indehoy. Bench. July 16th , 2018.
Drive the bar straight up as this is the shortest possible distance to lockout. Most trainers will maintain you should have a slight backwards arc as you press, moving from your lower rib cage to over your face at the end of the rep, however, this can add a couple of inches to the movement and this is a waste of energy. Also if you start to use a bench shirt it will automatically start pulling you backwards and this can throw you badly off line if you are already pushing backwards.
If you have ever seen a competitive lifter bench press, you might have noticed that he kept both his lower and upper back tightly arched. More than anything else, this arch is key to an extremely stable setup on the bench. Furthermore, an arch will drastically decrease the distance the bar must travel from your chest to lockout. Flexibility and ideal foot placement will influence the degree to which you can arch, but you should be constantly striving to increase your arch and drive your chest towards the bar to increase your stability and cut down your range of motion.
Allow a spotter to remove the bar and guide it to a position above your lower chest (sternum) and take firm control. Begin to lower the bar as you did in the first section keeping your elbows locked tightly in against your sides and your hands trying to pull the bar apart. This technique brings more lateral strength into play. Whilst lowering the bar imagine you are storing up the energy in your chest and when that bar touches your chest the energy will literally explode out driving the bar straight up. As you change the direction of the bar and begin the press up, drive with the legs. This is probably the one technique that taken alone could easily add 20kg to your best lift. The leg drive is not straight up but more attempting to push yourself along the bench, however, you will not move due to the weight on the bar and the body locked position. This transfers the power drive from your legs into pressing the bar quickly upwards.
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