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.
Have you ever had a coach tell you toes out in your squat and wondered why it is? An athlete’s knees will track over the feet for the squat. If an athlete has their feet pointed straight ahead, then the knees will track straight ahead and therefore not optimal for strength production. For the vast majority of athletes anatomically speaking the positioning of the femur and how it attaches into the hip joint leads the feet pointed slightly outward to being the most optimal for mobility concerns, especially to avoid possible impingements. Most importantly however, rotating your feet outward slightly will put your glutes in a more optimal positioning for power production. Your glutes are lateral rotators of the thighs, so when your toes are pointed inwards the glutes are in a more lengthened position which leads to less power production. Turning the toes slightly outward puts them at the optimal length for both squatting and the Olympic lifts. Remember that this will work for most athletes meaning about 99%, so there may always be that one athlete who has a different anatomy for squatting. Especially when an athlete complains of pain in the front of the hip, proper mobility testing is needed to assess.