PDA

View Full Version : Bench Press form question



2nd_chance
04-19-2012, 02:51 PM
Do you plant your feet, and more specifically your heels, when performing the bench press? About 90% of the vids I watch, as well as those in the gym, are bouncing on the balls of their feet. I don't see how anyone gets leg drive doing that.

mellie369
04-19-2012, 03:46 PM
I drive through my heels. If u watch the video on the bench press comp my feet are flat and at the last rep, i actually lifted my toes. Haha! But ya, i summon the drive right from my heels!

Eta: i think the ball of the feet thing is akin to - or part of, the arching the back to lift heavier thing!

induced_drag
04-19-2012, 03:58 PM
I am on the balls of my feet..... I push with my toes for the "drive". Actually strained my knee once doing benches.

x-trainer ben
04-19-2012, 03:59 PM
I am on the balls of my feet..... I push with my toes for the "drive". Actually strained my knee once doing benches.

Yeah i think i do that also, almost trying to hook them in imaginary stirrups that are behind me, yes weird i know.

2nd_chance
04-19-2012, 04:03 PM
I am on the balls of my feet..... I push with my toes for the "drive". Actually strained my knee once doing benches.Is that more effective for you than driving through your heels?

ArchAngel'73
04-19-2012, 04:21 PM
Other than keeping my feet straight and flat on the floor I (to my knowledge) derive no power from legs doing bench.
Maybe that's one reason why my bench is weak?

induced_drag
04-19-2012, 04:48 PM
Is that more effective for you than driving through your heels?

I dont know....I just do what feels natural?.....

Being that I am only 5'9, I have to go on my toes..:) Since benches are mostly the same height....maybe taller guys feel more comfortable with planted heels.??

I can imagine if you were taller, it might be hard to get your feet to come up.... I dont know... just thinking out loud.

drudixon
04-19-2012, 04:54 PM
I've never tried with my heels. Ill try it tomorrow.

Phattso
04-19-2012, 05:10 PM
One thing I have found over the years here, is that when asking a question about bench press, some people answer as bodybuilders and some people answer as power lifters. The bad part is that that they don't tell you unless you are specific in your questions. There is a difference in technique, as the goals are different and results can be different.

Just my 1.5 cents.

Rocky3540
04-19-2012, 05:19 PM
Im just a little guy so take it as is, but only touch my toes. Balls never touch ground.

mellie369
04-19-2012, 05:22 PM
One thing I have found over the years here, is that when asking a question about bench press, some people answer as bodybuilders and some people answer as power lifters. The bad part is that that they don't tell you unless you are specific in your questions. There is a difference in technique, as the goals are different and results can be different.

Just my 1.5 cents.

True I suppose! I just take for granted that it's about bodybuilding cuz, well, it is bodybuilding.com. lol.

bigtallox
04-19-2012, 05:25 PM
Do you plant your feet, and more specifically your heels, when performing the bench press?

Yes



About 90% of the vids I watch, as well as those in the gym, are bouncing on the balls of their feet. I don't see how anyone gets leg drive doing that.

Yeah, you can see all kinds of weird things in most gyms. I know several of the powerlifters I used to train with would bench with their heals up off the floor and they'd get plenty of leg drive. The federation we lifted in allowed it as long as the position didn't change throughout the lift.

bigtallox
04-19-2012, 05:30 PM
True I suppose! I just take for granted that it's about bodybuilding cuz, well, it is bodybuilding.com. lol.

But many things, even about technique, apply across all types of lifting, many aspects of powerlifting form is to reduce injury risk. I can understand why bodybuilders may not be interesting in reducing ROM ( although most just reduce it in other ways than powerlifters do ), but i'd think bodybuilders would still want to understand what powerlifters have learned in regard to injury prevention especially. IMHO, the powerlifting/bodybuilding line isn't as black and white as many here think.

induced_drag
04-19-2012, 05:38 PM
From a classic powerlifter standpoint, I think many work to get the best arch they can. This involves going up on the toes.

Here is a vid where Dave Tate explains benching

around the 6:00 mark he shows winding your body up to a max arch.

_QnwAoesJvQ&feature=g-hist&context=G2fb7402AHT5CqXgAYAA

Phattso
04-19-2012, 05:41 PM
But many things, even about technique, apply across all types of lifting, many aspects of powerlifting form is to reduce injury risk. I can understand why bodybuilders may not be interesting in reducing ROM ( although most just reduce it in other ways than powerlifters do ), but i'd think bodybuilders would still want to understand what powerlifters have learned in regard to injury prevention especially. IMHO, the powerlifting/bodybuilding line isn't as black and white as many here think.

True, but there are distinct differences, such as power lifters do not flare the elbows and bodybuilders do. That to me is a significant difference. For example, as a bodybuilder who periodizes Bench Press, I want to build and shape my chest muscles. A power lifter wants to lift more; or, strength is the goal. That is not to say that bodybuilders are not strong and do not build strength - they do. Just differently.

