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The Sweet Spot When Benching


Sorry if this is really dumb question, but here it goes. I bench raw, with a thumbless grip, and I have very long arms. The 'touch spot' (the area of my body that the bar touches when benching) that works well for me is usually the tip top of my upper abs/lowest part of my chest. It seems lately, whenever I miss a rep, it's because I'm coming down, and touching about an inch or two too high on my chest when lowering the bar.

Obviously, concentrating on hitting that sweet spot helps, but it seems to be a consistent issue, especially as weight gets heavier. Is this a common issue, that may be pointing to weakness somewhere else?? Or is it simply a matter of practicing technique over a long enough period where hitting the correct spot is natural?? Thanks in advance for any replies.


Focus on engaging the lats, keeping them tight throughout the eccentric phase, and "rowing" the bar to your chest.


This question is not dumb at all. I think Dave Tate or Wendler wrote an article on elitefts about this. Something about grabbing an empty bar benching and moving the bar up and down the chest and also varying the grip width until you find the groove.

I have a definite bench groove and when I am able to hit that spot bang on, I feel much stronger. I find it takes practice to hit that spot just right everytime.



if you are really rowing the weight down and flexing the lats hard, the bar path should stay pretty consistant. typically innconsistant bar paths comes from just lowering the weight.


Thanks guys. I've heard the term 'rowing the bar to the chest', and I've never really understood it. I'm focusing hard pushing my upper back into the bench, and utilizing leg drive to get a solid base, but 'rowing the bar' is something I can't seem to visualize.

Could someone explain this better for me, or maybe point me in the right direction on an article/video that discusses it? I've watched Tate's So You Think You Can Bench vids, and don't recall him explaining that particular cue.


x2 the lats will guide the bar to the right spot


Replicate a rowing motion right now. Pick your grip and then slowly row this imaginary bar to your body. You should be getting tighter and tighter along your upper back and lats and then, when your chest, let your lats pop like a rubberband pushing the bar away. Practice that and remember that feeling. Sometimes when I'm pushing a shopping cart, I'll row it to my body and then let it spring away from me. The spring leads the drive.


Does the shopping cart then end up going and running over other shoppers?


Are you guys talking about 'rowing the weight down' all raw benchers?


Yes. Shirted benchers have to actively pull the bar down, but raw benchers still need to simulate the movement, engage our lats, and make sure that the bar comes down properly. Gravity is the worst thing to let take over the bar when lowering it. It needs to be active in some way or form.


No, I don't let go of it. LOL


x2 passively lowering the bar is one of the worst things you can do


To practice the above, I've done controlled cable rows and bodyweight rows to the same exact spot that the bb for bench press touches and squeeze really hard at that point. Also, paused benches with an emphasis on really keeping the back tight have helped teach me to get that pop.