View Full Version : Bench press form check

11-25-2011, 07:26 PM

Need all the pointers I can get. Critique welcome.

Chris Rodgers
11-26-2011, 07:48 AM
Bench is by far my worst lift, but there is like a million things wrong with that. First and foremost, why are you not touching? If you ever plan to compete you need to touch. No sense in practicing a bad habit everytime you're in the gym. Also, you have your feet tucked, but once the weight is in your hands, your feet are wobbly and not firmly into the floor at all. Drive your heels towards the floor through the whole set. Squeeze your shoulders back harder. It looks like after you unrack it, you actually roll your shoulders forward before you start the rep and you should be doing the opposite.

On a positive note, it looked like you were tucking your elbows well.

11-26-2011, 08:46 AM
On pausing: how long should I touch for?

On foot drive: should i point my toes less or from that position drive my heels to the ground?

11-26-2011, 12:34 PM
-Bars not touching
-Feet aren't planted
-Shoulder blades aren't tucked
-Elbows don't look like where they should be to me. You appear to be holding the bar with your palms facing more towards your feet than the ceiling. Kick them back, pinch your shoulder blades tight and your elbows will be where they need to be.
-DO NOT explode so radically that you're hyperextending at the top like you are on the 45x6
-On the 205x3 you're too far away from the bar to be unracking it

Take it all with a grain of salt though, I'm no expert.

11-26-2011, 12:54 PM
The biggest thing I notice is your not dug into the bench your kind of wobbly and your pulling your shoulders out when you un rack the bar. If you watch dave tate teach it on youtube he has the person put their feet on the bench and thrust their hips up to feel the greated pressure in their traps, this is how i set up then i one by one plant each foot keeping that pressure. I still watch the video once a week to make sure everythings ok. As for leg drive being on the ball of your foot is good so long as your driving through your heels, their never gonna touch the ground but the focus needs to be there. Eblows were tucked, I would also open your grip a little and absolutely bring the bar to your chest.


11-26-2011, 01:23 PM
Perhaps I could also experiment with other foot positions...It pains me to not have someone watching these things as I go. Thanks for the help so far, everyone.

chris mason
11-26-2011, 01:56 PM
As the others have said, touch. Why don't you?

Next, your bar path is tracking totally wrong. The bar path should be straight. It has to do with rotation at your shoulder joint. Your elbows are tracking toward your groin as you lower the bar. They should not be. You are trying to tuck them too much thus making your rotate your shoulders down as you lower the bar.

April Mathis
11-26-2011, 02:14 PM
The biggest thing is touching obviously. Then your form would at least be good enough to pass in a meet as long as you follow the commands.

That being said, to actually improve your form I think alot of what is said above is good advice. To me it does look like you make at least some attempt at arching and setting up with your shoulder blades together, as well as trying to keep your elbows tucked. However, it is far from enough effort put into the setup and staying tight throughout the entire lift (although not optimal it looks much better at the beginning then as you go through the set). You have to put a lot more time and effort into the setup. The most important thing when you work on fixing your form is try to work on one thing at a time and think about doing that one thing the entire training session until you have it right (make sure you can do it right with light weight first before increasing the weight and do not increase the weight past where the form stays good).

Trying different foot positions is not a bad idea. Some people do better with their feet flat and out wide as opposed to on your toes. Neither is wrong, just what works better for you. Usually (for most people) you can get more leg drive with your feet flat, but have to watch out for lifting your butt off the bench, but you can get a better arch when on your toes with your feet tucked under you when done correctly.

11-26-2011, 02:45 PM
As the others have said, touch. Why don't you?
Bad habit that I've never been aware of until recently. Am I tucking too much where it's almost like a JM press, then? I suppose I don't quite understand what you are saying.

11-26-2011, 02:51 PM
Again, thanks to everyone who has replied so far. This is advice I really need.

chris mason
11-26-2011, 11:42 PM
Watch videos of some really good benchers and compare them to your video. You should be able to see the difference.

11-27-2011, 09:05 AM
Was it Dave Tate that had the nice bench tutorial vids? If I can find the link I'll post it.

11-27-2011, 10:19 AM
The "So you think you can bench" videos? If I had Dave Tate yellin at me "Fuck, I hate this" I think I'd be set. Ha.

12-02-2011, 07:11 AM
Your very loose throughout the entire lift.
Concentrate on getting your whole body tight
Perhaps try a feet spread far out stance
Slide your whole body closer to the bar (so lift off will not pull you out of position)

A guy your size should be able to arch higher. Work on your overall back strength and flexability.

Good Luck

12-04-2011, 12:48 AM
widen your grip a tad bit, then it won't be as easy to tuck your elbows and I think you'll be just right.

when I lay down on the bench I grab the bar and pull my chest up to it. At the same time, I pinch my shoulder blades together and drive my traps into the bar. Afterwards I use my legs to push my ass up and I'm essentially digging my traps even harder into the bench as I'm inching my rear closer to upper back, creating the arch. Once you have that, you ned to pick a foot placement that you can stay strong with, drive off your heels and not push your rear up. Foot placement is personal preference. When you grip the bar, try to pull the bar apart and squeeze the shit out of it. This should keep you tight. I like to push my knees out, flexing my hip flexors to keep my legs tight.

My thoughts on the subject matter.

12-04-2011, 07:28 PM
Thanks. This Friday's session, I did a lot of arm pulling into the bar to emphasize more arch in my back and what pressure I should be feeling on my traps. Wider foot stance seems to feel more comfortable for me, too. Still Rx'ing this whole sha-bang.

12-14-2011, 08:45 PM
All previous comments are great. I think I haven't read that during the heavy set you are flaring your elbows out and protracting a little bit your shoulders. That's because you are not pinching your shoulder blades during all the press.
Also remember that when you unrack the barbell and start the press, your lats should be really tight to stabilize the lowering part of the lift.