Flat back or Arched? Bench Press

Flat back or arch?

The choice is yours…ask yourself “What’s my goals and what’s the purpose of this lift today?” If you’re working on bench press with bodybuilding in mind, it is important to keep your back as flat on the bench as possible. A small, natural arch in the lower back is acceptable but in order to maximise the recruitment of the muscle fibers in the pecs, you need to stay away from the greater arch we see in the powerlifting bench press.

bench press arch

One reason for this is that using the full ROM in this bench press setup recruits far more muscle fibers than the latter.  It creates muscular development that extends beyond what a partial range of motion can provide and allows you to fully develop the entire length of the pecs.

flat bench press
Whereas if you’re benching for total power and strength, you’ll looking to maximise your levers to move more weight..therefore go for the powerlifting setup (The much greater arch!)This doesn’t always mean your stronger, it just means your biomechanics are more efficient. Not only that but it creates a more stable shoulder and generally activates more muscle groups than a flat bench (Lats, delts, legs etc)

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