5 KEYS TO IMPROVING YOUR BENCH


5 KEYS TO IMPROVING YOUR BENCH


 

Here are some cues that can help you improve your benchpress!

1) Wrists are in a neutral position stacked on top of the forearms. – common error = wrists back. Wrists back is a weaker position, it can also slow down the bar speed off of your chest because the position of the wrist can change to neutral when the weight isn’t entirely on the wrists in your bottom position.
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(2) Shoulders are pulled back and down. This position is the safest position for your shoulders when benching.
- common error = refusing a lift off. Some people get into the perfect position but refuse a lift off from someone else. When you lift the bar off yourself you are forced to remove your shoulders from that locked, back and down position.
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(3) Arch allows you to get into the safest shoulder position. It also creates an optimal position for leg drive. – Common errors = (a) thinking arching is cheating… don’t be that person, it’s a matter of safety, longevity in the sport and lifting the most weight. (b) Overarching – this is something only you can decide, there is no standard rule but if its comfortable to you, you’re not overarching, only arch less if you’re experiencing discomfort.
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(4) Bar Path is UP and BACK. We want a slow, controlled descent where the bar lands on your nipple line. When you drive up the movement should be diagonal, up and back so your top position is wrists over elbows over shoulders.
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(5) Leg drive starts the upward movement. IT ALL STARTS FROM THE FLOOR, remember that. Drive diagonally up and back with your legs and body. Use the momentum you create to drive that bar off of your chest as aggressively as possible. Bench is a whole body movement and that’s why it’s included in the sport of powerlifting.

 

Written by Coach Hayden Bowe

SHOULD YOU BE SQUATTING WITH LIFTING SHOES?

SHOULD YOU BE SQUATTING WITH LIFTING SHOES?

 

Here’s an easy test to find out. The goal is to determine (1) if you have mobility limitations and (2) where those limitations are coming from.

Part A – do a squat in bare feet. Stand so the side of your body is facing a mirror. Put your hands either out in front of you or cross your arms so your hands are touching opposite shoulders.

Perform a squat where hip-crease reaches just below parallel. If you can only reach below parallel by flexing your lower back i.e. a butt wink OR you can’t reach depth at all consider “Part A” = Failed.

Part B – Now perform the same test with a 3 inch platform under your heels. Again, buttwink or inability to reach depth = a failed test.

HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR RESULTS:

Fail + Fail = limited hip mobility. A lifting shoe will not provide immediate help.
Fail + Pass = limited ankle mobility. Weightlifting shoes will provide immediate help with your form. It doesn’t mean, neglect ankle mobility and just get lifting shoes, but it is a good indicator that an elevated heel will help.
Pass + Pass = do whatever feels best for you, you’re not limited by lower body mobility while trying to achieve depth.
Pass + Fail = should not occur.
Written by Coach @hayden.bowe