🚨 Should You Arch Your Back in the Bench Press?
✅ Super popular and controversial question which I hope to clarify.
✅ The “Powerlifter” Arch
You will notice that many powerlifters utilize an arched back and can often times be an extreme arch. The reason they use an arch back is because it decreases the distance the bar has to travel to get to their chest. This is great for powerlifters because it allows them to increase the amount of weight they can push while abiding by the rules and regulations of powerlifting, which is keeping your ass on the bench and bringing the bar down to your chest.
This may not be the ideal for the average lifter though. There isn’t much research evidence saying that the “powerlifting” arch is good nor bad, but it is unnecessary for the average person. The upside is that you will be able to lift heavier weights, but the downside is that you won’t be taking your muscles through a greater range of motion.
If you’re not a powerlifter competing, then it may not be worth the risk of using an arch which is excessive and increased potential of injury.
✅ The “Natural” Arch
A natural arch is the arch that comes with just setting up for your bench press. This means retracting and depressing your shoulders and maintaining that throughout the motion. This will naturally create an arch in your spine which is good enough to have your shoulders in a better position for benching.
✅ Final Point
I’m not saying the average lifter can’t utilize the powerlifting arch, but I would not use it to an excessive degree. Don’t go crazy with the back arch. This should only should be used by an advanced lifter. It could be used to help you lift heavier weights and get past plateaus.