Save Your Shoulders and Increase Your Bench Press

By Mike Westerdal
Author of Bench Press Explosion


Almost everyone you talk to says they want to increase their bench press, but unfortunately some guys skip the exercise.

The number one excuse I get, “I can’t bench press because my shoulders hurt.” Its true bench pressing with bad form can cause shoulder injuries but there is a way to alleviate this.

I had the same issues myself and thought my heavy benching days were over. That is until several years ago when I met with a powerlifting coach and discovered this tip.

As you bench press, keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. By doing this the path of the bar will change a bit. The bar will touch a little lower on your chest right below your nipples.

The fact you’re touching the bar lower on your chest will decrease the pressure on your deltoids.

The further you are from your center the less leverage you have. When you tuck your elbows and keep them from flaring out you transfer the load to your triceps taking pressure off the shoulder complex.

Touching the bar lower and keeping your elbows in close will allow the bar to travel in a straight line. We all know the fastest way from point A to point B is with a straight line. Give this technique a try. You may drop in poundage the first few workouts, but you’ll skyrocket past where you were in the past in record time.


Example of Tucked Elbows

Example of Tucked Elbows in the Bench Press

Notice in the photograph above the lifter has his elbows tucked in nice and close to his sides. This forces him to touch the bar a little lower on the chest, just below the nipples. You’ll also notice that his forearms are perpendicular to the bar and perfectly straight for maximum leverage.


Example of Flared Elbows

Example of Flared Elbows in the Bench Press

This is an example of a lifter that has flared elbows. It is not wrong to do this it just puts more pressure on the shoulders. If you we were to follow the path of the bar I’d guess that the it would touch higher on the chest probably at or above the nipples. Personally I prefer the tucked elbows technique.

When you start practicing this technique use a much lighter weight until you get the form down. In fact, it may take several weeks to get it down.

You might feel a bit weaker at first, but it’s one of those situations where you take 1 step backward to take 3 steps forward.

That’s how it worked out for me anyhow. If you enjoyed this tip, I’ve got a lot more for you in my new Bench Press Explosion report.

This is a very powerful collection of bench press programs and well worth the if you want a bigger bench, go get these programs now...


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