Shirted Benching 101

Bench Press Cues, Bench Press Technique, Bench Shirt, Set Up Phase -

Shirted Benching 101

The reason I love shirted benching so much is the technical practice that comes along with it!

Unlike raw benching, there's a lot more factors thrown into the mix that will determine your success.

The strongest person will not always be the best lifter

One of the big questions I am asked is what to do when setting up in a shirt. Many cannot get in as great a position with the shirt on.

A couple things I have found to make a big impact on my set up have been pulling the belt earlier and crawling my shoulders back down into position

Having someone pull my belt down on the bridge up as opposed strictly to when I'm fully set has allowed me to belly up to the bar even more and set on my traps better.

You're always fighting the shirt to get into a better position, this trick helps

Another is crawling the shoulders back down once fully set.

Once I'm in position, I use the bar to essentially walk my shoulder blades back down towards my hips. I don't do this raw but in the shirt I've found it to be the missing piece in the puzzle to getting where I want to be

How to groove the shirt!

Make sure to set tension by spreading the bar hard. As you descend, load up that chest plate! You'll feel the chest start to stretch and catch and eventually lock up pretty good.

As soon as that happens start to barrel down towards your belly and tuck elbows in (maintaining tightness!!). You'll feel the tension shift from chest plate to triceps on the sleeves

This is where most lifters have a hard time. Unlike the raw groove, you need to tuck hard here to make sure you end up in a good position.

Most stay stacked and just end up dumping the bar forward too much and are never in a good position to throw back.

When you press back, you often hear to "flare" the elbows. Yes, you need to flare out and back from this point but you need to do so in a controlled manner.

Keep spreading and bending the bar to keep the lats engaged during this throw back. Having an uncontrolled flare of the elbows that is disconnected from the back is not going to result well


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