T Nation

Leg Drive for the Bench


ive been reading that you can actual use the legs to help pressing the bar....how does this work?? i always thought that the leg drive was important soley for keeping stable....can anyone explain this for me please?


I think it's most important at the very bottom of the bench, when the bar is touching your chest you thrust with your legs as you begin to press and some of the energy is transferred into the bar through your chest.


I don't know how it works from a biomechanical view. But from observation and some experience: leg drive can be used in à good setup by (trying, depending on setup) to get the heels in the ground and by doing that you force your upper back more in the bench so you can press from à tighter upper body. When you do it right it feels like some power is transfered from lower to upper body


I find the best way to describe leg drive is, when on the bottom portion of the bench, I tighten up my glutes and at the same time push down on my heels. It gives me a significant push off the bottom. Some lifters do it different ways, and you really have to play around with it.It does work though, as you will quickly discover. My toughest thing is to remember to do it, but that gets better eventualy as well.


I'm far from having a mastery of the bench or leg drive for that matter, but one of the newest coaching tips I got was to try to drive my feet THROUGH the toes of my shoes while at the same time pressing the bar off of the chest. That's assuming you're setting up on your heels...some guys setup on their toes and would need to try to keep their toes on the floor and press down onto their heels to get leg drive...only issue there is the massive stretch you will get in your hip flexors, requires some degree of flexibility.


Always keep your knees below your hips. It makes near impossible for your ass to leave the bench when you do this.