T Nation

Bench Pressing Without an Arch

i bench with an arch, but i started wondering- is there any benefit of bench pressing without one?
my guess is to ‘isolate’ the pectorals

Arching and pulling your shoulder blades down and back puts you in a better position to push big weight. I’m not aware of any advantage to benching with a flat back. There are other exercises for isolating pecs.

[quote]kickureface wrote:
i bench with an arch, but i started wondering- is there any benefit of bench pressing without one?
my guess is to ‘isolate’ the pectorals[/quote]

Increased range of motion for all muscles involved, not just the pecs.

arch-less pressing is somewhat of a variation of the standard PL movement ; so why not include it in an ME/westside type rotation ?

are you asking a question or are you suggesting it to me?

[quote]kickureface wrote:
are you asking a question or are you suggesting it to me?[/quote]

bringing up something to consider I guess . it kinda popped into my head as I read the thread .

as in the advantage in doing them could be that they’re slightly different than the standard high-arch press . change can be good .

to me , they’re much harder , and seem to stress the shoulders .

Keep in mind that without an arch, your scapulae are going to be more prone to anterior rotation due to the extra ROM. So you’re going to have to focus on keeping those shoulders down, back, and TIGHT.

The arch does put added stress on your back, mine always cramps up when I try to arch too much although I am not very flexible. Some might say that pressing with a flatter back is “more functional” although I am not a huge fan of that term, but for example on a football field a flat back bench form is more mimiced (although not perfectly mimiced) than is a super arched bench press form.

Basically if someone is not involved in PL I would not tell them to excessively arch their lower back.