How to bench with long arms? Is bench press harder with long arms

Although having long arms may put you at a disadvantage when bench pressing heavy weights, you may still achieve elite-level pressing power with hard work and proper training.

Kate (benching 1503) is an excellent example: she has long arms and is built for deadlifting, but she has worked extremely hard to become a powerful bencher.

How to bench with long arms
How to bench with long arms

You’ll have a long bench stroke if you have long arms. You must do all possible to ensure your own success.

Why Do People With Long Arms Have a Hard Time Bench Pressing?

How can we use our knowledge of the muscles involved in the bench press to explain why long-armed lifters have an advantage in the bench press?

Why Do People With Long Arms Have a Hard Time Bench Pressing?

Torque requirements are more stringent.

What exactly is torque?

The impact of force when applied at a specific distance from the axis is known as torque (the point of rotation).

The greater the force of contraction required to rotate the upper arm from chest to lockout, the further the load is from the point of rotation (shoulder or elbow).

We can easily apply this to our long-limbed lifter because they will have both longer upper and lower arm segments than a short-limbed lifter, implying that both the chest and triceps will have to work harder.

A longer distance to move the bar signifies more WORK is done.

Mechanical work is a product of muscle force and the distance that this force must be exerted over in terms of energy.

We can look at this from both a linear and a rotational standpoint (the distance the bar travels while touching chest vs. at lockout) (the joint rotation required at the elbow and shoulder to bring the bar down to the chest and then back up to achieve lockout).

As a result, if we have to move the bar across greater distances, the long-armed lifter will be at a disadvantage energetically!

Long-armed lifters will be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of fatigue accrued during a workout as a result of this.

With a wider range of motion, muscle length increases.

The muscles will have more difficulty building tension where we require the most force to get the bar off the chest, according to length-tension correlations.

This also means that the long-limbed lifter is more likely to sustain a muscular injury, therefore possessing not only mobile but also strong shoulders in these ranges of motion and at longer muscle lengths is critical.

Long Arms aren’t an acceptable excuse

Long Arms aren’t an acceptable excuse

Because no lifter is constructed with optimal leverages for all three competition lifts, powerlifting is a fascinating sport. Even if you have long arms, hard practice and precise technique can help you build a large bench. It’s all the more satisfying when you break new records since you’ve worked hard for it.

Develop a powerful leg drive.

Develop a powerful leg drive.

Legs are used by great benchers to assist power the bar off the chest. Because of the larger range of motion, this is especially more critical for lifters with long arms. Imagine sliding your body backwards off the bench as you press; this will activate your legs and help you move the bar.

Hammer Your Triceps

Hammer Your Triceps

Because the lockout part of the lift is more emphasized, lifters with long arms will naturally be more triceps-dominant. Use bench-specific movements such as close grip presses, board presses, and triceps extensions to build your triceps.

Strengthen Your Lats

When benching, the upper back is your foundation, but the lats are especially crucial for lifters with long arms since the humerus (upper arm) must go through such a wide range of motion, and the lats are in charge of controlling that motion as you lower the bar down.

Strengthen Your Lats

Pullovers and stiff-arm lat pulldowns can strengthen the lowering phase of the bench press, which will help you control heavy weights.

Make Your Shoulders Stronger

Make Your Shoulders Stronger

As you press the bar back up with longer arms, you’ll experience more shoulder flexion, thus powerful deltoids are essential. Overhead presses, high incline presses, and isolation techniques like lateral lifts with dumbbells or cables will strengthen your shoulders.

Obtain a Handover

Obtain a Handover

Short-arm lifters must set up further down the bench than long-arm lifters. This also makes it much more difficult to unrack the bar on your own. If you’re working with large weights, don’t be hesitant to ask for a handoff so you can fine-tune your setup.

Putting On Weight

Gaining weight is the simplest approach to enhance your bench press. Until I switched from the 220 to the 242 weight class, my bench was stuck.

