T Nation

'Pull The Bar Apart'


Does this mean:
A) Pretend to rotate your palms inward so they face each other


B) Pretend to move your hands away from each other towrds the plates



Thanks for the clarification


Do both. They will both help tighten your back.


More importantly, it helps with tricep activation.


It means option B. Pulling the bar apart + retracting the shoulder blades (as if you are doing a band pull-apart) will do wonders for you.

When I bench this is my set-up:

Arched back.
Feet way back so I'm on the balls of my feet (butt still on bench).
Retracted shoulder blades, tight lats, pull bar out from rack.
Big breath in belly and descend, while pushing down with heels.
Pull bar apart throughout.
Bar should move straight down.


Many think of it as bending the ends of the bar towards your feet.


I think of that as "breaking the bar" not "pulling the bar apart".


Do you guys only do this on the descent or on the ascent as well? When I tried doing this on the ascent/concentric portion of the life, it felt I couldn't get my back and chest into it. When I focus on pushing my elbows in (or pushing in with my hands, rather than pulling apart), I got my chest and back into it much more.

Admittedly, my bench absolutely sucks, so it's the lift I really need help with the most. I'd like to hear your thoughts.


Squatz, good question. I know when I do it, I really just focus on pulling the bar apart on the descend. When I do the concentric portion, I don't really think about anything except throwing that sucker up there as fast as I can without letting my back come off the bench.


I push the weight back toward my head a little and flare my elbows sometime around the midpoint. I also shrug my shoulders towards my ears and down onto the bench and keep them there both ascent and descent. I get a ton of leg, back, lat, and chest drive this way on the bottom which helps me get past my sticking point in the middle.


Related to this, what is meant when someone says that you should spread the floor when you squat?


Spreading the floor is a cue used to activate the hip musculature.


Yeah, spread the floor with the sides of your feet/heels. Should tighten up the hip area, especially the glute med/min.