Mellie, I once also did take the site for granted, but there are power lifters here :)

Korr
04-19-2012, 09:39 PM
Heels on the floor, and I'm shorter than most here.

Korr
04-19-2012, 09:49 PM
True, but there are distinct differences, such as power lifters do not flare the elbows and bodybuilders do. That to me is a significant difference. For example, as a bodybuilder who periodizes Bench Press, I want to build and shape my chest muscles. A power lifter wants to lift more; or, strength is the goal. That is not to say that bodybuilders are not strong and do not build strength - they do. Just differently.



Allowing the elbows to flare while benching is bad no matter what your goals are. It causes excess shoulder rotation which can lead to injury. Besides if shaping your chest is the ultimate goal, then there are other exercises that will do the job better such as decline bench.

danow
04-19-2012, 10:06 PM
My superbench is too tall so I use balls of feet and toes.

David Wiggins
04-20-2012, 05:54 AM
I am a tall powerlifter, so FOR ME, I now go feet flat and knees spread. When I get on my toes I tend to lift my butt. That happens when your knees are not lower than your hip.

Most people that get on their toes are usually attempting to increase their arch to reduce the range of motion.

IMO, I don't care if you are doing power or BB, but flaring your elbows increases the risk of injury to pecs and shoulders.

HairyScandinavian
04-20-2012, 06:12 AM
I do mine with my feet spread open and up in the air like a prostitute on a Friday night. :p

I'm on the balls of my feet, but when I try to get any sort of arch I get a cramp feeling in my middle back. I'm going to try keep them flat and see if that improves, but I don't bench again until Thursday so this thread will be dead by the time I find out.

FlaIronMind
04-20-2012, 06:22 AM
Feet firmly planted, flat on the floor.

I've also seen those who feel it better to plant their feet directly behind their ass on the edge of the bench.

Whatever works I guess.

But no, mine have always been firmly flat on the ground. Can't imagine it any other way actually.

kjake55
04-20-2012, 06:34 AM
I bench with feet planted on the floor and drive through my heels. It's the way I was taught by a powerlifter.

Rocky3540
04-20-2012, 06:40 AM
I am a tall powerlifter, so FOR ME, I now go feet flat and knees spread. When I get on my toes I tend to lift my butt. That happens when your knees are not lower than your hip.

Most people that get on their toes are usually attempting to increase their arch to reduce the range of motion.

IMO, I don't care if you are doing power or BB, but flaring your elbows increases the risk of injury to pecs and shoulders.

Funny thing about that. About 2 years ago i was told to quite flaring my elbows and ill stay healthy longer. So i tried to tuck them. I was benching about 430 for 1rm. Guess what, it hurt my shoulder. Lol. So now im flaring again and no pain. Did 405x4 yesterday.

I think a body will adapt to the lifter if the lifter uses good form and has patience with gains.

Phattso
04-20-2012, 06:45 AM
Allowing the elbows to flare while benching is bad no matter what your goals are. It causes excess shoulder rotation which can lead to injury. Besides if shaping your chest is the ultimate goal, then there are other exercises that will do the job better such as decline bench.

It depends upon the individual. I have never injured my shoulder on flat bench. As far as your comment on decline bench, this thread is about flat bench press.

For me, when I refer to "flaring," I do not mean a complete flare. I mean that I place the elbows slightly outward as opposed to being tucked in.

Phattso
04-20-2012, 06:46 AM
Funny thing about that. About 2 years ago i was told to quite flaring my elbows and ill stay healthy longer. So i tried to tuck them. I was benching about 430 for 1rm. Guess what, it hurt my shoulder. Lol. So now im flaring again and no pain. Did 405x4 yesterday.

I think a body will adapt to the lifter if the lifter uses good form and has patience with gains.

Exactly.

2nd_chance
04-20-2012, 07:17 AM
Funny thing about that. About 2 years ago i was told to quite flaring my elbows and ill stay healthy longer. So i tried to tuck them. I was benching about 430 for 1rm. Guess what, it hurt my shoulder. Lol. So now im flaring again and no pain. Did 405x4 yesterday.

I think a body will adapt to the lifter if the lifter uses good form and has patience with gains.I think there's a lot of truth in your statement.

whatevergirl
04-20-2012, 07:23 AM
Do you plant your feet, and more specifically your heels, when performing the bench press? About 90% of the vids I watch, as well as those in the gym, are bouncing on the balls of their feet. I don't see how anyone gets leg drive doing that.

I'm glad you posted this. There's an older guy at my gym (maybe 65?) who enter powerlifting comps, and he will give me bench form advice sometimes. He told me to arch my back, and put my feet behind me a bit, as opposed to them being say in a 90 degree angle when laying back. And plant your heels. And to bring the bar to my sternum area, and then push up. I have been doing it, and interestingly, it has helped me a lot.

