Bench press feet up or down

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bench press proper form

Posted by Tanya

have begun to enjoy doing the benchpress but have a question about proper form.

I've seen a few people do this exercise with their legs bent and raised off the bench with their feet crossed. One of the trainers told me that the person had a bad back and this technique protects the spine. How is it possible to be in control of the weights this way? Or am I missing something??

Re: bench press proper form

Posted by cpods

I've always believed that your feet should be flat on the floor, and that your lower back should remain in contact with the bench. By raising his legs and crossing them, the lifter you mentioned is unable to arch his back, which is potentially dangerous. I think if you concentrate properly, you can have your feet on the floor and keep your back on the bench. Many lifters who use too much weight arch their back, which helps them complete the lift. This uses more momentum than actually working the muscle. A second point is that, in my gym for example, some lifters believe they are 'isolating' their chest by putting their feet off the bench. I don't see how raising your legs off the floor isolates your chest anymore than a regular bench press. I hope this clears up your question.

Re: bench press proper form

Posted by lifter

Cpods is absolutely correct on his advice.

This faulty technique is seen in many gyms. The reason you must keep your feet on the floor is so that you don't lose your balance. When you start getting heavy on the bench, you may find that one side of your body is a little weaker than the other and if you don't have your feet firmly on the ground, you could lose your balance during your lift. You need your full concentration to handle heavy weight. Raising your feet up off the bench is an unsafe practice.

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