How to Do Feet-Up Bench Press: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Feet-Up Bench Press

Muscles Worked in the Feet-Up Bench Press

Muscles worked in the bench press feet up exercise

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Feet-Up Bench Press

  1. Lie on the bench, pull your shoulder blades together and down, and slightly arch your back.
  2. Grip the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lift your feet up and hold them in the air.
  4. Take a breath and hold it, and unrack the bar.
  5. Lower the bar with control, until it touches your chest somewhere close to the sternum.
  6. Push the bar up while exhaling.
  7. Take another breath in the top position, and repeat for reps.


The feet-up bench press is a variant of the bench press. By raising your feet you will get to practice creating stability in your upper body instead, and you will generally also have less of an arch, which might contribute to a longer range of motion.

What Are the Benefits of the Feet-up Bench Press?

The feet-up bench press is a popular assistance lift used by powerlifters to improve their bench press.

Some of the benefits of this exercise are:

  • Improved core stability. When you can’t use the floor and your legs for stability, you will have to create stability using your core. By training with your feet up in the air, you practice creating a stable base for pressing in a way that might be difficult to do in the regular bench press.
  • Variation. Exercise variation is a useful tool in the bench pressers toolbox. By varying your exercises, you might learn technical subtleties to bring back to your competition style. You might better avoid over-use injuries and keep training fresher and less monotonous.
  • Lighter load. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to use an exercise variation where you cannot handle as heavy loads. Most people can only handle about 90% of their bench press weights in the feet-up bench press. This can help you regulate your training volume and keep you from overtraining.

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