2 Quick Bench Press Fixes
Full disclosure: I hate bench pressing. Not because I think it’s dangerous or anything. I’m just no good at at. By that token I also hate, in no particular order:
1. Salsa dancing
2. Driving stick shift
4. Talking about feelings
Well, maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit. My best bench press is 315 lbs (at a bodyweight that hovers around 200 lbs), and while I recognize that that number won’t turn any heads at a local powerlifting meet, it’s not something to shrug off. It’s still 1.5x bodyweight, which for many guys is more than enough and represents a strength marker that’s above average. Especially considering it’s a raw lift and my anthropometry (leverages).
I.e., I have very long arms.
Funnily enough, I remember a while back I wrote an article on T-Nation where I was discussing bench technique (much like the video below) and one guy, after reading in the first paragraph what my max bench press was, made a comment that he was done reading after that.
“Why would I take advice from a guy who only has a 315 lb bench press?” he stated.
To which I shot back, “Well, my internet max is like 455. I obviously know what I’m talking about.”
Listen, I’ll be the first to admit I’ll never break any bench pressing records. But I know how to coach, and I know how to coach the bench press.
Below is a video I shot a few months ago that for some reason I completely forgot about. I happened to come across it this morning and figured it would be a nice thing to share with the masses.
Yeah, you’re welcome…..;o)
In it I discuss two common bench pressing mistakes that I see a lot of trainees make and how to address/fix them – especially if pressing hurts your shoulder(s).
Zero points awarded to me for the lame attempt at a beard.
Note: this IS NOT an all-points tutorial on bench pressing. I only wanted to highlight these two common mistakes. So, to the guy giving my flak for not saying anything about leg drive. Relax. Go watch a Dave Tate video.
For some more insight on how you can make bench pressing a little more “shoulder friendly” check out THIS article from a few months ago discussing five other strategies you can implement today.
Comments for This Entry
Ben GarnerMy shoulder hurts when I bench. I found the advice in this T-nation article to be very helpful: http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/2257 When I decline the bench just a little as described in the article, my shoulder feels much stronger and more stable. What are your thoughts on this?
July 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
TonyGentilcoreYep, that's something I outlined in the article I linked to at the end of this post. Decline bench limits the amount of shoulder flexion involved and helps keep guys out of the "danger zone."
August 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
SalWhat happens when you lose your groove, or pause too long at the touch and go point, and get pinned by the bar in front of your friend? what-had-happened?
July 31, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
Patrick StrietOne tip I got from smitty diesel was to perform a slight "elbow correction" before lowering. By slightly externally rotating at the shoulder, the elbows will rotate in just a bit and when you descend, your arms end up in the perfect position relative to the torso. Another tip I just got from your own Greg Robbins was to act like you are performing a leg extension while benching. I never "got" the concept of leg drive and tension, but this tip finally allowed me to get it right.
July 31, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
TonyGentilcoreCan't go wrong with either of the two suggestions. Thanks for sharing Patrick! The one from Greg is one that I've been using as well, to great effect.
August 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
JodyMy low back can't tolerate the arching thing. What's up with that?
August 2, 2014 at 5:42 am |
TonyGentilcoreYou're probably just a bit more extension intolerant. The arching of the back isn't mandatory. If it hurts, don't do it. Benching with a flatter back is fine.
August 2, 2014 at 6:08 am |
August 3, 2014 at 7:23 am |
TonyGentilcoreGlad to help.
August 4, 2014 at 3:32 pm |