T Nation

BB Bench w/ Shrugged Shoulders


I read recently CT saying that when he benches he keeps his shoulders shrugged and I think Wendler said something about that being the best way to bench press raw.

I decided to try it out a few weeks ago and evrything seems much smoother and tighter. I feel like it allows me to descend the bar a little closer to my shoulders without any discomfort. In those few weeks I have added reps and wieght to my bench aswell.

Does anyone else bench like this?


I bench like that. It allows the shoulders to move more freely. I recently read one of CT's posts saying that improving your shrug helps with benching this way. I have found this to be true. I haven't added any weight in a month or so, but it feels better. Try shrugging in between bench sets. Benching with pumped traps feels good.


I think my chest has actually been growing a bit from the increase in bench volume.


dude - 'six week bench press cure' by Dave Tate is all that you need to add more weight.


I disagree, heavy pressing with fucked up traps is dangerous. Shrugs after? - OK, maybe, I never tried. But between or before? - hell no...


Ya read that. I have been benching that way for quite a while now. Adding in the shrugged shoulders to it feels better though. Keeps everything a little tighter


I'm genuinely confused... are you guys talking about retracting your upper shelf and keeping that tight when benching?




Gotcha. That's basically the way you're supposed to bench anyway, I'd say.

Tucking elbows and all that is debatable depending on your goals, but not retracting the shoulders is just a recipe for rotator cuff issues.


I am not talking about just retracting your shoulder blades and keeping them tight while benching, but literally having your shoulders shrugged aswell the same way you would have them if you were at the top positiion of an actual BB shoulder shrug


It allows me to bench while my inflamed shoulders heal, slowly.. an excellent CT advice it was!


Hit the nail on the head. I have torn rotators and labrums and whenever I would bench which was not frequent I would instinctivly shrug because it felt better even though everyone would say pull shoulders down and back and stay retracted, but doing it that way was excrutiatingly painful, and so I was relieved when I heard CT reccomend the trap shrug method.


I'm going to go out and practise benching for like an hour. Setup is of special interest to me because I have never quite found form that feels right, I swear with PL style setup I feel like I my ROM is even longer then with no arch. I don't know. All I do know is if I can be 100% on setup I'm sure my weights will fly up..


I know this isn't exactly pertinent to the topic at hand, but you might as well play around with a few different positions.

I know I use a big arch and really tucked form, and all that did was make my chest look smaller and fucked with my lower back.

I tried tucking harder and using a smaller arch, and that was okay. Eventually I just found a great sweet spot. I know everyone's different when it comes to that... even things like feet position, etc.

Also, Suicide Grip FTW.


I do, it really seems to help prevent any recurring right shoulder problems. I believe rear delt raises, y raises and even shrugs helped my right shoulder immensely, pain free now.


Wow.... Shrugged shoulders? This goes against everything i have ever read. I will definitely have to give this a try tonight. I have always had my shoulders back and down, but that position does seem to bother me a bit


still confused.... shrugged shoulders like doing dumbbell shrugs with retracting the shoulder blades and trying to pull the bar apart? So instead of retracted back and down do it shrugging up and back?


back and slightly up instead of back and slightly down.


Got it. Gotta try this sometime.


Ya it didnt make a whole lot of sense to me before i tried it, I just thought I would give it a shot and it worked out well.


Shoulder blades retracted and kept back tight throughout the lift will protect shoulders from injury and reduce the range of motion allowing heavier weights to be used.