T Nation

Bench Press Path

ok, im stupid. do you intentionally push bar in arc??? to lockout…raw…OR allow bar to go wherever???thanks

Hey man, you’re not dumb, asking questions like that makes you smart.

I’m not a crazy bencher, but the bar should definitely not go wherever.

I try to press the bar in a straight line up and down, if I get into trouble, I press the bar towards my face to help my lockout, it’s a habit I got from benching in a shirt.

But a straight bar path is generally best.

Most of the time, you’ll be taught to bench in a straight path, to reduce ROM. However, a lot of people naturally gravitate back towards the face, and I think this is okay, too; the ROM difference just isn’t enough, and your natural leverages work better this way. I would say bench with a natural bar path. That is, don’t purposefully keep it straight or in an arc. As long as the bar remains in line with your wrists and elbows, you should be fine.

As long as you focus on slightly tucking the elbows on the descent, keeping your wrists straight, and flare them slightly on the way up, you’ll find that the bar path is pretty consistent.