What is Leg Drive?
The bench press is a full body lift. This involves using your legs to create tension throughout your entire body.
The tension and drive you create will keep you stable while you’re benching, help you maintain your starting position and give you extra pop off your chest. This allows you to move bigger weights.
Understanding leg drive and applying it are very different.
I knew what it was long before I was able to apply it.
Finding the cue that connects to you can be challenging. I want to introduce you to four cues my clients and I have used with huge success.
How to Use Leg Drive
Jam your toes into the front of your shoes and try to poke holes through them.
From setup to the end of the lift you should be driving your toes into the front of the shoes as hard as you can. I can’t stress this enough, do it the entire time! A lot of people tend to do it during the setup, only to forget it after unracking the bar.
Drive your toes into the front of your shoes and feel the tension through entire body. Your quads, hamstrings and glutes will flex and you’ll feel your traps drive into the bench.
At this point nothing should be able to move you out of this position.
If you bench flat footed, your feet should remain flat on the ground the entire time. Don’t let your heels come off the ground.
Drive heels into the front of your shoes.
This is very similar to the cue above. Slide your heel into the front of your shoes as hard as you can. Again, you’re going to feel your quads, hamstring and glutes flexing hard. This should be driving your traps into the bench.
Avoid pushing your heels straight through the ground. You don’t want to do a glute bridge and have your glutes come off the bench. Try to push the floor forward and away from you.
Do a leg extension.
In the leg extension you start in the position like man on the left and you finish like the man on the right. When you bench, you will start like the man on the left in a lying down position. You will try as hard as you can to extend your legs to finish the leg extension.
Your feet won’t actually move.
You will stay in the position you setup in.
The harder you try to perform the leg extension the more tension you will feel throughout your body.
Remember to keep your knees out as your performing the leg extension. This will help you keep your glutes on the bench.
Flex your quads.
This is a simple and useful cue. Keep your heels behind your knees, drive your knees out and just flex your quads.
This cue should force you to try and drive your heels forward and down.
This will keep you nice and tight. Your legs should be locked in, no one should be able to move them out of place.
This will assist you in maintaining the position you started while you’re performing the press.
Here is a video explaining these four leg drive cues:
If you’re struggling with leg drive or just looking to improve it, give one of these cues a try!
If you’re looking for additional help on the bench press, or just have a general question, send me an email with the subject line QUERY to email@example.com.