PDA

View Full Version : Bench form



drew
07-27-2005, 11:42 AM
I'm always trying to improve my bench, since it is my worst lift. I've been working on getting my form correct. Right now I set up at the end of the bench, grip the bar underhanded and pull my feet all the way back. Then pull myself under the bar without moving my feet and get my arch. Land my hips onto the bench and drive my traps in. Then I turn my hands to get my grip and pull my hands outward. Then take a breath, tighten up and go.

Do most of you bench with feet flat on the ground or on your toes? I try to get as wide as possible and as far back as possible while keeping my feet flat. Would I get more advantage by banching off my toes (which would allow me to bring my feet further back)?

Am I missing anything else in my set up? :help:

PowerManDL
07-27-2005, 12:41 PM
Go read up on Metal Militia's site. They've got articles to cover about every aspect of benching.

KevinStarke
07-27-2005, 12:45 PM
I'm always trying to improve my bench, since it is my worst lift. I've been working on getting my form correct. Right now I set up at the end of the bench, grip the bar underhanded and pull my feet all the way back. Then pull myself under the bar without moving my feet and get my arch. Land my hips onto the bench and drive my traps in. Then I turn my hands to get my grip and pull my hands outward. Then take a breath, tighten up and go.

Do most of you bench with feet flat on the ground or on your toes? I try to get as wide as possible and as far back as possible while keeping my feet flat. Would I get more advantage by banching off my toes (which would allow me to bring my feet further back)?

Am I missing anything else in my set up? :help:

Your setup sounds good to me man. Thats how I set up except I go on my toes for the leg drive, I like the feeling of that better than going flat footed completely.

jtteg_x
07-27-2005, 01:10 PM
http://thefitshow.com/week3/milos_chest_large.htm

KevinStarke
07-27-2005, 01:30 PM
Thats for bodybuilding man drew powerlifts.

Node
07-27-2005, 04:04 PM
http://thefitshow.com/week3/milos_chest_large.htm
Good link, ive learnt from that, from that it would appear im not lifting optimally.

jack_of_all
07-27-2005, 06:42 PM
that vid is full of crap. the correct bench form is whatever lets you move the most weight, not what puts more mass on your chest. bench is NOT a chest exercise its a COMPOUND LIFT for triceps/chest/lats/delts. bb'ers bench with variations in grip to emphasize specific areas but that isnt the ONLY correct form, its a variation.

Sensei
07-27-2005, 07:12 PM
Here are some links to articles by Sebastian Burns, Dave Tate, and Louie Simmons: http://johnnymnemonic.proboards44.com/index.cgi?board=Articles&action=display&thread=1118000370

twm
07-27-2005, 09:30 PM
that vid is full of crap. the correct bench form is whatever lets you move the most weight, not what puts more mass on your chest. bench is NOT a chest exercise its a COMPOUND LIFT for triceps/chest/lats/delts. bb'ers bench with variations in grip to emphasize specific areas but that isnt the ONLY correct form, its a variation.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather have benching focus on my chest than shoulders making the form suggested the form desired for gaining size and strength in the chest.

D Breyer
07-27-2005, 09:50 PM
:withstupi

Guido
07-27-2005, 10:37 PM
I bench with my toes on the floor. Helps to maximize my arch. I also keep shoulder blades tightly together and try to use my lats on the initial push off the chest. I'm no bench master but that's what other members of my PL team do and many of them are 500+ benchers. It's really up to the individual, though, when it comes down to it. It seems that many people have their own style that works well for them, so whatever is most comfortable and lets you push the most weight.

jtteg_x
07-28-2005, 01:42 AM
i would have to say the video shows the techniques of bodybuilding rather than powerlifting forms. i can understand for those whom powerlift have there own variations.


drew, if your about pl, im sure you can find better forms than the link posted. but the link posted has very good informative info imo. give it a try at least

drew
07-28-2005, 07:06 AM
jtteg x, thanks for the link, but those are things I'm well aware of. I'm looking for tips on competitive powerlifting form. I appreciate your effort to help though.

Node, twm, capn - there's a reason I posted this question in the "powerlifting" forum.

Powerman and Sensei, thanks for the info, I'll do more research.

Thanks to the rest of you for the tips. I got to bench alongside a mirror last night so I could get a look at my set up. My arch is much better than I thought it was. I'm getting a good 4 inches off the bench. I still haven't decided if toes or flat feet is better for me. But will probably be off the toes because of my height. Either way, I popped another PR last night. Still not huge, but Rome wasn't built in a day (they were union, I think).

Thanks again.

WBBIRL
07-28-2005, 08:09 AM
Good job on the PR, I notice that I always bench with my feet flat on the ground and my back is never arched???? It seems like the arch is something that happens when your trying to move an ammount that is heavy to you, but I think it would be hard for me to arch even if I purposely tried to.

b_sinning
07-28-2005, 08:40 AM
I don't do a back arch.

twm
07-28-2005, 09:46 AM
when I pull my shoulders back (as I always do in prep for liftoff), it forces my back to arch. I feel like I have a lot more stability than if I just liftoff with a flat back. i also keep my feet flat and at a wide stance.

debussy
07-28-2005, 06:15 PM
I noticed it's easier for me to keep a good arch if I just keep my toes on the floor. However, if I keep my feet flat I get a lot better leg drive. I've tried going with a wide stance... but that doesn't feel too great. I just go with a moderate stance.

