Julia Anto (formerly Ladewski), elitefts coach and speaker for the Strong(er) Sports Training Success Summit, presents the second part of her video series, What I'm Seeing and Why It’s Wrong.

Poor technique and form are issues she’s seen in far too many social media lifts are what inspired her to start this series. She hopes that by addressing these common issues and presenting easy fixes, she will prevent injuries and help lifters improve their form.

In this video, she focuses on fixing bench press flares. For those who are newer to lifting, the term “flare” refers to the movement of the elbows that occurs as a person presses the bar off their chest, finishing the movement.

Flaring isn’t a good or bad thing. It’s good in that it keeps the bar in the most efficient path and allows lifters to utilize their triceps to the fullest.

And the bad?

"We’re seeing a lot of over-flaring, so there’s too much of a flare at the top, which is keeping the bar out of position and actually puts a lot of stress on the shoulders, which doesn’t allow us to use the triceps."

Over-flaring also means lifters are not staying tight and utilizing their lats properly. The other problem is that people aren’t getting a full understanding of how, when, and why to use their hands.

The biggest problem Julia’s seen is a huge flare involving the chest.

"Why is that happening? The major thing is that the person is not utilizing their lats as they stabilize them to bring the bar down which means they’re not staying tight off the chest and immediately the bar has to have some sort of support, so it goes to the shoulders."

To fix this problem, Julia recommends adding some eccentrics to understand what “feeling tight” is like, especially if they’re new to lifting.

She also suggests doing pauses on and off the chest. They should barely touch their T-shirt while they’re pausing.

Another issue she’s seen on social media is when more experienced lifters who know when to properly flare and lock out are doing reps to failure to reset the bar back into position and tighten the lats. When that happens, they should stop and bring the bar down and tighten the lats properly.

What I'm Seeing and Why It's Wrong: Fixing the Sumo Deadlift