. Get the yellow for longer user IMO
Use two mirrors to look at your back, or film yourself from behind.
Then retract your shoulder blades and watch, or review the film and see. Make sure that your shoulder blades are actually retracting, or make sure the movement that your brain thinks is pulling your shoulders back is actually pulling your shoulders back.
It’s easy to start doing weird stuff like shrugging, elevating or rolling your shoulder when you think you’re retracting.
Bow Tie could be cool.
Maybe consider doing some DB benching, where you could pause at the top and focus on retracting your drifting shoulder every few reps.
Wow thanks so much for the amazing feedback,
there are two bowties red and yellow, it seems red is good to use when lifting?
I only have access to a barbell benching at home so will implement these tips
thank you !
This is by far the best drill I have ever used to improve my shoulder blade positioning on bench press
Either can be used for lifting or general rehab/prehap/postural stuff in general. I have the red one and wear it for a half hour a few times throughout the day while at work and then during warmups on bench. Just remember the red one is a lot more snug.
You don’t need to buy anything special. You can literally take a light or a mini band, fold it in half, twist it once, and put your arms through the loops with the band on the front side of your body. Get the loops over and on the back of your shoulders.
Jesus Christ. I was doing this a fucking decade before the slingshot came out.