Powerlifters carry some of the heaviest weights in the gym, and they do so with a lot of ease and command that they hardly ever get major accidents during weight lifting. That is not by
accident, but by careful positioning of their body while weight lifting. To be precise, they arch their bodies while bench pressing to achieve certain body structural advantages. This
article will explore reasons why you need to arch when you bench press.
What is Arching
Arching on the bench press entails lifting your back up and away from the bench, making
your spin curve into its natural concave position. Thus naturally aligning your backbone’s
vertebrae on top of each other. While in an arched position, only your head, shoulders, and
glutes touch the bench.
The position might look weird, and it decreases your likelihood of getting injuries. It is the
safest position for doing bench presses. It has multiple advantages other than safety, as
Benefits of Arching
1. Prevents Injuries - Bench pressing primarily relies on your shoulder joints (a ball-
and-socket joint). In an arched position, you are securely ‘drawing the ball into the
socket,’ and thus allowing your upper-back muscles to firmly draw your shoulder
blades backward and into a stable position. In this position, you’re restricting free arm
movements. It thus becomes less likely that your arm swings or folds involuntarily
under hundreds of pounds of weights being lifted over your chest.
2. Tight and Full Body Tension - Arching while lying down on the bench tightens your
glutes, shoulders, quads, and the entire body’s core muscles. That, in turn, gives your
whole body more tension. The sum of it allows you to lift heavier loads than you
would comfortably lift were you lying flat on the bench.
3. Lessens the Bar Travel Distance - In an arched position, the bar travels less distance
in each press. It, therefore, becomes easier to lift heavier weights.
While this position is a must-do for professional weight lifters who regularly lift exceedingly
heavyweights, it is recommended for everyone. Regardless of the fact you’re in the gym to
keep fit, lose weight, or train for sports.