What is Leg Drive in The Bench Press

What is leg drive?

Leg drive is technique utilized by a lot of powerlifters and strength athletes when doing the bench press exercise. As the name suggests, it utilizes your legs to help initiate the the movement of the bar off of your chest. Generally your feet will be planted on the ground and butt on the bench. While maintaining constant tension the lifter will drive backwards with the force being initiated from their legs. Feet will stay on the ground and butt will stay on the bench. In most cases you will see a subtle contraction of the quads and hips moving back a little bit.

(watch the video above for a full leg drive tutorial).

Why should I use leg drive?

Leg drive helps to initiate the press. Furthermore, when setting up to utilize leg drive it helps the lifter create constant tension and stability. Additionally, leg drive will the lifter maintain a strong upper back position while increasing stiffness and rigidity through the torso.

How beneficial is leg drive?

Leg drive is very beneficial especially under heavier loads. Most lifters will not notice a big difference under light loads. But effectively utilizing leg drive can make or break your lift when working with higher intensities.

How does leg drive make the bench press easier?

study by Kristiansen et. al (2015), looked at how muscles work together in max bench presses. The hypothesis was based on the effect from leg drive placing the body in a mechanically advantageous position. This will put a smaller demand on the nervous system and requires less muscular effort to complete the lift.

In short this help to make you a more efficient lifter!