The correct form for the bench press requires that both your feet are
touching the ground and your glutes, as well as your upper back remain
anchored to the bench. Keep both shoulders back while keeping a slight
arch in your lower back. So if this is the proper form how does a ceiling
thruster lift? We've all seen them, they'll load up the bar putting both
feet on the bench while they arch their back towards the ceiling as they
attempt to press the weight.
Why do people do it? They want to brag
about how much they can bench. Don't be fooled by these boastings, it's
the same thing as someone who says they benched 400 but you see the spotter
holding his biceps in pain from the spot he just gave. Yeah forced reps
are great, but ceiling thrusting is something entirely different. If you
take one of these guys and make them use correct form you will see that
the weight will drop dramatically! Not only that but you'll see that the
development of a ceiling thrusters chest is not up to par with their
proclaimed benching ability. Obviously, because when you cheat you aren't
putting the full stress of the exercise on the muscles involved.
the fact that they aren't getting stronger, or developing they will
probably wind up getting hurt too. Ceiling thrusters put tremendous
stress on the discs in their back. I've seen people at the gym that
thrust their hips so much during the incline bench press that the only
part of their body touching the actual bench was their upper back! Okay
so if you have bad form you probably feel pretty low, but there's hope.
So here's what you can do to help yourself or someone you train with. Start
by lowering the bar to your chest and pausing for a two count before
pressing. Your ego might get hurt and you won't want to lift chest Monday
nights anymore, but your strength will be real. Start from the basics and
use correct form, which is the only way to size and power.
During my football days the coach would tie a belt around a five pound weight. The
belt would than remain under the lifters lower back when he was maxing out. The
weight would dangle but did not touch the floor. If you arched your back
too much, the weight would pull the belt out from under you, and the lift
wouldn't count. Regardless of whether you want to bench 600 lbs., do 225
for 30 reps, get shredded, or build a 60 inch chest the form will always
remain the same. The bench press is a core lift used as a foundation. So
do this lift right and the rest will follow!