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stik
06-18-2009, 01:33 PM
I am stretching to increase my arch. I have heard that a two inch PVC pipe under the back is useful to help one acclimate and would welcome any other ideas. Been stretching like a madman: lower back along with everything else. And I keep my shoulders back/down and pressed hard into the bench. I also practice driving with legs as well as whole body.

Any other ways of doing this?

Brian C
06-18-2009, 02:10 PM
PVC or foam rollers are both great ways. I started with a 2in, then a 4in, now a 6in pipe. Just work your way up in diameters. I will lay in front of the tv with it under me. Foam is more forgiven though.

Xellarz
06-18-2009, 02:35 PM
I think the pvc/foam is good - also just trying to arch every time you bench will work very well over time. I'd be careful about rolling the lower back though. I'm not neccessarily saying I wouldn't do it...but I'd definitely be careful - you don't really want too much mobility in the lower back.

mastermonster
06-19-2009, 12:58 AM
I use a football under my back while getting into a legal arch (butt and shoulders touching) on the bench and stay there for about 15 seconds. Then I do my 1st set of 135 while arched over it and then I put the ball up. I do this most bench workouts. One thing to remember, and the #1 reason I find that people can't get in a good arch; is not lack of flexibility as much as bad setup technique (body position). You will not get and / or maintain an arch during a press with any major weight if your feet are out in front of your hips. To create the 'rainbow' shape of the whole body (arch), the feet much be well back behind your hip position on the bench. You can do this either the metal melitia way by holding the bar underhand and swinging your lower body and hips past your feet which would already be planted (my preferred way), or by pushing your body away from the bar (less effcient for me). I'm 53 years old with some arthritis and stenosis in my lower spine and can still arch pretty comfortably over the football and keep pretty much that same arch while benching mostly due to body position on my setup, not from any great flexibility or mobility in the back. Once I finally get someone to grasp that and commit to learning to bench that way they are shocked to find how well they arch and how much they improved their stroke length. Some are just too 'hard headed' to give it a chance. They go to great lengths to tell me why it won't work for them?????? After a while I just let em' stay how they are and if they finally ask why everyone else is making good progress and they are not? I'll say, I already showed you why. Do you want to try it now? Granted it's not comfortable or very easy to transition to. But if you stick with it you'll usually see it was worth the discomfort and patience. I've had some guys who never stuck with it and they just kept pushing the bar 2 feet from touch to finish. Not everyone is coachable.

Definately improve your flexibility all you can with the pipe, roller, or a football eventually. But 1st get someone to film your setup and really break it down and honestly ask yourself if you are getting into a bio-mechanical position that will allow you to get your maximum arch. Hope this helps.

P.S. One other thing. Before I started benching with an arch in 2002 my bench stroke was about 15 inches. Not real bad. But now it is about 4 inches raw, and about 6 inches in a tight shirt. My best bench is about 250 lbs. more than in 2002. It's made a huge difference.

JasonLift
06-19-2009, 05:15 AM
I have always had a big arch in my bench and my only guess is in high school I wrestled and did alot of neck bridges. Guys at my gym sometimes use a foam mat rolled up and taped with duct tape.

MarcusWild
06-19-2009, 11:37 AM
For me, increasing my hip and shoulder flexibility has really helped. My arch isn't huge, but it's better than it's ever been.

stik
06-19-2009, 03:25 PM
By pushing away from the bar, do you mean planting your butt and rolling down the bench from there? Thank all of you for your input.

mastermonster
06-19-2009, 09:39 PM
By pushing away from the bar, do you mean planting your butt and rolling down the bench from there? Thank all of you for your input.

Yes, butt planted and the feet pulled back and planted behind the butt. Then push against the bar and work you shoulders closer and closer to your butt.

