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Updated: Oct 4, 2023

How does leg drive work?

When a lifter presses his or her feet into the floor, he or she makes their whole body tense.

"Leg drive" is a special bench press move that top powerlifters use to push the barbell as hard as possible. For example, when trying to lift the most weight in one rep.

This makes it easier to transfer force from the ground to the upper body. This lets you put more power into the barbell and gives you more stability, stiffness in the torso, safe positioning, and strength.

  • Find a comfortable place to put your feet.

How you put your feet on the floor is the first step to good leg drive. This will be different for each person.

For the best leg drive, there are different ways to place your feet. You'll want to place your feet in a way that is comfortable and doesn't make your hips hurt. You'll also want to pay attention to the angle of your shin.

  • It begins with setting up.

Don't start driving when the bar is on your chest.

Leg drive should begin as soon as you start lifting to create tension, which is before you even take the bar off the rack.

  • Not just down, but also away,

Many lifters push their feet straight on the floor and pressing up to the ceiling, which can cause their butts to fall off the bench.

Instead, push down and away from your body as if you were trying to slide back into the bench without moving your buttocks or legs. This creates horizontal force instead of vertical force that is transferred from the group to your upper body.

  • Put pressure on the outside of your heel.

The outside of your heel should be the part of your foot that makes the most contact with the floor.

  • Don't let up on your leg drive when you're at the end of a set or between sets.

There hasn't been a study done to find out how much more your bench press will improve if you use leg drive. From my own experience, though, I know that leg drive can add anywhere from 5 to 10% to your lift, depending on how much arch you can make.

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