Squeezing the Shoulder Blades During the Bench Press

I read your comments on the bench press. I just want to build my chest, and one trainer [said] to squeeze the shoulder blades together while doing it. I don’t feel it in my chest when I do that and felt it more when I don’t squeeze my shoulder blades back. Is it necessary to squeeze the shoulder blades together during the bench press and other chest pressing exercises?


My Answer: In Volume One, I devote a chapter to 2 different types of bench press: the bodybuilding bench press and the powerlifting bench press.  The powerlifting bench press requires that you squeeze your shoulder blades.  This squeezing of the shoulder blades back stabilizes your body on the bench so that you can push more weight.

The powerlifting bench press, however, is not meant to build the chest.  If you're looking to build the chest, then there is no requirement to squeeze the shoulder blades.  It is simply safer to do so.
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