How much ya bench?
A great question in the sport of Olympic lifting. Have you even seen an elite level powerlifter with the ability to drop under a snatch that is even 50% of their best bench? Very likely the answer is no. This is an extreme case however, bench pressing can help develop the musculature of the anterior shoulder and triceps. Believe it or not the chest muscle does play a role in stabilizing the bar when overhead in the snatch. It is simply not as active as the lats or shoulders. The fact is when the chest becomes the main stabilizer the bar is likely very forward in relation to the head. This leads to the lifter being pulled forward throughout the lift. So what exactly are you to do with this information? It seems you are being told two opposite things. Bench press is both bad and good for the Olympic lifts. The answer is almost entirely mobility. If you are the guy that walks around with his arms rotated forward and always catches the bar in front of your body, it’s probably best to lay off the bench. If you are a beginner lifter who has excellent mobility, but lacks lockout strength you may benefit from benching once a week. There are variations you can use that will help benching transfer more over to lifting such as board bench.
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