T Nation

Leg Drive in Bench

Any tips in optimizing leg drive in the bench?

I feel my bench is severely limited by my poor leg drive…

In incline movements, I actually managed to get great leg drive because my back is well fixed against the bench so I can push as much as I want…

But on the bench, I have trouble getting any good leg drive… I set my scapula as tight as I can, but I still find that if I drive too hard, I feel like I’m sliding up

Vid

Do you always go for heels, or have you tried toes?

i had zero leg drive until a few weeks ago, when it finally clicked. What did it for me was starting so far back on the bench that the bar was over like my collarbone, setting my heels and my grip, and then literally lifting myself off the bench completely and re-setting my butt and traps, so that the bar was in the proper position to unrack.

If it’s just sliding that’s the issue though, maybe try chalking your back/the bench as well, it will help.

Are you actually up on your traps when you bench?

http://train.elitefts.com/instructional/so-you-think-you-can-bench-parts1-7/
Don’t know why this wasn’t my first response…

Pretty sure it’s Part II.

If youre sliding, chalk your back up

I found this useful. I liked the part about pushing yourself horizontally towards the bar side of the bench and you’re supposed to stay in place from the weight on the bar. Chalk will also help prevent sliding. Is your bench pad really slick? If so, chalk may help even more.

Also, keeping tension throughout your entire body will help. Any place that doesn’t have tension on it is a place where force is leaking.

yeah dude, most gyms benches are slick as hell. The shit they spray on there to clean might as well be Armor-All and just may be. Here’s a few options that I have found that work well over the years. Wear a tank top that lets your back actually touch the bench. If you get a little sweat going on your’ll stick pretty good. Chalk your back. If your gym doesn’t allow chalk you can use one of those Yoga mats to put on the bench. You’ll stick to that well. If you really want to stay put get a can of Mueller Stick em spray. Spray it on your back & or the bench. You can spray it on your shoes too to if the floor is slick and you really wan to push well.

At my old gym they had an old messed up yoga mat that they let me cut a piece off of that sat right on the bench. I kept it in my gym bag. Hope this helps.

Also, a shirt with a lot of print on the back helps. It sticks to the skin and the bench.

You can also wrap two thick bands longways on the bench. I’ve done it before and it gives you a lot more friction.

Maybe this was said, but do not initiate your leg drive fully unti your hands are on the bar. I will generally slide in from under the bar towards my feet. From then on, my hands will not leave the bar. It is what anchors me as I start my leg drive, and once the weight is over chest, it should keep your back pinned against then. Then I am thinking about pulling my shoulders towards my butt, while driving with my legs. Presto, you have an arch.

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Do you always go for heels, or have you tried toes?[/quote]

Always heels, I’ve never tried toes
It just feels like with toes I wouldn’t be able to apply as much force

[quote]inkaddict wrote:
Are you actually up on your traps when you bench?
[/quote]

I understand what you’re asking and I think it might be part of the problem…

Although I keep a very tight scapula, I have a very weak arch due to bad inflexibility, so I can’t ‘bridge’ on my traps as much as I should

I guess this would probably help with leg drive, since if the traps were aiming down, they wouldn’t be able to slide up

seriously, chalk your back

You know those rubber foam mats you put under a small carpet to stop it from sliding all over your floor?.. Cut one of these to size and use it in place of chalk on the bench where your traps are set. Works wonders.

http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/the-mindset-behind-a-great-bench-press/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-mindset-behind-a-great-bench-press

I have a pretty fair amount of leg drive. The article is my whole setup.

If you are having trouble sliding on the bench head to your local Sears and buy the rubber mesh that goes in the bottom of a tool drawers. Just keep a piece in your gym bag on throw it on the bench where your upper back and head go. I always use it now, you’ll never slide with that stuff on the bench.

Has anyone had their hamstring cramp while going for a ~1RM on their bench press?
It happened to me a few weeks ago. I don’t ever get cramps, not running or any other lifts, this just came out of nowhere.

[quote]MattyG35 wrote:
Has anyone had their hamstring cramp while going for a ~1RM on their bench press?
It happened to me a few weeks ago. I don’t ever get cramps, not running or any other lifts, this just came out of nowhere.[/quote]

Yes that happened to me at my last meet…it was god awful…my whole body seized up…I had eaten about 20 PB&J sandwiches, a box of oreos, a gallon of milk and a shitload of surge workout fuel and Jack’D in the 14 hours prior, so my body probably just wanted some actual water.

[quote]VTBalla34 wrote:

[quote]MattyG35 wrote:
Has anyone had their hamstring cramp while going for a ~1RM on their bench press?
It happened to me a few weeks ago. I don’t ever get cramps, not running or any other lifts, this just came out of nowhere.[/quote]

Yes that happened to me at my last meet…it was god awful…my whole body seized up…I had eaten about 20 PB&J sandwiches, a box of oreos, a gallon of milk and a shitload of surge workout fuel and Jack’D in the 14 hours prior, so my body probably just wanted some actual water.
[/quote]

I’d shit my pants during squatting if I ate like that lol.