If you want to increase your bench press by as much as 40 pounds the very next time you perform the exercise, then you will want to watch this video. I’m going to show you how to add up to 40 pounds to your bench in your next workout just by incorporating two commonly misperformed elements of the bench press. For this, I’m bringing in powerlifter and expert KC Mitchell (That 1 Legged Monster) to help showcase exactly what it is that I’m teaching.
The first thing that many people overlook, which is costing them a significant amount of weight lifted in the exercise, is the lack of leg drive. The force of the bench press literally starts with the drive of the feet on the floor. More than that however is, the direction of that force. Many people think that the direction you want to push your feet is straight down into the ground. This is incorrect.
In order to properly perform your leg drive you need to learn to push your feet away from your head. This will drive your body up the bench if performed the right way. When you understand this concept you see how this ties into the second tip given in this video about proper bar path. We will get to that in a little bit. For now however, the feet will initiate the upward power of the lift and are therefore needed to be positioned properly.
You can do this by setting up as you normally would under the bar and then sliding your body down the bench. From here, bend the knees and bring the feet back as far as you can under your body. You will point your toes down into the ground to apply the brakes and anchor your body in place. From here, when you push you want to think about trying to perform a leg extension. The toes should want to extend out as if you were straightening your knee.
This will want to drive your body up the bench and slide your head closer to the top of the bench. If you contract your glutes while you do this however you will stay in place and transfer the upward and angled momentum into the bar instead. This is where bar path comes in. Many will incorrectly try and push the bar straight up over their head instead of back toward the rack. This is a mistake.
Physics will dictate that a path of efficiency is what we are after when pursuing maximal strength. The most efficient path to press the bar is on an angle rather than steeply opposed to gravity. Drive that bar from the point on your chest back on a straight but angled line back to the rack. The leg drive shown will assist you in getting this right every single time.
You also want to be sure that you are sliding your body far enough down the rack to perform the lift or you will have no room to push the bar back without it hitting the pins. This is going to be best accomplished by having a spotter who can help you unrack the weight. It doesn’t matter how little weight you are using, never feel intimidated or self conscious about it. Instead, perfect your form by lifting what you can control in the right way and your strength will increase quickly.
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