T Nation

Benching w/ Legs Up, Not Floor?

this may be an inconsequential matter but its always bothered me.

does it really make a difference when you bench with your legs up or not, some people put there legs all the way up in a fetal like position, and some people have it fixed on the bench. iv tried both before and it seems to yield no significant enhancement to the exercise.

i see many people doing it in the gym and the usual answer i’ll get is " it works the core" or “you use more muscle for the lift”

on a personal note, i do it every once in a while with light weight when im benching and it seems be more for theatrics then any real beneficial value.

just wanted to get some opinions

cheers

I think the general consensus here is that benching with your feet on the bench is just dumb

I’ve seen this before as well, and always wondered my self what the benefits are.

I never feel as strong or as stable if I put my feet up. So keep them flat on the ground.

Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope.

Its just somebody people do that proves they have no idea wtf they are doing.

i’ll have to agree with you hardgnr

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope. [/quote]

Ever see a floor press?

cant say i have, but iv seen some guy a few years back benching on the floor lol i thought my eyes were deceiving me but sure enough he was on the smith and laying on the floor flat benching. me and my friends got a kick out of it though.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Iron Dwarf wrote:
Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope.

Ever see a floor press?[/quote]

irrelevant. The leg position in a floor press is not related. Floor pressing with feet flat on the ground adds stability and leg drive, much more similar to feet on the ground while regular benching, and not feet on the bench.

ID is correct. And putting your feet up on the bench is about as stupid as the suicide grip.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope. [/quote]

Absolutely. Helps set up the arch. :wink:

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
wfifer wrote:
Iron Dwarf wrote:
Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope.

Ever see a floor press?

irrelevant. The leg position in a floor press is not related. Floor pressing with feet flat on the ground adds stability and leg drive, much more similar to feet on the ground while regular benching, and not feet on the bench.
[/quote]
Oh come on, how are you staying tight at all on the floor? Granted you can space your feet further apart to give you a wider base of support. But your feet are on the same plane as your body in both situations. Your hips are bent. In other words, no leg drive. What happens when you try to get leg drive? Your ass comes off the ground.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
zephead4747 wrote:
wfifer wrote:
Iron Dwarf wrote:
Ever see powerlifters put feet up on bench?

Nope.

Ever see a floor press?

irrelevant. The leg position in a floor press is not related. Floor pressing with feet flat on the ground adds stability and leg drive, much more similar to feet on the ground while regular benching, and not feet on the bench.

Oh come on, how are you staying tight at all on the floor? Granted you can space your feet further apart to give you a wider base of support. But your feet are on the same plane as your body in both situations. Your hips are bent. In other words, no leg drive. What happens when you try to get leg drive? Your ass comes off the ground.

[/quote]

you can fall OFF a bench…you can’t fall OFF the floor.

DG

edit-reread the posts…either way floor pressing is a tool and putting your feet up on the bench while bench pressing is very stupid.

I am playing devil’s advocate…but no one’s making much of a case here.

Putting your feet on the bench is on a par with putting them on the floor but using no leg drive. In other words, why do the former when the latter is a bit safer? I suppose it removes temptation. However, considering that most guys who put their feet on the bench have no idea how to use leg drive anyway, it is indeed “for theatrics”.

Basically, you should have a damn good reason for doing the exercise like this and you should have a spotter.

Now, benching with your feet in the air…that’s just asinine.

I never tried pressing with my feet on the bench (see gerdy’s above post).

However, one time I was doing DB flyes and this personal trainer (decent sized guy) said to try them with my feet on the bench. I did it and actually felt my chest more throughout the movement (maybe I concentrated more?); however, that was the first and last time I did it.

i think it helps to show which people know what the’re doing and which don’t…

edit: just reread the thread and realised this has already been said.

I definitely think its a bad idea for benching… but funny enough i often lift my legs up during skull crushers. For some reason it feels much better on my lower back and is more natural for me. I know you still have the same balancing issues but i’m using a lot less weight for skull crushers then flat bench. Anyone else do this?

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Oh come on, how are you staying tight at all on the floor? Granted you can space your feet further apart to give you a wider base of support. But your feet are on the same plane as your body in both situations.[/quote]

Your feet will be in the same plane as your body in a floor press no matter what, whether legs are straight or bent. Planting the feet flat allows you to more effectively transfer lower body and core strength into your lift.

Bending your legs is the only way to get significant leg drive in a floor press. It doesn’t necessarily mean your ass is going to rise.

Compare that form to the picture above. How much leg drive could the pictured guy get, because his heels are inches away from his glutes?

I think they are, but you might be letting your “role” as Devil’s advocate act as blinders.

That’s an inaccurate comparison. In a floor press, bending the legs and planting the feet flat is actually more stable, and more “safe”, than the only other option - leaving the legs straight.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Your feet will be in the same plane as your body in a floor press no matter what, whether legs are straight or bent. Planting the feet flat allows you to more effectively transfer lower body and core strength into your lift.[/quote]

I respect your opinion, but I don’t think you really understand what I’m getting at. How do you get leg drive in the bench press? You bring your feet back and out, tightening your glutes. Combined with a tight arch and scapular retraction/depression, this drives your upper traps into the bench.

If you try to do this with bent hips, your ass comes up, as illustrated by the video of Dave Tate you posted.

[quote]Bending your legs is the only way to get significant leg drive in a floor press. It doesn’t necessarily mean your ass is going to rise.

Compare that form to the picture above. How much leg drive could the pictured guy get, because his heels are inches away from his glutes?[/quote]

Neither of them are getting much out of their legs beyond support. When Dave tries to get more, his ass comes off the ground. The EliteFTS youtube channel has another video of him with his ass coming up labeled as “the wrong way to floor press”.

The floor press is not the bench press. Yes, you can arch and let your ass come up like Tate (no one’s gonna argue with his methods), but in general it’s not about leg drive. If you want a partial lift with leg drive, do a board press. Some guys (like Pavel, love him or hate him) go so far as to recommend doing the floor press with your legs straight out.

And I think dogma is blinding you to the point that you’re missing the crux of my argument.

I wasn’t even talking about the floor press here. The only reason I mentioned the floor press to begin with was to counter the fallacious argument that powerlifters don’t put their feet on the bench.

My point was that just because your feet are on the floor in a regular bench press, that doesn’t mean you’re getting much leg drive. In such cases (i.e. the majority of gym-goers) there’s virtually no loss in leg drive by having your feet on the bench, since there wasn’t much to begin with. The only difference, as Gerdy pointed out, is that you can fall off the bench.

So I stand by my assertion that this technique is dumb for most people, but with a spotter, potentially useful for those seeking to eliminate leg drive while maintaining a full range of motion.

most people do it, as far as i understand, to put themselves a little bit off balance, which makes it more of a “core” exercise or whatever.

i think that is totally stupid. if you are looking for a core exercise, why did you choose the bench press!!! and if you are looking to strengthen your shoulders, chest, tris, etc… why worry about the involvement from the core?

this is especially stupid, in my opinion, because it brings a large safety risk into the picture that doesn’t need to be there, and it also, as i understand, requires you to move less weight (as you don’t have the leg drive to help), and thus it is a less effective chest-tris-shoulder exercise than the bench press…

why would you ruin your bench press workout AND potentially hurt yourself just to get your abs involved? do some sets of legit bench presses, and then do some ab work, if you want to… but why the need to combine them and do a shitty job at both at the same time?

dan