Building High-Performance Muscle™
Powerlifting
 
Someone Told Me My Bench Form Sucks
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Sutebun
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Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 524

And so here I am. At a recent meet my fellow gym goer told me if fixed my bench I could add 5 or 10 kilos fast. I really don't think that my form is that bad but it doesn't hurt to get second opinions. He mentioned that I don't use my legs at all and could probably add a lot more "push" to the bar when it starts to go up.

Anyway, 75kg x 8 in the video. Not a max effort 1rm but any critique is welcome.

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N.K.
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Join date: Apr 2012
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Posts: 395

I agree with your friend. You're right, your form isn't that bad. Your back is fairly tight and you move the weight fine. But there is no leg drive. You need to squeeze your butt. Like the entire time you are benching, try and thrust your hips up off the bench, like you are doing a glute bridge.

Then, move your feet back far enough so that, with your heels planted, no matter how hard you are squeezing your butt and trying to push your hips up, they can't actually leave the bench. That is leg drive. By doing that, you create tension in your lower body that substantially increases your benching power. If you can Get the hang of this, and feel out for yourself how pressing into the floor with your heels and squeezing your butt with a tight back allows you to transfer energy through your whole body into the bar, then I agree you could instantly get a pr, AND it is going to help you make gains a lot faster.

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tattoo'd'popeye
Level 2

Join date: Sep 2006
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 586

He is right man. Benching is a whole body exercise for powerlifters. You are not engaging your feet, legs or hips which is known as "leg drive". Also when you set up, you had a descent arch but that went away quickly. Stay on your traps! If you fix the leg drive it will keep your hips in position and when your hips stay in position is much easier to keep your traps and upper body in position.

I dont want to overwhelm you with all sorts of technical shit. Work on your leg drive first and we can go from there. Im sure Larry will chime in later today and I know he has good video links for proper bench form so Im not even going to bother looking up some links. He is really good at explaining info in an understandable way.

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BlueCollarTr8n
Level 1

Join date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 2718

tattoo'd'popeye wrote:
He is right man. Benching is a whole body exercise for powerlifters. You are not engaging your feet, legs or hips which is known as "leg drive". Also when you set up, you had a descent arch but that went away quickly. Stay on your traps! If you fix the leg drive it will keep your hips in position and when your hips stay in position is much easier to keep your traps and upper body in position.


Agreed!

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Max8950
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Join date: Dec 2012
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 123

your wrist is rolling back a little bit. dont let your hands roll back. The bar, wrist, and elbow need to stay in line throughout the lift, need More leg drive. Otherwise looks good.

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mkral55
Level 2

Join date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 818

Its impossible to know for sure, but it looks to me like your back is entirely relaxed too. Seeing that, and seeing no leg drive, i would guess you arent actively squeezing the bar as hard as you can either. To optimize power transfer, *everything* has to be tight, and this starts at your feet on the ground and ends with your hands on the bar.

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Mathew Bertrand
Contributor

Join date: Feb 2005
Location:
Posts: 630

I don't see much wrong either, NK and popeye gave you some really good advice

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Sutebun
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Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 524

Will Try the advice here. Thanks!

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tattoo'd'popeye
Level 2

Join date: Sep 2006
Location: Missouri, USA
Posts: 586

Here a video that may help....

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Badmo
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Join date: Apr 2011
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 26

I have a question along the same line. I seem to press out of my arch after a few reps which completely derails the whole set because I am no longer tight and get no leg drive.

Is this a case of upper back / Lat weakness? Does anybody know how I can remedy this over time?

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Aragorn
Level 10

Join date: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 9240

Badmo wrote:
I have a question along the same line. I seem to press out of my arch after a few reps which completely derails the whole set because I am no longer tight and get no leg drive.

Is this a case of upper back / Lat weakness? Does anybody know how I can remedy this over time?



More a case of technical problems. If it were weakness in my experience it usually ends up being a problem in the first couple reps. Usually people start to loosen up as a higher rep set goes along because they're simply not focusing on staying tight, they're focusing on grinding weight out.

It's a practice thing usually. Start practicing with the empty bar on your warm-ups, til you can maintain.

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Aragorn
Level 10

Join date: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 9240

N.K. wrote:

move your feet back far enough so that, with your heels planted, no matter how hard you are squeezing your butt and trying to push your hips up, they can't actually leave the bench. That is leg drive.


I feel like this needs repeating. It's not a bench press if your butt leaves the bench. Gyms are full of ppl doing "hump the air presses". Proper leg drive means a butt glued to the bench.

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Triceptaurus
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Join date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 239

So You Think You Can Bench.

Search for that on YouTube.

While you are at it, they have one for squats as well.

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Trev71
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Join date: Jun 2012
Location: Vermont, USA
Posts: 24

N.K. wrote:
You need to squeeze your butt. Like the entire time you are benching, try and thrust your hips up off the bench, like you are doing a glute bridge.


Thanks for this clear explanation, helped me dial in my bench form. My ass kept coming up, arch falling apart, I understand the leg drive piece now, and noticed a positive impact as a result.




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