What is the benefit or purpose of arching your back during the bench press?

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What is the benefit or purpose of arching your back during the bench press?

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An arched back positions your body in a way that can give you more power, more stability, make the lift feel a bit easier, and allow you to lift more weight. An arched back is necessary to use leg drive, which recruits your lower body into the lift.

If you are lifting an amount of weight that is far below your ability, you won’t notice any difference at all if your back is arched or not. If you are lifting weight that is heavy enough where you can only do 1-3 reps, it will make a huge difference.

As the weight becomes a significant percentage of (or more than) your body weight it becomes more important to have a solid foundation to lift the weight from.

So you have to do a lot of things with your body to solidly transfer the load from your body to the bench. You can’t push really hard if your body is all squishy and might roll off the side of the bench.

So the first thing is to pull your shoulder blades back to stabilize your shoulders and provide a solid contact point between your back and the bench.

You’re supposed to arch your back while keeping your ass on the bench. This does 2 things: it aligns your spine so it that can provide a solid link to your hips. Also, it’s not good for the shoulders to be pushing hard with arms at 90 degrees to the torso. You want the arm to torso angle to be more like 80 degrees. Tilting the torso up by arching your back makes that happen.

Finally keep your legs spread wide, feet planted on the floor, tighten your core and push with your legs as you lift. This helps keep your body balanced on the bench as you push the weight up.

People tend to think of the benchpress as a chest/shoulder/arm exercise. And it mainly is. But the stiffer you can make the rest of your body the easier it is for your chest/shoulders/arms to lift that weight.