Help Me Fix My Bench Press Form

I’m trying to improve my bench press and after watching Dave Tate’s video, I was doing a lot of things wrong, and I think they were taking their toll on my shoulder’s health. Today was the first day I tried improving my form. I am trying to keep my upper back tight, my elbows in, and make the j motion instead of lifting straight up. I can’t tell from the vid if my elbows are going too low or not(Dave said not to go below the bench).

Also, he said when standing up, arms at your side, wherever your elbows line up on your stomach/chest, that is where the bar should hit. When I am standing my elbows are just below my belly button. Am I one of those rare cases where I have to hit higher up than my elbow? Also I notice it’s harder to keep the elbows in when you get near the end of your set when you struggle with the weight more. Here is a video:

Only you know what feels “right” for you.

I judge my form on 2 things, comfort (reps feel smooth and I don’t feel like I am going to get injured), and strength (position in which I can use the most weight possible), generally the most comfortable position will also be my strongest and then obviously a third piece to the equation is if you need to lift a certain way to make your lifts qualify for a meet etc…

Now some things seem to work well for most, such as what you described, tight back, nice arch, closer grip with tucked elbows etc.

If what you are doing in the vid is comfortable and allows you to be stronger than I’d say your form is good.

Now when it comes to bodybuilding, different form can and should be used on certain exercises that may leave you weaker than doing it another way, but instead, the focus is stressing a muscle in a particular fashion rather than using the most weight. Example, bench presses to the neck.

Well this way is somewhat comfortable, I think I just need to get used to keeping a tight back. Also I was just testing my form in the video, so I don’t know fully if I’m stronger or weaker yet but I would guess weaker with the changes I made.

Yeah learning a new technique sometimes does leave you a little weaker as you are adjusting, just give it some time, you’ll be better off in the long run.

[quote]illgixxer wrote:

Also, he said when standing up, arms at your side, wherever your elbows line up on your stomach/chest, that is where the bar should hit. When I am standing my elbows are just below my belly button. Am I one of those rare cases where I have to hit higher up than my elbow? Also I notice it’s harder to keep the elbows in when you get near the end of your set when you struggle with the weight more. Here is a video:

[/quote]

Damn you got some long ass arms, my elbow is a good few inches above my belly button. Look around, there are tips on how to bench with long arms.

Talk to MM, he knows his shit.

If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that at the top of the movement your elbows want to flare out? Thats fine, its tuck as you go down, flare as you go up.