Bench Form/Leg Position Question for Short Armed Benchers

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by UrbanSavage**, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. UrbanSavage**

    UrbanSavage** Pepe Silvia

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    Just re-watched Dave Tate's 'So You Think You Can Bench?' series, and at the end of the 6th video and beginning of the 7th he shows a second style of benching where your feet are extended further out in front of you so that your knees are lower than your hips. He explains that this is actually a better technique for benchers with short arms (like I have) looking to press in a straight line and that, for the leverages short-armed benchers have, this style actually shortens the range of motion, despite having a smaller arch. He also said this style is great for using more leg drive in your bench.

    I usually bench on my toes with my feet as far underneath me as I can get them, while keeping as big of an arch as I can with my ass still touching. I thought this style was best to shorten the ROM for the bench. I'm now planning on trying this 2nd style that Tate shows. He even said he benched with that 2nd style for many years and only changed it up because of a shoulder issue. I was under the impression that these days, the 1st style that he spends 95% of the SYTYCB instructional showing, was king for almost all benchers. Is this not true for short armed benchers?

    I wanted to know if anyone, particularly benchers with shorter arms, have any experience with this style and could give any advice on it. Any comments on the difference in the set-ups, arches, leg drive, etc. would be appreciated. Also, any advice on the primary differences for any of the big 3 for shorter limbed lifters would be great, but I'm mainly looking for bench advice. I remember reading posts from Travis Bell about being short armed, so I've watched a ton of his youtube vids to work on form. Any other good benchers to watch?

    In case you haven't seen it. So You Think You Can Bench? Get the Whole Series Here!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  2. UrbanSavage**

    UrbanSavage** Pepe Silvia

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  3. PCP

    PCP Guest

    I don't see how benching flat footed reduces the range of motion for people who have short arms. The Metal Militia set-up (see below) should give you the best leverages both raw and shirted, regardless of the length of your arms. It should be noted however, that this kind of arching setup works best for 1-3RM attempts, not 10+ reps. If you are following a program that has you doing a lot of reps (say 5+) on the bench, your feet need to be down and in front of you for stability.

     
  4. DEVILsSON

    DEVILsSON Black Belt

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    Tate also mentioned that this style may not be optimal for shoulder joint health so perhaps all in all it's not a great idea. Shorter arms already give you a big advantage in bench so just focus on the fundamentals (tight upper back, digging traps in, flaring/pinching shoulders, tucking elbows, big arch, digging feet in, widest grip, etc).

    Your biggest disadvantage will be in DL in that you'll have to get lower to the bar, either by starting lower with the hips or bending lower with the upper body. Some guys also choose to do sumo DLs.
     
  5. UrbanSavage**

    UrbanSavage** Pepe Silvia

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    Yeah, I've read a lot of stuff on Metal Militia and watched a ton of Sebastian's benches on youtube. I've been reading about how they bench twice a week, I've started benching twice a week with one day focused on top end strength and the other focused on the bottom end. I've already put a lot of time into my bench set up and technique, but watching SYTYCB and Dave mentioning the other style was the first I'd ever heard of a style having a shorter ROM and being superior to the standard feet tucked under/huge arch style.

    Dave said that the only reason benching with this other style would give shoulder problems would be for missing attempts and that you have poor leverage when you try to bench more towards your head and push with your shoulders. I bench in a straight line and start low. I wouldn't be interested in it so much, it's just that all the things Dave said would be indicators that you should bench in this style apply to me 100%.
     
  6. UrbanSavage**

    UrbanSavage** Pepe Silvia

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    I'm hoping to get some advice from Tate himself, I asked him about it on elitefts.com so hopefully he responds.

    The weird thing is that I truly do have short limbs and I'm really stocky, but the deadlift has always by far been my best lift. That's been changing as of late, I'd guess primarily due to reading and practicing a ton on my bench and squat because I've learned those are the lifts I really have the most potential to ever do big numbers in.

    Is sumo better than conventional for short limbed lifters or something? I've never been interested in sumo style dead lifting at all.
     
  7. PCP

    PCP Guest

    You don't flare back towards your head metal militia style unless you are in a bench shirt.
     

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