T Nation

Bench Press Arch

Whatever your opinion of it the arch is part of powerlifting and IMO worth improving as much as any other aspect of technique in the big three. While arches like Sean Noriega’s attract haters like flies to shit I see many lifters leave lb/kg on the platform by not attempting a higher/tighter arch.

For the first time, over this past training block, I’ve been actively trying to improve my bench arch. Lumbar and Thoracic spine extension, lower and upper Cervical flexion and hip flexion were targeted. Stuff like:

  • Stretches e.g. Cat-Cow, Cobra Stretch, Laying on your back off the edge of something etc.

  • Laying on something placed under my arch

  • Full Back Bridging

  • Simply lying down and practicing the technique of arching

Measuring my arch now vs before there’s been an approximate 10cm increase so far in arch height in relation to the bench/floor. Depends on your limb lengths but 10cm cut off of the ROM even with really long bench strokes like 100cm is a significant decrease in work done.

What kind of arch do you use on competition bench? Is it different in training?

If you’re a big archer how’d you get there? Technique? Stretching? Nothing done specifically to improve the arch?

What other strategies are there to increase the bench press arch

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Add a shirt, a judge to add random pause periods and this covers 90% of the issues with powerlifting.

Lel. Ur a hater brah.

You’re just envious of my 1 inch ROM beer belly arch multi ply PRs.

It’s more that when you try introduce someone to it, they say “that’s not a bench press” or call the lifter a cheat then stop paying attention

I guess I’m what you’d call a moderate archer. My focus is on getting my shoulders locked in really tight and my sternum as high as possible. Mostly I do that by mimicking my upper back and shoulder setup for any pressing where my back is supported. I’ve never had much of an issue arching my lower back. I did initially spend some time stretching it over the bar and doing lower back stretches but I haven’t needesd to for a long time now.

Do you even powerlift mane? Should be DQed for not arching enough.

Any particular reason you don’t try to maximise the arch?

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I found it isn’t worth the effort. I used to try to arch as much as possible and use a wide grip. Didn’t do much for me, and it made my setup lengthy and if my lower back was tight it sucked. When I moved my grip in and and focused more on being tight, everything staryed moving in the right direction. Then when it finally clicked that pressure should just be in traps and feet with butt just kissing the bench things really started coming together.

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Fair enough. What’s less ROM if everything else gets messed up.

Sounds like a sex thing tbh

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Oh, it is indeed. When I get it right everything flies.

I swear half of the female lifters on IG just try to get a bigger arch rather than working on technique or getting stronger.

Boob jobs cut range of motion too

1 inch is all that’s needed.

Dat’s my ROM lel.

When you ask the powerlifter how high his arch is:

Your scapula should stay retracted and depressed, and your back should be slightly arched. I don’t think it’s that important. Most 600+ lb benchers don’t have exaggerated arches.

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I’ll take your word for it mane. Ain’t nobody got time to go thru dis list.