9/6/13

How To Get A Bigger Bench Using A Foam Roller

Some coaches don’t advocate the use of bench presses, but some coaches also don’t advocate eating meat. The traditional test of manliness is the bench press. Each time I walk into a secular training facility with my short shorts on I’m always asked, “howmuchyabench?” I sigh, roll my eyes, and say “‘bout three-hundi.” No one cares that I can squat over 500, or that I’m pulling in the high 5s.  In the land of fitness, bench press is the king.

So I humbly have taken the time to talk about a sure fire way to getyabenchup. But I’m not going to appeal to the masses by giving traditional advice; I’m going straight to the powerlifters and xfitters.


When I bench I’m at a distinct disadvantage. When I was in highschool I blew my shoulder out playing football. Trying to be tough I waited almost an entire year before seeing a doctor. Over the course of that year I dislocated it many times while wrestling and playing football for my school. The doctors had the technology to fix me, so they did. Then I popped up at college and spent a year grinding my glenohumeral (shoulder) into dust.

 So now, each time that I bench, I suffer from ego-shattering weaknesses – sigh -  

This inevitable life-obstacle has forced me to get creative with my training tactics. I don’t just bench twice a week and I don’t just use a conjugate method for lifting, I also use a foam roller. Traditionally foam rollers are used to break scar tissue or to help alleviate muscle tightness. In this case, foam rollers will be used to assist in the arch of the back during bench press.



When competitively benching it is important to do these things: arch back, squeeze shoulder-blades together, sink shoulders into the bottom of the socket, and bring your feet underneath your hips while squeezing your glutes.

Most athletes struggle with the arch and feet portion of this command, unfortunately those are the most important commands.

When athletes first start arching for bench I recommend that you find a 4 inch PVC pipe to start with. Place the pipe underneath the bencher, around mid back, and let them bench that way. Try and evolve you bench towards using a full foam roller. 

When I bench I usually do multiple sets with a foam roller, but I always finish my final set without the foam roller.

This helps me work on my arch during the early sets, but in the end I have to create the arch myself. Remember, when you use the foam roller, place it towards your thoracic area. Try not to leave it directly on the lumbar region.


The most important thing I can suggest is being humble. If I’ve said anything a-hundred times on this blog, it’s that being humble will lead to great GAINZ. When you introduce the foam roller drop the weight you’re lifting for a while. Ingraining technique is better than being able to brag about howmuchyabench.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.