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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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