Arching Back in Bench Press

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by ryder22, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. ryder22

    ryder22 New Member

    When executing the barbell bench press, should you arch your lower back a bit? Keep the legs as near to your body and making sure that your scaps are in a retracted position and chest out as far as possible? does this improve bench press strength by lifting more weight and can build more size to the chest? thanks.. [​IMG]
  2. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    It's debatable which type of bench form produces a bigger chest. I personally use a hybrid form (tight scaps, no arch) and it works well as my range of motion is full with the benefit of having a tight base to push from. I honestly think you should try a few different types of bench over a rather long period of time and see what works best for YOU. Research the form, try it out, and see what you like. You'll grow as the weights increase, bottom line.
  3. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    for most people, just a natural curve will be fine.
  4. MasterCFI

    MasterCFI New Member


    To answer your question, yes! You must arch your back to a certain extent to get a maximum or heavy lift. As a former competitive powerlifter, I've used the "arched back" to increase my lifts, make them a little easier (relative term), and help secure a solid benching foundation.

    Increasing your bench relies on having a solid foundation (footing), all the way up to your upper back being firmly planted.

    You'll notice powerlifters will plant their backs, then pick up their butt from the bench, then place their butt on the bench as close to their upper back as possible, while placing their feet a little further back than normal - hence, an arch is born!

    Benching with an arch engages your lower chest, lats, and quads. All of these being engaged will add to the poundages that you can bench.

    Now, arching does NOT mean lifting your butt off the bench - this would be an incorrect technique. To summarize, arch as much as you can, without lifting your butt off the bench - almost like you are trying to marry up your buttocks to your upper back! And, do this safely without stressing or overstressing yourself.

    If all you are doing is working out as a casual lifter, not being concerned with heavy benches, then your natural arch will be fine, as aaron_f said. However, if you want to compete and lift heavy - arch!

    Remember, it's more about the solid base foundation, with a little arch, engaging your legs, lats, and lower chest. Happy lifting!
  5. ryder22

    ryder22 New Member

    Master CFI thanks for the writeup.. I appreciate that a lot.. I really look forward in increasing my bench press strength while doing HST.. A big bench means a strong and powerful man.. I also just wonder if powerlifting techniques and HST can go together in order to maximize muscle growth.. For me I personally swear that HST works for me best in terms of building size however I also wanted to be as strong as hell while using the program.. In short i wanted to maximize both worlds.. just imagine a super power natural bodybuilder with a strength of a monstrous powerlifter.. Hell Yeah... [​IMG]

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