T Nation

Bench Technique Help

Hey guys. I just started flat benching again…

I’m using the westside technique of benching.

Here is a question for you all:

If I am keeping my shoulder blades pulled back, when pressing up and spreading my lats, how can I prevent my shoulder blades from pulling apart? I am finding that doing the lat spread/flex when press up is making my shoulder blades pull apart.

Thanks,

EoN

It sounds like you pull your shoulder blades together at the top and then get your lats tight at the bottom of the bench. You need to be set up and tight (air pulled into belly and lats flared with shoulder blades together) before you put your hands on the bar. Then unrack and go. I started setting up this way a while ago instead of trying to get set up with my hands on the bar and it has worked very well. Make sure you are pulling the bar apart too. If your having trouble with that wrap a mini band around your wrists. That will force you to stay tight. Good luck

hey your a big guy and i have seen your pics…but i would gurantee you need a bigger upper back if you plan to bench big…it dosent matter how tight your pull your shoulder blades together if you get flatend out by top range weights…it happens to all of us when we start trying to bench maximal weights…any time i get above 480 or so my upper back isnt big enough and i flaten out…but i work 4 times a week to bring my upper back up to size…IT CAN NEVER BE BIG ENOUGH…some things that have helped with my upper back size…tons and tons of lat pull downs for medium to high reps 10x10 of lat pull downs with diffirent handles twice a week really helped me…the reason i liek lat pull downs for bench pressing over pull ups is because there a lot less taxing on the body and you can do a ton of volume with out it making you sore or fatigued before your session…heavy heavy rear delt fly for 4-8reps…d-bell cleans for 4-6 reps…and also work your upper back BEFORE AND AFTER your work outs…try to hit up 5 sets of upper back work at low intensity before your sessiona nd then do 5 sets heavier after your session…bm