Smelly bull
04-20-2012, 08:34 AM
Feet firmly planted into the ground here.

vladoversic
04-20-2012, 09:09 AM
I,m shorter and the bench is made for taller guys so i must push through my feet so no dillema for me here.

vladoversic
04-20-2012, 09:27 AM
That's important when i try for max poundages on the bench and i push hard with my feet.
When benching for more reps and more for pump and bb then that is not a thing i think about since then i don't try to gain strenght from my entire body for that couple of reps, but just from my pecs.

billb7581
04-20-2012, 09:29 AM
I'm usually so busy making sure my chest is involved that I dont even know what my feet are doing. The first few weeks I got back into it, benching was a triceps exercise... I think I have my feet planted on the floor, I will have to check tonight.

2nd_chance
04-20-2012, 10:27 AM
I'm usually so busy making sure my chest is involved that I dont even know what my feet are doing. The first few weeks I got back into it, benching was a triceps exercise... I think I have my feet planted on the floor, I will have to check tonight.Yeah it's a pretty important component to bench form.

billb7581
04-20-2012, 10:50 AM
Its the only chest exercise I do, so I try to move the weight with my chest and arms. I know my feet are planted on the floor but I dont think I drive with them at all.

Not moving the huge weights some of you are just 2 work sets at 165 x 12

VoxExMachina
04-20-2012, 11:03 AM
When I'm benching really heavy, often my heels will be off the ground. I move my feet back "under my butt" a bit which helps me get my back tighter. Based on the geometry involved and ankle flexibility, it doesn't allow me to quite get the heels down.

umbro7267
04-20-2012, 11:05 AM
i go with the heals down my gym has the new style bench with the 2 bar to do declined bench so i use that to push into when i lift

hammerfelt
04-20-2012, 11:18 AM
I still have not figured out the leg drive yet. I've tried heels, balls, and even leg elevated when foot was broken.

For those that cannot get flat footed due to height try placing a block or weight plate on the floor to see if that makes any difference for you.

USAPL allows the use of blocks since you must be flat footed: http://www.usapowerlifting.com/aboutus/USAPLTechnicalRules20090800.pdf


Lifters should check squat and bench press rack heights and foot blocks prior to the start of the competition. The rack height sheet must be signed or initialed after it has been checked by the lifter or coach. It is in their interest. A copy of this official document goes to the Jury, Speaker, and Platform Manager.

Can you get leg drive when you have to pause the bench?

polishedball
04-20-2012, 02:48 PM
I get on my toes when first going up the pyramid to my max, then as much as most hate the thought, I do my 3 sets of straight numbers 3 X 8 with my feet off the floor. I really think this helps with the chest dev and also core strength as you balance. I prefer to take the legs out of it as to really toast the chest.

Smelly bull
04-21-2012, 05:50 AM
I still have not figured out the leg drive yet. I've tried heels, balls, and even leg elevated when foot was broken.

USAPL allows the use of blocks since you must be flat footed: http://www.usapowerlifting.com/aboutus/USAPLTechnicalRules20090800.pdf

Can you get leg drive when you have to pause the bench?

Many feds allow for the blocks, least the ones i have competed in.

Yes to the leg drive and paused bench.

polishedball
04-21-2012, 09:49 AM
cross posting this from my bench thread, but using these instructions added 20 to 25# to my bench. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUcjOIZc80c

David Wiggins
04-22-2012, 01:55 PM
Funny thing about that. About 2 years ago i was told to quite flaring my elbows and ill stay healthy longer. So i tried to tuck them. I was benching about 430 for 1rm. Guess what, it hurt my shoulder. Lol. So now im flaring again and no pain. Did 405x4 yesterday.

I think a body will adapt to the lifter if the lifter uses good form and has patience with gains.

Not completely suprised. It is not for everyone, and you have an unusual propensity for bench vs your size. You have prolly built so much power in your flared position, that tucked actually shows a weakness, or less than optimum position for YOU.

BrotherWolf
04-22-2012, 02:10 PM
Other than keeping my feet straight and flat on the floor I (to my knowledge) derive no power from legs doing bench.
Maybe that's one reason why my bench is weak?

possibly .. leg drive is a big component of a good press

BrotherWolf
04-22-2012, 02:11 PM
Do you plant your feet, and more specifically your heels, when performing the bench press? About 90% of the vids I watch, as well as those in the gym, are bouncing on the balls of their feet. I don't see how anyone gets leg drive doing that.

Yes big time , flat on the ground and drive the hell out of it without raising my butt of course

BrotherWolf
04-22-2012, 02:13 PM
Can you get leg drive when you have to pause the bench?

Of course .. I wouldn't even be able to get the bar off the chest after a pause without using my leg drive

socket
04-22-2012, 02:17 PM
My feet are planted flat. I use leg drive. Elbows tucked. Pl style.