The bench press is one of the most iconic and useful exercises that is commonly done at a gym. This exercise is an excellent way of helping to build pectoral muscle strength and the strength of other chest muscle groups.
If you’re looking for a way to augment the bench press and to incorporate another set of muscles, you’ll find that a bench press with a double leg drop is a great way to do this. The double leg drop portion of the exercise helps to incorporate the core muscles and the legs, thereby helping to make it a more complete exercise.
Bench Press Double Leg Drops
To prepare to do the bench press with a double leg drop, first set the weight on your barbell as you would for a standard bench press. You will not want to put the maximum weight that you can bench press on the barbell, however; it’s usually a good idea to put between half and two-thirds of that maximum weight to start with. Lie down on the bench such that your buttocks are on the end of the bench and the rest of the your legs are hanging off of the end. The resting position for the exercise is like that of a standard bench press, except that, instead of having your two feet resting on the floor, you’ll instead hold your legs up flat as if they were resting on the bench.
To execute the exercise itself, bring the barbell down to a lowered position. As you push the barbell up evenly and straighten both arms in the press, lift both legs up evenly until they are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly lower the barbell back down and lower your legs to the horizontal position once again; this constitutes one single repetition of the exercise.
Safety and Injury Prevention
It’s important that you don’t overload the barbell with too much weight as you’re working out. This will help to ensure that you don’t drop the barbell, which can cause major injury. You may also wish to have a spotter available to ensure that you can push the weight up properly and that you don’t drop it. Finally, it’s important to continue to breathe as you exercise and also to stretch before and after you execute the bench press with double leg drops.
Because the bench press with double leg drops is already a heavily modified version of the standard bench press, there aren’t a great number of additional things that you can do to intensify the workout. You can change it up by doing a single leg drop instead; as you push the barbell up, alternate one leg that you bring up at a time for another type of lower leg and core workout.