Miguel Zambia
07-29-2005, 10:02 AM
A guy who wrote regular articles in Powerlifting USA -- I forget his name, Larry (Miller?) -- had some pretty good descriptions of how he & others used bench form. I'm pretty sure they always had feet flat on the ground, especially since that's how you have to do it in competition anyway. Larry described either himself or some Japanese lifter who had an awesome arch, but with the butt & shoulders still in contact with the bench. I find this is very hard to do -- when I arch, my butt automatically comes off. I think it either takes a snake-sinewy bodytype, or lots of practice, to perfect a legal powerlifting arch. However, it's obvious that if you can do it, you will technically lift more -- since the bar travels less distance from extension to upraised sternum, and back.

Guido
07-29-2005, 10:13 AM
A guy who wrote regular articles in Powerlifting USA -- I forget his name, Larry (Miller?) -- had some pretty good descriptions of how he & others used bench form. I'm pretty sure they always had feet flat on the ground, especially since that's how you have to do it in competition anyway. Larry described either himself or some Japanese lifter who had an awesome arch, but with the butt & shoulders still in contact with the bench. I find this is very hard to do -- when I arch, my butt automatically comes off. I think it either takes a snake-sinewy bodytype, or lots of practice, to perfect a legal powerlifting arch. However, it's obvious that if you can do it, you will technically lift more -- since the bar travels less distance from extension to upraised sternum, and back.First off, it IS legal to have just your toes on the floor. Don't know where you heard otherwise. In most federations the only stipulations is that once you bgin the lift, your feet can't move. Also, you should always have your butt and shoulders in contact with the bench. That's what creates a stable platform. You are much more prone to injury if you don't do that, and for competitions your lift will be disqualified if your butt comes off the bench. Like you said, it just takes some practice. Do static arches are use a ball to work on your spine flexibility. You are right aboiut the last point. The bigger the arch, the less distance you have to push the bar off your chest. It also helps to take a deep breath before you lower the weight and then breathe out once you start pushing the bar up.

Miguel Zambia
07-29-2005, 10:20 AM
Well, like the signature says, I'm noncompetitive. I thought feet flat was mandatory in competition. I normally stay flat when benching, but go to cheat arch when in trouble or just for grins. But 98% of the time, I bench flat. Like I said, I tried doing "competition arch" before, but just can't do it.

KevinStarke
07-29-2005, 10:38 AM
You have to get used to it. Once you learn all the techniques your bench will shoot up.

twm
07-29-2005, 11:08 AM
I don't get how people get more stability/power when their ass leaves the bench.. I tried it with light weight to see what the hubbub was about and I felt REALLY unstable and at disadvantage.

If you're doing incline.. I GUESS I could see you using your legs to drive your back and hence the bar closer to the rack, but that isn't really a bench press anymore - not to mention a terrible form in such a lift.

drew
07-29-2005, 11:14 AM
If my butt leaves the bench, I instantly feel it in my back, not good. My arch is definitely not a problem, however I'm still trying to find the correct foot placement.

debussy
07-29-2005, 11:41 AM
The feet flat or on toes issue really varies depending on which federation you're lfiting in. Drew, try this... do your normal setup except keep your feet kind of close together... you get a lot more quad activation this way. I'll get some videos up later of me benching.

KevinStarke
07-29-2005, 12:31 PM
Your ass should never leave the bench, i've seen guys do it on the smith machine at the gym i go to all the time its ridiculous. When using leg drive squeeze the bench with your legs, this helps me alot.

Sensei
07-30-2005, 07:02 AM
First off, it IS legal to have just your toes on the floor. Don't know where you heard otherwise. In most federations the only stipulations is that once you bgin the lift, your feet can't move.

Depends on the fed. In the IPF, you can't go on your toes. You'll see a lot of lifters on the inside edge of the foot, but for the most part they keep the length of their foot on the floor:


1. The lifter must lie on his back with shoulders and buttocks in contact with the bench surface. The sole and heel of his shoes or any part thereof of the sole and heel must be in contact with the platform or blocks. The welt/rim or uppers must not be in contact during the lift. His hands and fingers must grip the bar positioned in the rack stands with thumbs around grip. His head must be over and above the bench surface i.e. not to one side or hanging over the end of the bench. This body position shall be maintained throughout the lift.
2. To achieve firm footing the lifter may use flat surfaced plates or blocks not exceeding 30 cm in total height to build up the surface of the platform. Blocks in the range of 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, 30 cm, should be made available for foot placement at all international competitions. Slight or very minor foot movement is allowed for both the platform and on the blocks, i.e. the width of the foot laterally, and half the length of the foot forward or backward.