Understanding Retraction and Why Your Elbows Are “Soft” – CLICK HERE


Shoulder retraction is a fairly well known topic, but I think misguided in its application within powerlifting and the bench press. In my latest Youtube video, I dive fully into this topic and how we should have active retraction and protraction throughout our bench press range of motion. Pinching your shoulder blades back as hard as you can from the get go and holding them there throughout the press has for some reason become this supposed magic trick for shoulder health and decreasing range of motion, but both are fallacies. While there are a lot of factors of why we need a moving shoulder blade, one of the biggest that most do not know is from the relation of the long head of the tricep to the scapula. I break down how this relation affects our bench press movement, I look at how to keep ourselves accountable during our initial setup to make sure we do not over-retract, I describe the two main cues I use to promote active retraction through the eccentric phase, and then the main cue I use to promote protraction through the concentric phase. And lastly, per my title above, I give you the answer for why you can’t lock your elbows. Especially the often seen 1 elbow that just stays “soft” no matter what you do, and how you can fix that to not only get the start command, but also hopefully prevent or fix some nagging pec minor issues. Click the link above to view!

Leave a Reply