how do you use your lats when you bench, ive heard this described as 'flaring' them but i still have no idea what to do.
h3lp me plz!!111111111111111oneoneone
Use your lats as a stable base for your press.
Legs wide and on the floor (no ******ed balancing like you see people doing), squeeze the muscles in your back together like you do when doing cable rows so your lats are touching the bench.
( from my article on the bench press)
USE OF THE LATS IN BENCH PRESSING
An often-overlooked component of the bench press is the use and development of the muscles of the back and in particular the lats. Very few lifters utilize the strength of the lats in their bench press and when they are able to incorporate lat contraction into their exercises, immediate increase is always achieved. Here is how you incorporate the lats into your bench press: Take an empty bar or even a wooden rod and assume the bench press position. Lower the bar to the chest and pause. Instead of driving the weight up with the arms, contract or “flare” the lats in an outward direction. If you have decent lat development, you should see the bar move several inches off the chest. This takes practice to utilize the lats in this manner, but be persistent and practice over and over with an empty bar, gradually adding weight as you get used to the movement. The eventual goal is to use the lats as sort of a cushion or coiled spring when lowering the bar and then contracting them strongly on the initial drive at the same time you are pressing with the arms. DO NOT walk into the gym tomorrow and attempt this with your max poundage—if you do you will fail. I have worked with athletes who have increased their maximum bench press anywhere from 20-50lbs within 2 weeks as a result of using this technique. This also requires strong well-developed lats, which are developed by chins and rowing.
Hope that helps
I really forus on my lats when bringing the weight down too. I try to almost bring the weight down with my lats while keeping the weight in control to save as much energy in my chest and tris as i can. Then as keith says contracting my lats at the bottom, digging my feet in to the ground and blasting the weight up.
Last edited by KevinStarke; 06-16-2005 at 06:25 AM.
Pitiful Bench-Jockey for life