View Full Version : Keeping Shoulders Retracted During the BP Handoff

12-03-2010, 06:53 AM
I always set up perfectly on the bench but can't keep my shoulder blades retracted, because when the spotter unracks the bar, he has to pull it over the lip before moving it over my chest...and of course, this pulls me out of position. Consequently, my lift has a longer ROM, and I don't get much lat into the start. How do you guys with short arms get around this dilemma (other than narrowing your grip)?

12-03-2010, 07:16 AM
Put a bench in the power rack so you can adjust the height accordingly.

12-03-2010, 07:41 AM
Yeah as Ephokins says try having it placed lower to start with mate. If this is not possible then is it possible that you can get two spotters to pass it down to you? A lot of effort but only thing i can think off... Hopefully someone with a lot more experience than me can pass there 2c.

12-03-2010, 07:41 AM
What the above poster said +1. Our benches have V-hooks.....which means the heavier the weight, the more it sits in the hooks and is a pain to unrack. I have short arms but I find getting set up 100% will throw you off before getting it above the chest. Right before the spotter takes his hands off, Dig your shoulder blades very hard into the bench and pull them together (which they should already be). By getting set up 100% before the spotter takes his hands off, it's very hard to recover from that position. Practice this by yourself without a handoff, gradually working up in weight.

12-03-2010, 07:57 AM
How close are you set up to bar? You might try setting up farther up the bench towards the hand-off guy. Maybe line your chin up with the bar and not your eyes. Could give your lift off man a bit more room to work without pulling you out of position.

12-03-2010, 08:44 AM
What kind of bench is it?

12-03-2010, 10:26 AM
Vince - Unfortunately, it happens with any standard bench press bench, even the ones used at meets.

Ehopkins and Kiff - The power rack would be cool if I could use one when competing, but since I can't, I'd rather stay with the conventional method.

B&T and Adam - Okay, I'll try changing my positioning and see if I can reset when the bar is over my chest.

Thanks, guys!

12-03-2010, 10:45 AM
most likely your hand off dude needs to calm down. a nice slow controled handoff is best.

12-03-2010, 10:47 AM
most likely your hand off dude needs to calm down. a nice slow controled handoff is best.

Yeah, that's a good point. Work on it with your liftoff guy.

12-03-2010, 07:00 PM
you could try setting up closer to the uprights, taking the weight out of the rack with your lats more, setting up on your traps more......... works different for everyone, just play with it and see if anyone's advise helps any........ if all else fails go seek out a few big benchers and start asking questions....

12-04-2010, 04:43 AM
Doug and Adam - I have several..which has me thinking maybe I should try to stick with one team member who competes in the same meets I do and make it a part of our bench day training.

12-04-2010, 04:49 AM
Barzeen - Those are all things on my list to try this morning. Two of the big benchers in the area want me to narrow my grip, but since I'm nowhere near as tricep dtominant as they are, I haven't followed their advice. Besides I keep my shoulders healthy, so there's no need to.

12-04-2010, 09:10 AM
Off topic here, but if the numbers in your sig are current I think thats awesome to be moving weight like that at age 64 UncleAl. Impressive, keep up the good work.

12-04-2010, 11:43 AM
Thank you so much for writing that, JJD. Made my day. All lifts were made over the past year or so. The triple bodyweight pull (445@148), made in October, was the most gratifying. I'm hoping to up do the same in the 165s next year. Hopefully, I won't spit my L4/L5 across the gym trying.

To everyone else, I found a bench with adjustable uprights, moved closer, dug in, and did my own liftoff. Was able to hold my shoulder blades in place better than before. I just need to practice and educate my spotters. Thanks for your advice. If I can get my lats into it, I'm sure I'll add ten pounds to my lift.

12-04-2010, 03:26 PM
good to hear it's working out for you man......

12-04-2010, 05:39 PM
Glad you found an adjustable bench. I have had the same problem. Tell your handoff guys to just slide the bar over the front lip. Not to lift it up at all. That fixes it for me.

12-05-2010, 06:53 AM
The fact that you were able to maintain position without a liftoff tells me that it's due to your liftoff guys, not you. I agree that using the same liftoff guy can be important. When I'm heading into a meet I like the same guy that will lift off for me in the meet to lift off for me the last few weeks before the meet. Lets everyone get on the same page.

12-05-2010, 08:30 AM
Barzeen - Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

massmonster and Adam - Yea, now that I realize the bench played an important roll, I still have to educate my spotters. Of course, once I've solved that dilemma, I'll also have to learn to actually use my lats efficiently...but that's just practice.