T Nation

Ways to Improve Arch


Any tips on how to arch my back more on the bench?


Retract your shoulder blades quite hard, this will naturally make your back arch.


[quote]BigMbot wrote:
Any tips on how to arch my back more on the bench?[/quote]

  1. Get your legs further underneath you.
  2. Have someone put a cylinder round pipe underneath your back.
  3. Increase your lower back & hip flexibility.




Read this:


Practice on every set in every workout!


Do you have a flatback?


[quote]weib wrote:
Do you have a flatback?[/quote]



I start my setup by straddling the bench about 1/2 up and doing a backbend over to grab the bar with my left hand. I lower myself to the bench from there, and push against the bar to really set my back deep and tight into the bench.


It helps me to hook my legs under pads/one of the bench legs and drive from there. Helps with the arch, and probably adds quite a bit to my bench, too! I’m probably not qualified to give out too much advice as I only just started benching over my BW a month ago, but who knows, it might help :slight_smile:

Edit: I also definitely, definitely second what rsg said.


Bump. Just because.

Anyone else have some insight as to ‘training the arch’?


You can start with a half foam roller under your lower back (just cut one in half), but treat this with care. I push pressed afterwards the first time I did this and got some damn scary hyperextension.


The foam idea is the best thing I have done for my bench.


2 i nch piece of pvc under low back. It works.


The way I made my arch better is by pusshing my lats in with the bench, then I put my feet in to where I can hardly set them flat without my bitt coming off the bench. when I arch I almost have to grunt to get in arch because I have gotten so much bigger. then I try to bring my ass to my head


When I get into bench position, I first lie down on the bench without doing anything in particular. Then I grab the bench at around shoulder height on both sides with my hands. From here, I push down against the floor with my legs so as to raise my butt of the bench, while keeping my traps firmly in place. From here, I sort of “walk” backwards with my legs, driving my (still airborn) butt closer to my traps and forcing up a good arch. This is where I actually build up some flexibility from workout to workout. The arch didn’t get good over night, but when I do it these days, It’s starting to look okay.

After that little stretching exercise, I place my feet firm on the ground(benchpressing on your toes or with your feet in contact with the bench in any way is not legal in any reputable federation in my country) as close to my core as possible, while still allowing me to place my butt on the bench. By now, I have the proper pressure on my traps and a really good and tight starting position.


If you really want to fast track your back’s ability to arch rather than just train the position there’s a couple of things you can do. Understand that this is not from a powerlifter’s point of view rather from someone with a flexible back.

First and foremost, bridging. Learn to do a gymnasts back bridge and a wrestlers back bridge (on head instead of hands) effectively and work out getting your feet closer to your hands/head and flat on the floor. Be sure to do these at home in a locked room so people don’t think you’re trying to join the circus. Just kidding
Also try this version of wall walking: stand facing away from a wall about 1m behind you. Reach back over your head until you find the wall and then walk your hands down it as far as you can or until you’re on the ground, then walk back up. Repeat. Anywhere up to 1.5m may also be a good place to start.

Lastly, look up Dr Ellington Darden’s article on the chest thrust pose and have a look at how he increased his back flexibility.
Hope this is at all helpful.


do you guys tend to push the balls of your feet into the ground, or your heels?




good deal, just making sure i was doin it right!