Brian C
06-20-2009, 04:06 PM
W
I use a football under my back while getting into a legal arch (butt and shoulders touching) on the bench and stay there for about 15 seconds. Then I do my 1st set of 135 while arched over it and then I put the ball up. I do this most bench workouts. One thing to remember, and the #1 reason I find that people can't get in a good arch; is not lack of flexibility as much as bad setup technique (body position). You will not get and / or maintain an arch during a press with any major weight if your feet are out in front of your hips. To create the 'rainbow' shape of the whole body (arch), the feet much be well back behind your hip position on the bench. You can do this either the metal melitia way by holding the bar underhand and swinging your lower body and hips past your feet which would already be planted (my preferred way), or by pushing your body away from the bar (less effcient for me). I'm 53 years old with some arthritis and stenosis in my lower spine and can still arch pretty comfortably over the football and keep pretty much that same arch while benching mostly due to body position on my setup, not from any great flexibility or mobility in the back. Once I finally get someone to grasp that and commit to learning to bench that way they are shocked to find how well they arch and how much they improved their stroke length. Some are just too 'hard headed' to give it a chance. They go to great lengths to tell me why it won't work for them?????? After a while I just let em' stay how they are and if they finally ask why everyone else is making good progress and they are not? I'll say, I already showed you why. Do you want to try it now? Granted it's not comfortable or very easy to transition to. But if you stick with it you'll usually see it was worth the discomfort and patience. I've had some guys who never stuck with it and they just kept pushing the bar 2 feet from touch to finish. Not everyone is coachable.

Definately improve your flexibility all you can with the pipe, roller, or a football eventually. But 1st get someone to film your setup and really break it down and honestly ask yourself if you are getting into a bio-mechanical position that will allow you to get your maximum arch. Hope this he

P.S. One other thing. Before I started benching with an arch in 2002 my bench stroke was about 15 inches. Not real bad. But now it is about 4 inches raw, and about 6 inches in a tight shirt. My best bench is about 250 lbs. more than in 2002. It's made a huge difference.

4 in stroke..love to see vid of it.

mastermonster
06-22-2009, 03:02 PM
I hope this works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsNrtr6fzcc

robchris
06-22-2009, 06:43 PM
Buddy,

Kicka** video man! Major props to you man putting up that kind of weight at any age... Is your shirted sit-up/ stroke, about the same?

We must have heels down in USAPL, but otherwise I use a similar set-up.

mastermonster
06-23-2009, 02:13 PM
Buddy,

Kicka** video man! Major props to you man putting up that kind of weight at any age... Is your shirted sit-up/ stroke, about the same?

We must have heels down in USAPL, but otherwise I use a similar set-up.

Thanks! It's about 6 inches in a real tight shirt. The tight chest plate doesn't let me get the shoulder blades back quite as well as I do raw. I've done 402 raw at Raw Unity. My best 1 ply meet bench is 600. I've had several near misses at 705 to 722 in meets in 2 ply shirts. I'm just starting to get better control at the chest in 2 plies so I'm still hopeful of getting a 700+ in. I've done it in the gym on 5 occasions since 2005. The most I ever pushed in the gym was 820 off 2 boards last year. But then 2 boards is a high board press for me! LOL! It's basically a lockout rep! P.S. As for my raw vs. shirted setup. It's exactly the same except for the slight restriction on my shoulder blade crunch.

JSully
06-23-2009, 03:54 PM
Buddy,
We must have heels down in USAPL, but otherwise I use a similar set-up.

I was just going to ask about this: heels have to be down so, in that case, I'm assuming just work with the roller and increase flexibility?

MarcusWild
06-23-2009, 04:20 PM
I was just going to ask about this: heels have to be down so, in that case, I'm assuming just work with the roller and increase flexibility?

Do they have a rule about the size of the heel on your shoe?

jbrin0tk
06-23-2009, 04:28 PM
Buddy, that is insane, man! Very cool to see a 4in ROM.

Brian C
06-23-2009, 05:29 PM
I hope this works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsNrtr6fzcc

OMG thats justs awesome.. im so jealous. Id be hitting raw 450's with that ROM. I getting to work on it lol. Great stuff mastermonster,thanks for sharing

JSully
06-24-2009, 09:37 AM
Do they have a rule about the size of the heel on your shoe?

hmmm... I suppose I could find some oversized pradas..

