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  1. #1
    Registered User johnnybgood8's Avatar
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    Arching back while doint bench press?

    Ok guys, Im going to gym for 4 years now, with some small pauses. Nothing too much serious but also Im not f... around when exercising.

    I usually never arch/curve my back while doing bench press, only when Im doing my last reps... I read that its better if you arch your back, its better for your shoulders etc... But I don't have that problem, I heard that you will develop better chest muscles cuz you will activate them more? True of false?

    I have a problem with developing lower chest line, also my chests are lacking compared to shoulders and arms a bit. Especially upper and inside part of it.

    I wanted to ask, is arching really would help that much, or its much more on genetic side and lowering your body fat percentage???

    Im 183cm, 75kg and on the net my bf is around 17.9% ...

    Im planning to do bench press with arching in the next months just to see if there is difference after training in the inflammation of muscle area. Usually after training my biggest soreness is on the outside part of the chest.

    Long story short, should I expect something from doing bench presses like that or it will be just a negligible difference?
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Whether you arch your back or not is your prerogative. Changing your back positioning mid-set is asking for trouble.
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  3. #3
    Replies in 1/2 hr - 3 day GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    It seems like mainly people that are focused on strength specifically will work to incorporate back arching and more neutral elbows. It doesn't seem to be necessarily essential for hypertrophy.
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    Registered User johnnybgood8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    It seems like mainly people that are focused on strength specifically will work to incorporate back arching and more neutral elbows. It doesn't seem to be necessarily essential for hypertrophy.
    Thanks, Im asking only for hypertrophy, I don't care how more weight Im gona lift cause of it.

    Btw Im using false/suicide grip since day one, it doesn't strain my wrist that much like normal grip where I can feel pain in my skinny wrists after doing it. I think that doesn't affect muscle growth at all btw.

    I ll give it a try but I think its more about genetic and body fat. For example, my brother also has huge arms and shoulders, bigger chests than me but still lacking compared to shoulders and arms.

    I have a friend who never go to gym, skinny but he has ok rounded chest lines for his wieght. I guess cuz of the low bf ratio.
    Last edited by johnnybgood8; 02-16-2020 at 01:32 PM.
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    Registered User TheShadowMan's Avatar
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    I cringe every time I see a dramatic arch like these.. It just looks so dumb and pointless.

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    HeMB's Avatar
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    some arch is needed for shoulder stability, imo.
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    Replies in 1/2 hr - 3 day GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    suicide grip eh
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    Originally Posted by johnnybgood8 View Post
    I have a problem with developing lower chest line, also my chests are lacking compared to shoulders and arms a bit. Especially upper and inside part of it.
    You should focus on other press variations and exercises if you’re looking to specifically target your lower and upper inner chest.
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    Registered User johnnybgood8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GeneralSerpant View Post
    suicide grip eh
    Yeah, sounds stupid... as I can see lot of pros doing that grip for their wrist etc... and on the other side people that overeactiong about that grip...
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    Registered User johnnybgood8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You should focus on other press variations and exercises if you’re looking to specifically target your lower and upper inner chest.
    Im doing incline and cables for upper part , dips for lower one.
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    Banned BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    Arching makes it slightly like a decline bench press. It adds a lot to the bench because pecs muscle fibers align better that way, and there is a shorter path to travel, it uses lats more too. It adds over 50lb to my bench (or more accurately flat backing loses 50lb).

    Don't fear suicide grip, a lot of drops are from thumb grips, a thumb grip encourages bad wrist alignment and bar position because the thumb compensates, but the bar should sit nicely in your palm without being held at all. You should probably use spotter bars though because one slip can be literally death, especially left hand because slipping that makes the bar hit you over the heart and kills you easily.
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    Registered User johnnybgood8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BenMcLeodNZ View Post
    Arching makes it slightly like a decline bench press. It adds a lot to the bench because pecs muscle fibers align better that way, and there is a shorter path to travel, it uses lats more too. It adds over 50lb to my bench (or more accurately flat backing loses 50lb).

    Don't fear suicide grip, a lot of drops are from thumb grips, a thumb grip encourages bad wrist alignment and bar position because the thumb compensates, but the bar should sit nicely in your palm without being held at all. You should probably use spotter bars though because one slip can be literally death, especially left hand because slipping that makes the bar hit you over the heart and kills you easily.
    Thanks for the reply. I ll try arching a bit in the next period and see the difference.
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    Originally Posted by johnnybgood8 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I ll try arching a bit in the next period and see the difference.
    keep in mind a decent arch is created with shoulder retraction and depression and squeezing your lats together.
    And held with constant leg pressure and lat pressure.

    if you just try to arch your back, esp lower back it's not going to have the same effect
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    keep in mind a decent arch is created with shoulder retraction and depression and squeezing your lats together.
    And held with constant leg pressure and lat pressure.

    if you just try to arch your back, esp lower back it's not going to have the same effect
    ^ This, pretty much.

    I would also advise you to go and check some form/technique video tutorials by Alan Thrall, for example. He has great form content and is easily understandable.
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    It really depends on what your goal is with the bench press.
    You post says for development not necessary max strength.
    A raised up or arched chest is used with both.
    For bodybuilding the the reason is to make the chest the target and try to minimize shoulder /delt involvement.
    Laying with a flat back on the BP makes the shoulders works more than the chest.
    The way to make the BP work better for the chest is some sort of arch and an elbow/upper arms more out away from the body position close to 90 degrees.
    This will hit the chest better than arms close to the sides.
    This position though sometimes can be bad on the shoulders so moderate weights not super heavy should be used.
    The areas you want to bring up lower pec line and inner chest aren't developed very well at all with the regular BP.
    The BP IMO develops the outer areas more with some inside.
    Inside is best developed with something that can give you full tension with the arms coming together like cable flys or a pec deck machine.
    Lower pec line can be hit with bar dips elbows out with upper body hunched over during a controlled movement up and down on the dip bars.
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    you will have a natural arch in your upper back if you focus on packing your shoulders, retracting your scapula back and down and knowing how to keep tight on the bench press.

    you don't need to actively develop an arch but it should be more of a consequence of good and tight form, if you want to put up higher totals in powerlifting sure work on a bigger arch
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    Originally Posted by TheShadowMan View Post
    I cringe every time I see a dramatic arch like these.. It just looks so dumb and pointless.
    Doesn't matter how much you cringe, it isn't dumb, and it very much has a point. Just glancing at the pic you posted illustrates that...
    If it were pointless to arch, then powerlifters wouldn't bother doing it.
    If you are not a powerlifter, then I can understand your perspective, as applicable to you.


    OP, you are lifting to change the shape/appearance of your body, so stay focused on that; hypertrophy.
    Barbell bench (arched or not) is probably not going to be the best movement for that objective.
    Dumbbells will give you more flexibility to change the nuances of the movement to get the results you want.
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