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View Full Version : Advice from flat-footed benchers please



ChadDresden
07-11-2012, 12:28 PM
I have always bench tucked and arched for the shorter range of motion. I lack strength off the chest but have pretty decent triceps power to transition to lock out. So in general, I can lock out a bench if I get it to a 2 1/2-3 board range. I notice with a lot of people that bench with their feet flat and in front of them they usually get a nice "kick" with driving their legs back to drive the bar off of their chest. I feel if I could make the switch and get some speed/strength off of the chest the lengthened range of motion would be void since I can rely on my triceps power. I know this takes years of practice to master but I'd like to play around with it and see if it would benefit me. I know it'll be somewhat different for everybody, but I was wondering a few things. Like the optimal foot placement in regards to out to the sides, in front of you, right next to the bench etc. I had problems with my ass coming off the bench so I figure I'm pushing up with my feet and not back. I was wondering if any of the experienced flat footed benchers had any tips for someone who was attempting a cross over from being a tucked bencher. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am enclosing a video of Monday's speed bench session where I attempted to bench with flat feet. These were my last two sets and I was concentrating on keeping my butt down and still getting optimal leg drive.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPoJBpDxA7c&list=UU-DOUQ013ew0VgPFXOeYCfg&index=1&feature=plcp

ScottYard
07-11-2012, 06:18 PM
You need to start your leg drive as soon as the bar is out of the racks. Keep driving until the bar hits your chest and then drive even harder. Most people miss this part. On the way down think about bringing your body to the bar and when you touch focus on throwing the bar off you chest with your body via your legs.

Put a towel on the bench, lay down and drive your legs with a empty bar. If your driving your legs right you will slide up the bench. If your leg drive is shit you won't move. Leg drive to me is more about rotating your body higher on your traps more then anything.

Travis Bell
07-11-2012, 09:06 PM
I totallly agree with scott. Most guys tend to drop their hips on the way down, thinking they need to heave the bar back up.

Rather you need to get your legs nice and tight before the lift and raise up to meet the bar.

It'll take you some practice to get the timing of the leg drive down pat, but focus on timing your leg drive the same time you are beginning to press up.

ChadDresden
07-11-2012, 09:06 PM
Thank you for the advice, Scott. I appreciate it. I will give the towel a try on Friday and Monday. The rolling back on the traps makes complete sense. I guess I just have to play around with foot placement. I don't keep my hips tight and start driving from the unrack at all. So I will implement and practice that. Thanks again for the input.

ChadDresden
07-11-2012, 09:13 PM
I totallly agree with scott. Most guys tend to drop their hips on the way down, thinking they need to heave the bar back up.

Rather you need to get your legs nice and tight before the lift and raise up to meet the bar.

It'll take you some practice to get the timing of the leg drive down pat, but focus on timing your leg drive the same time you are beginning to press up.

I can't really see in the video but I do drop them. Once you guys mentioned this, I imagined myself benching as soon as I get my air and bring it out, they drop for sure. my legs are tight and I tighten my glutes but I don't have much pressure on my feet. I have a lot to work on but I appreciate the input Travis. Thank you!

RhodeHouse
07-12-2012, 05:34 AM
Agreed with all of the above.

I also don't like that you pick your head up. I've found people can't stay tight when they do that. If you notice, you rock back and forth a little bit when you do it.

That being said, your form is pretty good. A few tweaks to tighten up here and there and I think you're dead on.

ChadDresden
07-12-2012, 05:42 PM
Agreed with all of the above.

I also don't like that you pick your head up. I've found people can't stay tight when they do that. If you notice, you rock back and forth a little bit when you do it.

That being said, your form is pretty good. A few tweaks to tighten up here and there and I think you're dead on.


This is a demon I have been battling. It is becoming an involuntary reaction which is terrible. I guess I feel subconsciously that if I don't see where the bar is going I won't touch in the proper spot. I guess that is where practice, practice and more practice comes into play. I'm thinking I'm just going to pick a spot on the ceiling and stare at it and focus on it as hard as I can to keep my upperback/traps digging in. I know when I lift my head up to look my whole upper back flattens out, which is definitely not what you want lol. I appreciate all of your time and responses, thank you.

