Big Bench Pressing – Loading The Lats – Zach Homol

Zach Homol – @ZachHomol

If you are a weightlifter, you already know that any restaurant, bar or family function you walk into that someone is going to ask, “Well How Much Do You Bench?”

No matter what that number is for you I think we can all agree.. we want to bench press more!

Bench pressing, like any other movement we do, has an art to it. There’s positions we can put our body into which allows for more muscle groups to be used during the movement that will aid in producing more force into the bar.

In this short article I am going to explain what it means and looks like to utilize your LATS to help sky rocket your bench past pre existing plateaus. The lats are a major muscle group and if you plan to bench press big numbers utilizing them will get you their much quicker all while saving on our shoulders!


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◦Elbows Flared

◦Pressure from bar goes to shoulders 

◦No lat engagement

◦Flat back (No Arch)

This positioning is very common in most gym go-ers. It’s 2018 and we still have people who believe arching (moderately arching that is) of the upper back is “bad/going to break your back” This is nonsense and a folk tale told from decade to decade by uneducated individuals.

Nearly every single top lifter I’ve worked with, trained with or have been around crates an upper back arch.

Arching reduces ROM (Range of Motion) of bar travel and saves on the shoulders!

Unknown-1.jpegGetting closer!!

•Elbows are tucked (just not quite enough) 

•Shoulders not tucked back far enough

•No upper back arch

This again, is a very common position I see lifters in. This position, however not being 100% ideal, is a great start into gaining full potential of your positioning. More practice and we will be right on our way to perfecting the set up!

Unknown-2.jpegTHE SET UP!

•Elbows slightly tucked.

•Triceps fight toward the lats on the decent (Don’t over tuck the elbows)

•Shoulders fully tucked into bench (tucked back)

•Upper back arched. Highest point of contact being the sternum.

For more in-depth content on the proper Flat Bench Set Up: CLICK HERE!

For more articles like this, click here!

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