The legal bench press cheating in powerlifting has reached epic proportions, especially in the female divisions. Women can develop supreme spinal flexibility, as seen in gymnastics. This allows them to arch their backs to extreme degrees.
The big arch shortens the range of motion by removing the bottom portion of the lift, which is chest dominant and very hard for women. Therefore, with the help of extraordinary back arching, heavy weights are lifted.
In addition to the arch, the females rely on a very wide grip too. The grip is also legal because most small women have narrow shoulders. That amazing “technique” shortens the range of motion even more. The ironic part is that the big arch makes the extra wide grip bench press pretty safe because there is no bottom portion. Therefore, the shoulders and the pec tendons are not under extreme stress, which would be the case if the arch was smaller, and the lifter had to fight the barbell at the bottom.
The result of this high-level logic is the birth of the 1-inch bench press. Rumor has it that your real bench press is about 10% of your 1-inch bench press.
Arch more! Be “strong”!