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10 Tips for Improving Leg Drive on Bench Press

There's a bunch of different things to think about when benching, including but not limited to:

Shoulder blades together and down
Upper back arched
Elbows in
Lats activated (when bar is near bottom of range of motion)
Breathe using the Valsalva maneuver
Butt on the bench
Leg drive
It's that last point in the list above that I want to focus on today: leg drive.

Sounds simple, but it's easier said than done. Even lifters who understand the concept and importance of leg drive will often execute it poorly.

So, I'll share several practical tips and cues that (with practice) will help you use leg drive more effectively, and in turn, increase your bench press.

This 10 Tips for Improving Leg Drive on Bench Press

1. Initiate Leg Drive Before Lift-Off
2. Press Your Heels Down, Then Drive
3. Drive Forcefully from Start of Rep; Increase Force as You Lower & Press
4. Never Disengage Leg Drive Between or During Reps
5. Squeeze Your Glutes Hard!
6. Imagine the Leg Drive Pushing Your Bodyweight onto Your Upper Back
7. Squeeze the Bench Between Your Thighs (for narrower stances only)
8. Try Benching in Olympic Weightlifting Shoes (if you bench with heels on floor)
9. Do Glute Bridges or Hip Thrusts for Assistance Work
10.This drive will translate directly into added power out of the bottom of the bench press, increasing the amount of weight you will be able to press.