T Nation

Bench Form Critique


I've always had a pretty shitty ability to bench; any insight into how I can improve would be appreciated.

225 x 3,3,3,2,2,2,2,2,2,2


arch looks good, but it doesn't look like you are pulling your shoulder blades together (sometimes referred to as a "lateral arch") and draw your shoulders back.

It also looks like you stall about 1/2 way up...might want to try bringing the bar back over your face a little more right around that point in the lift and maybe roll your elbows out a little (untuck your elbows) to help activate the tris for a strong lockout.

More speed is always a good thing too. It looks like you are staying tight on the way down, but really explode off your chest. I think of it as loading a spring and then punch the weight thru the ceiling.


It doesn't look like you tuck your elbows all that much, but maybe that is just the angle.

You also seemed generally loose before unracking the bar. I think setting up off the bench and then really working yourself back into an arch would help with your stability. Also, focus on driving your upping back straight down into the bench pad to further increase your stability; you might already be doing this but it is a good reminder.

Once your technique is solid (and it really isn't necessarily bad right now) try to identify your weakness and attack it. Maybe it is a certain point in the range of motion or maybe it is a muscular weakness that is holding you back. I recently figured out that my rotator cuffs are weak and really give out before my main movers (triceps, pecs), so I think that removing that weakness will show me how strong my main muscles really are.


I'd say do some 4 board presses. That would have you pressing right off of where you stall. Maybe a 3 board to get right under it to blast through. Your arch looks like a cat taking a shit...a good thing.. I'd tuck the elbows a bit more and touch the bar at the highest spot. this will be lower sternum. Your lowering the bar about 2 maybe 3 inches lower than you have to. Might feel weird at first but give it a shot and see what happens.


I'm not asking this to be a smart ass or be a dick but do you think that a small muscle such as a rotator cuff is holding back your bench to an appreciable amount? I mean in my mind that would be like blaming my calf strength on my shitty deadlift. Just saying..


this is entirely possible. there have been guys who put a good 20-30lbs on the deadlift after training calves a few times.


You have zero leg drive. And just curious, why do you do 3x3, then 7x2?


I think you missed my point. Usually one blames a larger muscle group for their bench press woes not something like rotator cuff.


You have to be careful how low you touch depending on what fed you compete in. I find it harder to touch real low raw as opposed to in a shirt. I would recommend floor presses over board presses for the raw bencher...but nothing says you cant do both. oh and speed is a good thing.