T Nation

Bench Press Form Critique


I was wondering if someone could cast an eye over my bench form. I believe a lot of the reason I suck at benching is technique based (best raw bench is 275 @ 202 and best shirted is 308 in Single Ply at 196). I've been watching as many technique vids as possible and the EFS Exercise Index DVD.

I was deloading this week on 5/3/1, so instead of pressing the 'deload' weights I used a light weight to try and dial in my form some. In the video posted I know I lose my arch in the last set. There is another vid on my YouTube channel from the meet I did, that shows how bad my form was previously, even though I got the weight.


Looks like a really tight form to me. The only thing I've remark is that you seems to take your big air in chest instead of belly. Breathing with belly instead of chest will make it easier to keep the weight stable (For the simple reason that they will move much less from the movement during breathing).

Also, a video of your 3-5-8 rep max would have been better to really see your form weakness under heavier load and higher reps.

I am not by any means a pro bencher, that's just my 2-cent.


You tuck your elbows too much, in single ply shirts you need to keep the elbows out abit and lower to just below the nipples.


You're setting up way too far from the racks. Not sure if you do this all the time or if it was just for the video.


I'm moving into a DP shirt as of my next meet cycle. Does this still apply?

I'll try and get set up a bit closer to the racks and grab some footage of a heavier set on my next bench session.


No your tuck is fine for your raw bench I think, and you want to tuck even harder in a double ply shirt.


I need some form critique as well. (will have video when friend gets around to sending it to me) But basically the problem is i tried to get my back as tight as possible and my back seized up on the 3rd rep. (5RM trying to get at least 6-7) I managed to tie my record at 5 after losing my arch on the third rep so i know the strength to beat my PR is there just a form issue. Any ideas why my back could seize up like that?


Back seized up on 3rd rep. Tried to fix it after 4th lost all tightness and focus and tied my PR. Any ideas what went wrong?


^^ This. The less you have to move it out of the rack the better. Another big thing is keeping your entire back tight, not just your upper back but your lats and mid back too.

For the bottom vid, make sure you're driving your heels towards the floor to generate leg drive and using a belt helps a lot with the back cramps I get them bad too if I dont use a belt.

Bench form was the hardest for me to learn, theres just so many things to think about while setting up and pressing. Just try to build on it one thing at a time


No in double ply you will have struggle touching and elbow tucking allows one to touch easier, plus in double ply feds you are allowed to lower to the belly so the elbows tucked style has a lot of merit for that lifter.
If you watch Belyaev, Wegiera and other top ipf benchers they tend to tuck their elbows less. Personally I bench 300lbs raw and 440lbs in a single ply super kat at 90kg bw, and I find i create more tension in the chest plate thus more pop off the chest when i tuck my elbows less.