ScottYard
07-12-2012, 07:51 PM
Thank you for the advice, Scott. I appreciate it. I will give the towel a try on Friday and Monday. The rolling back on the traps makes complete sense. I guess I just have to play around with foot placement. I don't keep my hips tight and start driving from the unrack at all. So I will implement and practice that. Thanks again for the input.

No problem. I hope it helps you out.

Rob Luyando
07-13-2012, 11:28 AM
Scot gave very sound advice. Your problem with your ass coming off the bench is becuase you are driving off of your toes instead of your heals. Curl your toes under in our shoes. If you drive on your toes it will hurt like a mother fukker. I learned heal drive fast using that technique.

FearFactory
07-13-2012, 11:41 AM
Buy and wear olympic shoes..

Enjoy your 20 lb PR.


Edit, wait you are really strong already not weak like me...it might be only 10 lbs =). The lift in the heel will help you get your legs further back so you can support the weight easier. Try putting 2.5's or something else with some lift under your heels before you drop $100+ to make sure it actually helps you. It made a huge difference for me, but then again I am 6'5" and all legs so I always had trouble keeping my feet back enough to support the weight while still keeping my heels planted.

Justin Randal
07-13-2012, 11:48 AM
As far as leg drive is concerned I think its easy to drive your feet downward (which causes the butt to lift) as opposed to forward. Think of it as a leg extension, driving the heal into the floor by basically kicking forward. That way your hips will move horizontally as opposed to vertically.

dammstrate
07-13-2012, 09:23 PM
I am not a good bencher (mid 5s geared), but had to switch my foot placement from
tucked to flat due to knee pain.

I am fortunate to train occasionally with James "Priest" Burdette, who has a 7+
single ply bench at 198. His advice for flat foot placement is to:
* spread legs out as wide as possible, put toes out as wide as you can
* then rotate you heels out as wide as you can (opposite to how you are in the vid)
* start driving as the bar comes down
* think of driving your traps into the bench as you spread the knees out after the touch

The heel placement fixed my "but up" problem. If you feet and heels are out as
wide possible (almost uncomfortable), your but can't come up.

I got good enough at it that occasionally my feet would slip, so now I wear football
astroturf shoes with a bunch of tiny cleats on the bottom to grab the carpet.

kingns
07-14-2012, 11:26 AM
I think with your feet flat you need them out in front of your knees. The more under your knees they are the more likely your butt will come up. Also your hips need to be up higher than your knees. The more flat your upper thigh is, the easier it is for your butt to come up. The higher your hips start relative to your knees the harder it is for them to rise.
Here is a vid of George Halbert. It describes exactly what im talking about. But everything above is great advice on how to get the power. I think this explains how to keep your butt down good too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cniaVntd22o&feature=related

RhodeHouse
07-15-2012, 01:55 PM
This is a demon I have been battling. It is becoming an involuntary reaction which is terrible. I guess I feel subconsciously that if I don't see where the bar is going I won't touch in the proper spot. I guess that is where practice, practice and more practice comes into play. I'm thinking I'm just going to pick a spot on the ceiling and stare at it and focus on it as hard as I can to keep my upperback/traps digging in. I know when I lift my head up to look my whole upper back flattens out, which is definitely not what you want lol. I appreciate all of your time and responses, thank you.

Just keep your head down. You control everything your body does. I don't know about anyone else, but I have no idea what I see when I lift. I have no recollection of seeing things when I lift. I just lift, so I can't help you with where you look.

Jonathan E
07-16-2012, 12:47 AM
I don't know about anyone else, but I have no idea what I see when I lift. I have no recollection of seeing things when I lift.
Exactly. Pretty weird sometimes.

theBarzeen
07-25-2012, 09:07 PM
really good advice here

chris mason
07-25-2012, 11:02 PM
Don't point your toes out that radically unless you don't like your knees. If you start practicing leg drive with your ducked ducked-out like that you will end up with knee issues.