How can I improve my arch?
What stretches should I do? How would the pvc pipe help?
you put it under you back while you do your benching. Start from pipe of 2-3 inches and as your arch increases, gradually put under bigger pipe. you can go upto 6 inch pipe.
you can start with folded towel.
hope it helps,
add some stretches
Using a PVC pipe is what Ryan Kennelly suggested to me.
Begin with a smaller circumferance and gradually increase by using larger piping. You'd place a 3-inch PVC piping under the small of your back. And instead of just benching right away, roll back and forth on the pipe. This will help loosen the lumbar area and that will help you with creating a better arch.
I'd listen to Ryan. He benched 800lbs at a weight of 295.
He's right. This kid at my gym uses about a 7-10 inch pipe under his back. He has a wicked arch.
needless to say, he has like a 400+ bench at like 17 years old.
Back when I was benching competitively, I used a tip from an old Powerlifing magazine. Lie on the bench and grab the bar, then put your feet up on the bench and lift your buttocks as high as possible, rolling your upper body onto the uppermost part of your back. Now SLOWLY put one foot onto the floor, then the other, maintaining that high contact point on the bench. Lower your buttocks until they just barely graze the bench, and try to maintain that position for as long as possible.
It'll be uncomfortable at first, but after a while you should be able to do it while benching light weight. Gradually increase the bench weight until you're comfortable with this "high arch" position.
I incorporated this stretch after my regular bench workout at first (so my back wouldn't be so tight it'd curtail my workout). Eventually, though, it became the position I used for all flat benching.