T Nation

Hyperextending Thoracic for Mechanical Advantage

Hello T-Nation,

Are there any serious risks of injury to the spine when arching the back like:

Gymnasts do back bends all the time without major injuries to the spine, is this situation any different?


He’s a NINJA man, what do you expect…

and NO there is very little chance for lower back injury from benching. All the weight is on the upper back where it belongs and the arch eliminates / reduce shoulder rotation which in the long run prevents / reduces shoulder issues from benching.It’s a win-win…do it.

I sometimes get cramps in my back from arching as hard as I can when benching. I think that’s just because I don’t bench often though. The only time I’ve heard of someone getting a back injury from benching is when someone is benching 700 in a suit and it falls on top of them.

The one thing I didn’t like about that video is how far our he had his toes pointed. Sure, you get a little more arch like that, but you lose a lot of leg drive. The trade off isn’t worth it.

It is possible for arching to be problematic, especially if you’ve had an extension based back injury (any spondy) in the past but for most of the population it’s a non issue. Just work up to it slowly and don’t try to arch over a full foam roller right off the bat (guilty).

I have slightly overextended my lower back from benching. A belt and focusing on keeping my hips and lumbar spine in alignment has prevented this from happening again.

i was just wondering just how much does this help for raw benching because i keep seeing vids of giant raw benchers benching and they have little arch not to mention a close grip.