T Nation

Bench Form Check

After doing CGBP to help my ohp, I’m back to normal benching. I failed 255 which shouldn’t have been that hard. I realized my technique might need some refining. Took a few videos from different angles. I use the belt to help bracing and not overextend my lumbar spine, it seems to help a little, only use it on top sets. I’m open to suggestions.



I would tuck my elbows in a good bit more. This way, you’re shoulder is more externally rotated and puts you in a safer position. Instead of your upper arms almost making a T, have them make an arrow /. Maybe not necessarily 45 degrees or even less like a shirted bencher, but much more so in that direction than you have now.

You may find your #'s drop off initially, but I bet after just a couple to a few sessions, you’ll be back on track on the gain train.

The biggest thing that I see is that you seem kind of loose throughout the movement, you need to learn to generate full body tension. My own bench has been stuck for a while and only after figuring this out have I started to see some small gains again. Everything needs to be tight from head to toe, and you can look at the descent as if you were compressing springs and increasing tension the bar comes down. When the bar touches your chest (pause or t&g, same thing) you explosively reverse the movement.

If you want to increase you arch, the main thing is improving thoracic mobility. This can improve your squat technique as well. What you do is put a foam roller on the floor and lay on it so that it is perpendicular to the length of your body. Starting around your traps, try to extend/hypertextend your thoracic spine. Not to the point of severe pain or injury, but it will definitely be uncomfortable. You can put your hands behind your head while you do this as well. Go back and forth from extension to neutral and gradually move down your back and then back up, paying extra attention to any spots that feel particularly tight. Just don’t do this on you lumbar spine or neck, and I would also advise doing it the day before a non-training day because you could feel a bit sore and it can affect your lifts.


About tucking elbows, watch this:


Fletch: Good idea. I feel a bit of strain on the tendons, so it might be a good idea. I will work on tucking them a little more, the dropped of numbers is fine as long as they rise higher in the future. :wink:

Chris: Good remark. I watched some videos on leg drive, it helped, but apparently not enough. I’ll make a bigger effort on tightness. Unracking is the thing that seems to make me lose tension. As for the foam roller, I do the exact thing you described. It helps a lot, and my back cracks and pops like crazy, but it feels so much better. I usually do it before bench/ohp, do you think it should be done in another time? Thank you for the video, very useful.

I have one more question. I was wondering if it’s a bad idea to add in BTN Push Press (Snatch grip) as assistance afterwards? I love that movement, it feels great and seems to have carry-over to my other pressing movement. The only thing is that my shoulders obviously get tight from the benching, so it should ruin mobility in the overhead position, maybe I could simply warm up with light strict BTN press and then on to PP?