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Arching while doing bench press

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Old 05-16-2002, 07:22 PM   #1
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Post Arching while doing bench press

Is it ok to arch your back while doing a bench press? I currently do arch, and it doesn't hurt my back or anything because I dont strain it that far, it just seems to help me with the reps. Thanx in advance!


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Old 05-16-2002, 08:13 PM   #2
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ugotme HB User

If you're able to do more reps arching your back than you're probably getting help from other muscles when your back is arched. If you are wanting to target your chest more than less than whynot do flatback and lower the weight slightly.

I'm only guessing here because frankly I've never benched with an arched back, anyone elses thoughts on this would be appreciated...?

Old 05-17-2002, 05:15 AM   #3
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Personaly, I like to lie flat on my back and pull my feet up slightly above the bench. It seems to isolate the chest muscles more and not use the legs and back as much. I have to use lesser weight when I do this but my muscles fatigue quicker.

Old 05-17-2002, 05:52 AM   #4
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It's not really a dangerous thing if you arch except for the occasional, possible strain from jerking if you do that. However, arching is generally considered cheating when doing a strict bench press. The reason you are able to get a few more reps is because you are converting a flat bence into a slight decline press when you arch. You should be stronger in the decline possition. Also, depending on the motion you may be using momentum to assist you in the lift... but not always.

It is best to do a strict flat bench press with three points of contact. (bench, and two feet on the ground) for stability. With free weights and heavier weights there is always the possibility of becoming off balance with both feet off of the ground. However, many have noticed as I have that it just feels more comfortable with your feet lifted. A good and safe alternative to this is to put another bench or box at the foot of the bench and use that to support your feet. lower the weight some and knock out your reps that way. This takes the stress off your lower back AND allows you to work the pecs very strictly.

Happy Benching,
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Old 05-17-2002, 10:36 AM   #5
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To follow up on ScottGee's comment, when you bench, squeeze your shoulder blades together as though you are trying to make them touch. This brings focus to the pecs and takes the pressure off of the triceps and shoulders.

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Old 05-17-2002, 11:55 AM   #6
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...and if you still don't feel you are getting a good chest workout, try pre-exhausting the pecs first by doing flat and/or incline flyes or the pec deck. this will insure that your chest reaches possitive failure before your tris and shoulders.
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Old 05-17-2002, 12:43 PM   #7
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Don't arch your back...You are breaking form which in this case MAY not hurt you, but its not helping you to get any bigger or stronger. Form is more important than the amount of weight you are moving. At some point this will catfch up to you and you will stop making gains altogether whiel increasing your frustration, and increasing your injury risk. Just do what you can do with strict form you will be much better off in the long run.

Excellent advice on the shoulder blades too. Also really focus on the chest mucscles when benching, if you do that soon you will feel the weight working the muscles much more and you will not want to arch your back. Really focus on squeezing those chest muscles while dong the reps, and get ready to be sore - the right way...And you will see better gains without the additional overload of weight which is just burning you out anyways.

Old 05-17-2002, 05:50 PM   #8
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ive heard that it actually somehow shortens the range of motion of the rep. has anyone else heard this?

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