AJ_H
06-24-2009, 09:51 AM
this goes against the conventional method...but, I found that tying two towels to the left and right frames of the power rack and grabbing them with both hands, then just slowly lowering yourself (feet already in right position) with a massive arch until your upper back hits the bench helps me to get a lot out of the arch. Try different things though, the pvc pipe method is quality.

bill
06-24-2009, 10:29 AM
I hope this works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsNrtr6fzcc

Buddy but your 2 feet thick from back to chest! Cool video

mastermonster
06-24-2009, 04:03 PM
Buddy but your 2 feet thick from back to chest! Cool video

Bill, I was definately blessed with a thick rib cage and short upper arms! But if I went from a 15" to a 4" (6" with a shirt) with the changes, 9 inches from a big heavy weight or 5-6 inches improvement from a small light weight over just laying flat and benching should be doable; if the back arch, shoulder blade crunch and max legal grip width are used. Bill is right though, I'm built to bench...but not to DL! LOL! I'd like to know what I could push raw now with all these advantages if I weren't limping by and avoiding shoulder replacement (I'm bone to bone with no cartilege in my left shoulder). Back around 1984 (I was 28 yo) when I was still a bodybuilder I did 450 flat back before I learned to bench as a powerlifter. Now at 53 I'm playing the best game I can with the hand my past lifestyle dealt me! LOL! It's a lot bigger factor for me raw than shirted. Thank God for gear! Go Titan! LOL!

P.S. I was able to pretty much use my optimum setup but with my feet flat in a USPF meet in 2006 by using wood platforms with a sandpaper cover for grip. We have a 2x pair and a doubled 2x (4x) set. You can also use the big plates (50 kg. etc.) but they're a little slick. Check your fed rules and see which is legal.

bill
06-24-2009, 08:06 PM
Bill, I was definately blessed with a thick rib cage and short upper arms! But if I went from a 15" to a 4" (6" with a shirt) with the changes, 9 inches from a big heavy weight or 5-6 inches improvement from a small light weight over just laying flat and benching should be doable; if the back arch, shoulder blade crunch and max legal grip width are used. Bill is right though, I'm built to bench...but not to DL! LOL! I'd like to know what I could push raw now with all these advantages if I weren't limping by and avoiding shoulder replacement (I'm bone to bone with no cartilege in my left shoulder). Back around 1984 (I was 28 yo) when I was still a bodybuilder I did 450 flat back before I learned to bench as a powerlifter. Now at 53 I'm playing the best game I can with the hand my past lifestyle dealt me! LOL! It's a lot bigger factor for me raw than shirted. Thank God for gear! Go Titan! LOL!

P.S. I was able to pretty much use my optimum setup but with my feet flat in a USPF meet in 2006 by using wood platforms with a sandpaper cover for grip. We have a 2x pair and a doubled 2x (4x) set. You can also use the big plates (50 kg. etc.) but they're a little slick. Check your fed rules and see which is legal.

Actually worked a lot on my set up today after seeing this. Every little bit helps

robchris
06-24-2009, 08:18 PM
Actually worked a lot on my set up today after seeing this. Every little bit helps

So did I last night after sqauts... I must have been doin it right B/c my back is sore as He**!

mastermonster
06-25-2009, 12:17 AM
So did I last night after sqauts... I must have been doin it right B/c my back is sore as He**!

It's not comfortable and takes some adapting and conditioning too. It will leave you quite sore at first! Taking it a little at a time is best.

Ryano
06-25-2009, 05:41 AM
If you are comfortable on your bench setup, you're not setup good enough. Once I'm set, I can hardly breathe.

mastermonster
06-25-2009, 02:35 PM
If you are comfortable on your bench setup, you're not setup good enough. Once I'm set, I can hardly breathe.

Amen to that Roger!

Jesse Hernandez
06-25-2009, 02:45 PM
If you are comfortable on your bench setup, you're not setup good enough. Once I'm set, I can hardly breathe.

So that means my setup is pretty good. It always feels like im about to rip my erectors off everytime I get a good arch.