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Should you bench press without arching? Arch when pushing the chest is a movement often performed by Powerlifters because the chest push is not just a regular pectoral exercise but a full-body exercise.

Arch will help the Powerlifter reduce the amplitude of the chest push and help them optimize the pedal force from the feet to help attach the upper body to the bed, creating a firm plane to help push the chest better.

Still, it’s Powerlift – an achievement sport, so participants need to have the technique to help them achieve big weights. So with muscle-building training, do you need arching?

I will explain to you in this article.

Is it okay to bench press without arching?

The short answer is yes. If you want to build an aesthetically pleasing chest, arching with the bench press can be skipped. If you want to build muscle and weight while squeezing the chair, then bench curls are essential. Why? I will clarify it below.

Yes, If you want to build an aesthetically pleasing chest.

To make it easy to understand, arching is a back bend when performing a Bench press, commonly seen in powerlifters.

The purpose of the arch is to reduce the amplitude of movement of the exercise, helping to create a solid plan for the body when performing with heavy weights(the shoulder is very prone to injury if the bench is performed improperly). But how do you do arching check press?

There are two ways to arching when Bench press:

  • With the first method, we stabilize the upper body before stabilizing the lower body. Accordingly, put the shoulders in the correct position; the bar will be located in the front, between the forehead and the mouth; squeeze the shoulder blades, then fix the upper body posture by grasping the bar with your hands, then use your legs to push hips up toward shoulders. Note that the arch (back arch) must be combined with chest thrust to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • The second method is the opposite of the above. Accordingly, we will adjust the posture for the lower body first. Let the bar rest at the position of the neck and shoulders away from the bench position, then lock the hips, adjust the part of the legs accordingly, fix the lower body, keep the hands firmly on the rack of the bench, and push. Shoulders toward the lower body, pay attention to arching and chest thrusts. After the adjustment, the bar will lie directly in front of you.

The Benefits of arching when bench press

  1. Boost strength by extending your range of motion
  2. Put additional emphasis on the muscles of the upper body
  3. Permit bench pressing even if you have hip or back problems or are pregnant

If hypertrophy is your primary emphasis, the bar should be moved through a broader range of motion. When benching with your back flat, bringing your shoulders back and down (forming a tiny arch) is still essential to keep you tight and enhance your shoulder mechanics.

Training the bench press across a broader range of motion can also be advantageous for competitive powerlifters and barbell athletes wanting to gain strength and bench heavier weight. 

Moving the bar a greater distance will fill the training gaps and build strength outside of your competition bench press range.

A flat back bench press is an excellent supplementary exercise in a competitive powerlifter’s routine if they typically bench with a high arch. While you may not be able to bench as much without a turn, you may be able to bench more with one by strengthening through a broader range of motion.

Increasing your bench-sitting stability

In general, when lifting, you want a solid and steady foundation of support. This helps you maintain your balance and improves the stability of the barbell as you support it in your hands;

instead of lying flat with your complete back in contact with the bench, arching places more of your upper traps on the court.

In this posture, you can establish a more sturdy foundation of support by pressing the top of your shoulders more firmly into the bar.

It Help generates tense and maintain it 

When you arch, you shorten the muscles along your back and position your shoulders closer to your hips. Before you even start the lift, this shortening causes tension across your entire back.

By beginning the bench press in a tight position, you’ll maintain that tightness as you move the bar and fend against unintentional changes in your body position. You’ll be more stable on the bench as a result.

Making the most of your leg drive

Leg drive is a crucial part of the bench press, and it works best when you position yourself in an arch and keep your body tight throughout.

When performing a leg drive, your body shouldn’t move; instead, you should drive as though you’re attempting to slide it along the top of the bench. You can force your upper traps into the bar more forcefully and raise your chest by using leg drive.

This improves the force going to your upper body, the tension in your body throughout the bench press, and your stability on the bench.

And if you’re driving against the resistance of your upper traps pressing against the court, you’ll be able to force your legs farther (rather than lying flat and driving against the friction of your back flat against the bar).

Maintain your chest up.

To keep tight throughout the lift, holding your position as you lower the bar to your chest is crucial.

You’re losing tension and letting some of the weight move to your wardrobe if your chest dips or the bar sinks into your chest.

This pressure loss and weight transfer may alter the situation when pressing the bar. With an arch, you can start with your chest higher and build greater tension in this posture, which will assist you in keeping your chest up and holding this position as you lower the bar.

Additionally, it will position you to have the bar’s weight in your hands rather than letting it fall into your chest.

Enhance the position of your shoulders throughout the lift

We want to bench more weight, of course, but we also want to do it while moving correctly and staying healthy! Your shoulder mechanics and position during the lift will be influenced by the location of your torso and how you use leg drive.

When benching with an arch, you can retain your shoulders in that position throughout the lift by pulling them back and down more at the beginning of the exercise.

This will lower your chance of injury by preventing your shoulders from shifting out of position when you lower the bar. Additionally, it prepares your shoulders for effective bench press motion.

Is It Okay To Bench Press Without Arching? (What to Consider-Explained)

Limiting the bar’s range of motion for competitive purposes

When you consider benching with an arch, reducing the range of motion might be the first thing that springs to mind. When your back is arched, your chest is higher and closer to the bar.

So, you won’t have to move the weight as far, and moving the bar a shorter distance will require less effort. Nevertheless,

since arch height varies from person to person, “arching” doesn’t always entail having an enormous arch and a small range of motion.

Even when the hook isn’t excessive, any size arch will limit the scope of activity compared to flat benching. Reduced range of action can be helpful if your goal is to bench more weight, whether you’re a professional powerlifter or not.

You can see how arching can assist you safely bench more weight by combining this with remaining tight and stable, driving your legs, reaching your chest up, and strengthening your shoulder position.

Final thought

I just answered the question: Is it okay to bench press without arching? I’m glad you read the whole article and hope this article can help you in the process of bench press.

Which one should you choose?

The precise way of benching, which involves stretching the chest muscles at the bottom of the action and squeezing them at the top, helps grow your chest more if your aims are purely aesthetic.

Arching your back during the bench press is a standard technique in the powerlifting and weightlifting communities, where the emphasis is mainly on strength.

The shorter ROM and leverage of the bar used in this type of benching assist you in increasing your numbers.

Due to shoulder pain difficulties, I like to lean more toward the arch. The press is more straightforward and painless because of the reduced range of motion.

The angle improves my awareness of foot placement, leg drive, and lat spread on the bench. With the extra tension, I have to move the bar with my entire body.

It may be beneficial to investigate both strategies depending on your training objectives, level of experience, and shoulder health.

Related article: 

How Can You Benefit From Bill Gate’s Workout Routine? (Explained)

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