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Bigger Bench Arch Hurt My Back

I’ve recently been having coaching for powerlifting and my technique was adjusted so that my arch was bigger, my feet were far further behind me, meaning I was very very solid and tight. All fairly good.

On Sunday, I did deadlifts, followed by bench press.

For the last 3 days my lower back has been in agony. I am taking Ibuprofen for it, both for the pain and also as it’s probably inflammation on the muscle and just needs to rest. Driving has been really hard as I get shooting pains down my lower back.

Also bear in mind though that this is only my second time with this new technique.

Having done some online research, I have found credible articles stating that often a big arch does lead to lower back pain. I also found opinions from credible people saying that often the arch is TOO BIG and that just leads to back issues.

I will obviously discuss that with my coach and I’m sure he will take that into account. It could be that yes, my back can’t handle this, or that it just needs time to adjust. It’s just the discomfort is really bad at the minute.

Has anyone else encountered this issue?


I’m going through that exact issue right now. I can’t underline this enough stop benching with that arch now. You need to make sure your back mobility is enough for that bigger arch before you start utilizing it. I did that same mistake and annihilated some personal bench records and now I’m completely unable to squat, deadlift or bench with even my regular arch.

Any kind of modifications done to exercise techniques you have been using for a while have to be gradual. If you want to squat sumo instead of a narrow stance or start benching with a bigger arch or a wider grip, you don’t just jump into what you want to do, you ease into it. Back mobility exercises and gradually building your arch bigger are your friends here.

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Yup. Same here. Overarching your back makes it less strong too. I now bench with a much lower arch.

Everyone has their own maximum arch they can maintain without causing pain. That said - maybe it’s just because you deadlifted THEN benched on the same day.

Videos or photos of your setup could help see too.

Yep. Two days after trying a bigger arch on my bench, my back twinged and I’m screwed. Haven’t squatted or deadlifted in two months. A week ofDeFranco’s Limber 11 has almost sorted it.

I’ve never seen the point outside of smaller range of motion. I bench flat back pretty much with a very slight arch to engage Lats and what not. I just don’t find the big arch comfortable at all. My current max is 405 and I feel unstable with an arch and fear something going very wrong if I did try it at that weight lol. The few times I have tried it I get a cramp in my hip so who knows, my set up for the arch probably sucks.

I’m totally with everyone in here. Personally, I don’t do much of an arch unless I’m peaking the lift. And I gradually work into it over a few weeks.

One thing I don’t see mentioned is the use of a lifting belt. I like mine set real low. It helps me a lot.

Thanks everyone,

It may be because I deadlifted and then benched. I don’t usually do that but see lots of programs where you squat, then bench, or deadlift then bunch so thought I’d try it.

Also today, my coach and a few of us are doing a deadlift/bench session so I wanted to practice. I will tell him the issues I’ve had and maybe he will recommend I adjust my arch, and maybe make it less severe.

I don’t and never have worn a belt while benching. I don’t really want to at this stage as I’m pretty new to powerlifting and don’t want to become reliant on it. I wear my belt for squats/deadlifts when I get to around 80% of my max.

Don’t confuse push pull days with bench/deads I like giving the main lifts their own days