Shrugged Bench Press Set-Up

Hey CT,

In two of the T-Nation videos, 6 weeks to a superhero bench and the general bench press technique video, you explained why the traps should be shrugged for raw benchers.

Is there any article or video where you elaborate more on how to get into this position? Is it simply shrugging up, or do you pull your shoulder blades together and back, and then shrug up? Are the upper traps supposed to be the main point of contact or the whole upper back? And are there any specific exercises to groove the technique for this?

If CT has elaborated on this anywhere else, would someone please post it for me in here so he doesn’t have to repeat himself?


I have recently viewed the same video, and have used shrugged shoulders twice now.
Seems much more stable, stronger for me and low to no pain in bum shoulder that down and back had me miserable.

CT, discusses a little more here 'Shrugging' During the Bench Press - Christian Thibaudeau Coaching - Forums - T Nation

Thanks for posting that link that helps a lot! Appreciate it!

CT, do you think shrugging your traps would be useful doing pec fly machine? same principle?

i again tried shrugging my traps while doing pec fly machine and noticed that it had a smoother feel and keep me tight… just an fyi

what do you think CT?

here was an article stating the opposite of shrugging the traps

“During the bench press you have to pull the shoulder blades down and back to create a solid base. If this fails to happen, chances are you won’t press in a straight line.”

This has been discussed in numerous articles, one stating this “because a straight line is the shortest path”, and others stating a more of a j-pattern barpath, which translates more to using different muscle domination through out the lift.

Bottom point is, find what works for you, which tecnique you are stronger with and master that.
I would imagine that this straightline-technique comes more from geared powerlifting peers.

cool thanks, i am finding the shrugged up a little ‘smoother’ on my shoulder joints - i played college baseball and had horrible throwing mechanics and a left torn rotator cuff so any little bit with form helps

totally, agree - stick with what works