🚨 LEG DRIVE IN THE BENCH PRESS
✅ This is definitey an “advanced” technique detail of the bench press and it will make more sense later on, when the weight will get much heavier (in case you’re still a beginner).
The leg drive in the bench press becomes more and more important as the weight gets heavier in order to keep the set up stable during the reps, but let’s see why:
In the drawing I’ve oriented the arrows that symbolize the forces at play during the bench press:
✅✅✅ As we set up, the weight of the barbell falls perpendiculary on our shoulders, which is countered by our upper back (with the arch created through thoracic extension). As the barbell comes down on our chest through a diagonally-ish bar path, it will tend to push our body down/forward on the pad, and this is where the leg drive comes most into play:
Basically, what you want to do is to provide a counter force for the barbell by pushing “backwards” on the pad, through leg drive, in order to maintain a strong & stable set up to push from.
❌❌❌On the other hand, if we don’t use it, when the heavy barbell comes down, it’ll tend to push our body down/forward – weakening the set up – and because there will be no leg drive, there’ll also be less counter force for the barbell to help you push.
The orientation of the arrows will show you what I mean with this.
Like I said, this becomes more and more important and paradoxically “easier to do” as you start lifting heavy weights (1x bw and more). Hopefully it made sense