When it comes to improving on the bench press, few athletes know about that process more than powerlifting legend Jenn Thompson. She’s considered a technician on the bench press, aka an athlete who’s perfected/specialized in a movement and sits at the top of the elite. That’s why when we stumbled across Omar Isuf’s latest YouTube video featuring Thomspon we felt it was worth sharing.
The video features Thompson discussing one of her favorite tips to improve a bench press, and it was a little different than what we expected. Instead of your normal scapular tightness, joint stacking, and full body tightness, Thompson pointed out a cue often overlooked: Leg Drive.
For the recreational and newer athlete, leg drive is a cue that can be tough to nail down and accomplish when dialing in technique. It’s a very subtle cue, but can throw off the whole bench press (or earn red lights) if not performed correctly. In Isuf’s video, Thompson demonstrates how to setup and position one’s self to best utilize their leg drive, along with why it’s so important for moving big weight.
We highly suggest checking out the short video below and if you’re interested in just seeing the cue, then skip to about 2:00 in the video!
For those who don’t know Thompson, her competitive powerlifting resume is crazy impressive featuring six IPF Bench Press World Championships and four IPF Classic Powerlifting World Championships. In addition, she holds multiple world records including (not featured below her -63kg total world record):
- January 29, 2017: Bench Press (72kg) Full Meet/Single Lift World Record of 144kg
- May 21, 2018: Bench Press (63kg) Single Lift World Record of 144kg
- June 15, 2018: Bench Press (63kg) Full Meet World Record of 142.5kg
If you want more bench press tips from Thompson, check out this article highlighting one of her favorite accessories that’s often overlooked and under utilized!
Featured image from Omar Isuf YouTube channel.