indehoy. Bench. July 16th , 2018.
No matter what foot placement you choose to use, it must satisfy a few important criteria. First, your feet must be positioned relative to your torso in such a way that you are stable (not wobbling from side to side) even when handling weights that are at or above your max bench press. Second, you need to position your feet so that you can drive through your heals when you press. This does not mean that your heals need to be in contact with the floor, but that you can deliberately push them downward. Finally, you must position your feet in a way that does not place too much strain on your hips. You may or may not use a super-wide foot placement, but you must make sure your hips can handle using this setup set after set, week after week, without getting too hurt to squat or train legs.
The starting point to any bench press rep starts with your grip on the bar. If your grip is too wide you use more chest and expend energy pushing outwards, too narrow more triceps and expending energy pushing inwards. The perfect grip for you will be able to incorporate both muscle groups but slightly favoring where you are strongest and then all power goes into pressing straight up. Its finally time to add weight to the bar. Lay back on the bench, not too close or far away from the struts as this can either waste valuable energy when taking the weight off or hitting the struts when you press the weight up. Plant your feet firmly on the floor with your knees bent to an angle of approximately 80 degrees. I prefer to keep my feet flat and heals on the floor due to the federation I lift in. There are some immense bench press athletes who arch up onto their tip toes, however, I have never felt stable in this position.
If you are benching with your heels behind your knees, you are probably also going to want to be on your toes only. There is not necessarily a specific leverage or technical advantage to this, but it is far easier than trying to keep your feet flat when your knees are sharply bent. That requires a great deal of ankle flexibility and is an unnecessary strain for most people. Again, bigger trainees might need to go with the less flexible option of feet flat.
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