T Nation

Question About Bench Set Up


I've noticed that when I bench the bar always looks crooked and is uneven on the rack. I always check to make sure I'm centeef on thr bench, but the bar always ends up crooked and all the way over to the left when i set up grip. Is this purely a positioning issue or could there be another issue? Thanks in advance for any help.


Explain better please

Are you saying that when you finish your set and put the bar back on the rack that it is off center?

If that's the case it's not necessarily a problem. It could be but the only way to see if you form is that far off is with video.

Explain the 'crooked bar' part.


My roommate, who has recently started lifting, I think, was having the same problem. We've mostly got it covered, but what I think it comes down to is one of these things,

1.) One of your shoulders isn't as tightly tucked as the others. This can mean that one of your shoulders is rounding forward, meaning one side of your body is out of position which means one of your arms appears to be pushing it at a "higher" spot than the other side.


2.) You're just flat-out not pressing the bar evenly between both of your arms.

If you have a cell phone, it'd be very wise to snag a video of it so you can watch for yourself, if not load it up onto here.


It doesn't matter if the bar is even on the pins if your hands aren't around the same distance apart. Change the width of your grip then if you're positive that the bar is even.

So if the bar is leaning to the left, move the right hand farther out.


You look at the hook on the right when you rack the bar, don't you?


Sorry, if I didn't explain well. In regards to the bar, there are two things that are bothering me.
1. When I'm set up and about ready to lift off, the knob on the right side of the bar is pressed all the way against the hook/pin whereas the left one is pressed out. I don't think this is a positioning issue, because I've tried checking and I grip the bar on the same part of the bar with the same fingers.

  1. Looking up at the bar when I'm right under it the left side of the bar seems to be higher (towards my head) than the right side of the bar despite the bar being positioned on the same place on the pins/hooks.

I will try to put up a video as soon as I can. Thanks for all the responses.


I'm not completely sure because I've never paid attention to it, but I probably do. Could this be causing some of these issues?


This is probably one of those things that could be solved with a little observation from yourself.


Of course. This is the exact reason you're not supposed to look at the bar or the plates when pressing. It throws the bar off course because your body responds to the head movement. Much like looking out the passenger-side window when driving and swerving as a result.

If this is what is causing the bar to be over to one side, don't worry about it. You're better off looking and making sure you get it in the hooks.


This could be just an optical illusion caused by the ceiling or something else in your field of vision.


That might explain why the bar is off center when I rack it, but the thing is that it's also off center when I set up.


Im almost positive SSC has your problem figured out.

Swtich to dumbells for a few workouts and see if you have any major imbalances. Its possible one of your pecs/delts is stronger (very likely actually depending on how new you are to this).

If its not a muscle imbalance its probably a postural thing.

The video will help. Take one with the barbell (add weight to the bar because just the bar is not heavy enough to force proper form) and take a vid with dumbells (again not the lightest ones but ones you can press easily for 8-10 reps)


Well, unless you shift the damn thing over, it's going to be in exactly the same spot where you put it down after the last set!

The same thing happens to me. When I'm setting up, I center the bar and rotate it forward until it's at the front of the hooks, then set my body and begin the lift. I just worked it into my setup.


I might want to take a vid of my form too, just as a precaution. What would be the best angle to shoot it from to see if one shoulder is more tucked than the other? Straight down from the top of the rack?


Umm Id say straight on from either the front or the back. I dont know if the camera will be able to pick up the small change in depth ifyou shoot it from overhead. I really have no idea though. Take a few and see what comes out best.