When you place your thighs securely on the pads, straight legs send your feet to the bottom of the foot platform, far from the ankle supports. If you want your thighs firmly on the pads AND your feet secure under the ankle supports, you have to bend your knees. I've used plenty of these hyperextension benches at gyms over the last 30 years and, on ALL of those, my legs are always straight. Now I have to go buy a drill bit so I can drill a second hole in the bench and move the ankle support bar down to the 'proper' position (about 4-5 inches from where it is). Once I do that, I think I will be satisfied with the bench. Just wish I didn't have to modify the bench.
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