Easy Bench Drill to Fix Leg Drive
EMPTY BAR DRILL
The empty bar drill is a great tool to teach and find out leg drive faults on the bench press. Leg drive on the bench press should be horizontal not vertical. We want to work to push ourselves off towards the head of the pad, If we’re doing this correctly with an empty bar.
There are a few common faults with this drill that make it such a great diagnostic tool. The first one we see is the shoulders come untucked on the press. This comes from a lifter trying to get that explosive press from the upper body rather than the lower body. An easy fix here is to let your shirt choke you out. If we’re driving back on the pad and staying in good contact with our shoulder blades your shirt collar is going to start getting snug on your neck. This is what we want to see, if you lose contact with the pad your shirt won’t ride up!
Another common fault is if the press looks segmented. A lifter has the bar and you see a pop at the bottom then a press. This will happen when a lifter isn’t constantly driving back. We want to see a fluid movement on the bench. An easy fix is to “bench from the hips.” This along with telling a lifter to constantly drive back is often enough to fix this fault.
Weak leg drive is an easy fault to spot, you’ll see a lifter be tight but they won’t be moving on the bench. One of the main causes is not having proper traction to the floor. If you have the standard commercial gym flooring you know if you really force yourself back on the bench you’ll often have your foot slip. Getting some better shoes to bench with or preferably putting down some better traction will fix this instantly. Keeping an old yoga mat in your bag to place under the bench provides enough traction can be a great tool to have.
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