How to Leg Drive on Bench Press
Leg drive; it's not only an option to use your legs while you bench, but it's actually more efficient and will make you bench press more weight!
You may already understand the benefit of powerlifting shoes while benching. If not, realize that powerlifting shoes have a raised heel which is super helpful for squats as well as bench press, especially for people with poor ankle mobility. For bench press, the added heel maximizes your ability to drive with your legs but there's more to it than just wearing the shoes!
To maximize leg drive on bench press:
- Lay flat on bench press to begin with your hands on the bar; placing them where you normally do is fine.
- Place your feet, flat if possible, on the ground. You should be bending your knee at about 90 degrees with quadriceps parallel to the floor.
- While still holding the bar, drive through your feet as if you were going to push your head off the bench press. Your hips should shoot up off the bench!
- Notice here that your only points of contact are your shoulders, upper back, and neck as well as your feet. That's it.
- While still pushing through your feet, slowly rotate your pelvis and hips down towards the bench press until your butt touches the bench.
Are You Slipping on Your Bench Press?
During step 3, when you're applying force through your feet you may notice that you begin sliding backwards on your bench press, away from your feet. This isn't good. Sliding back on the bench press will result in a loss of tightness.
We highly recommend investing in a non-slip bench press mat like The Backbone. The Backbone stops your back and shoulders from sliding on any bench press! It provides optimal grip, allowing athletes to focus on repetitions as opposed to being distracted by unnecessary movements caused by slipping backwards.
If you're serious about using leg drive during bench press or improving your arch, then you need your upper body to remain glued to your bench press. Additionally, The Backbone provides grip and thickness similar to competition-grade powerlifting bench presses so if training at a powerlifting gym isn't an option, we have your back!