Over the next four years, I gained between 10 and 20 pounds of bodyweight, resulting in a weight gain of approximately 100 pounds. Weight shifts weight, and it reduces range of motion. The correct nutrients will also help you recover faster.

Putting On Weight

It’s nice to be lean, but there may come a moment when your bench is stuck and you’ll need to bulk up. Gaining weight to get strong and leaning out to compete is part of the game if you want to be excellent. At 5’9″ and 275 pounds, I would have been the strongest.

I got as far as 260 pounds before working to lean out to 220 pounds while maintaining most of my strength. This was a ten-year procedure. It will take time, but the more mass you can gain, the better your bench will be. Stop adding weight if your deadlift starts to move backward.

Grease the Groove

When it comes to maximum weights, a slight deviation from the groove signifies a missed opportunity. A longer press equals a longer arm. If you adjust the 14″ too high or too low, the entire bar path alters, perhaps putting you out of position by an inch at lockout. It’ll happen, so prepare to be strong in such vulnerable places.

Long arm lifters will struggle with a steep gradient and a tight grip. If you set the bar too low, you’ll never finish the lift. You’ll need more shoulders to get the bar moving now that the lats have been removed.

Grease the Groove

There’s so much space for error here that I guarantee a better bench if you grow better at it. I would definitely advocate performing those workouts that make your press longer and harder, similar to overhead pressing. These will help you increase your bench press.

Choose an exercise that will help you improve your bench press and a rep scheme that you can stick to for a long time. Greasing the groove is one aspect of it, and strengthening muscles with submaximal weights is another.

You may learn to recover and put yourself in better situations as you fatigue with smaller weights if you end up in a terrible position. It makes no difference if you use JM Blakely’s 6×6, 5/3/1 for extra training or something else. Grease the groove by putting in the work week after week, and you’ll see improvements.

You’ll need to improve your technique and training as a long-armed lifter. Because the pieces must be stronger than those with large bellies and short arms, you will have to put in more work.

Keep track of your rest periods.

Because of your higher energy costs, Allow sufficient rest intervals between sets and workouts to avoid compensatory responses that could put you at danger of damage.

Keep track of your rest periods.

If you want to improve your bench press max strength, moving big loads and avoiding tiredness is more important than endurance. Consider establishing brief intra-set rest times during high-volume sessions.

Do 3 sets of 5+5 reps if your program asks for 3 sets of 10 reps at a specific load (after the first 5 reps, include a brief pause by racking and then un-racking the bar before performing the last 5 reps). With this recovery technique, you’ll still receive the muscular GAINZ (if not more).

F.A.Q how to bench with long arms:

Does having longer arms make it harder to bench?

There isn’t much of a difference in how your bench press is affected by whether you have short, long, or average arms. While people with shorter arms may have a little edge, it isn’t significant enough for scientists to observe.

Are you supposed to extend your arms all the way when you bench?

When bench pressing, you should never fully extend your elbows unless you’re doing single reps in preparation for a competition. You’ll have better control over the bar if you keep your elbows “soft.” Remove the bar from the rack and place it directly over your shoulder joint. Lower the bar till it is in contact with your chest.

Is it harder for tall guys to bench press?

Taller men have a more difficult time accumulating lean mass. Traditional strength workouts are more difficult for taller men to do over a full range of motion. If treated like any other lifter, taller men are more prone to joint discomfort.


In summation, the ultimate goal will be to increase triceps strength due to the greater demands placed on them, as well as enhance bench press technique efficiency. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t focus on your chest, as strength and flexibility are crucial for shoulder health.

Finally, keep in mind that, even if you’re at a disadvantage, don’t make this your scapegoat. You’ll only have to work a bit harder than the average bench presser, but thanks to the tips in this article, you’ll be able to optimize your training and push your strength to new heights!

And this article will help you answer the following questions about how to bench with long arms:

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Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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