Best Bowflex Exercises – My Personal Experience

Do you have any idea of how many Bowflex exercises you can do with the one I consider the best home gym?

I own a Bowflex Blaze, and I've seen a few others.

When you buy a Bowflex they tell you that you can do a certain number of exercises, but I found out that you can actually do several more.

One of those cases where the surprise is better than the expectation at the moment of the purchase!

Bowflex exercises


The Blaze model comes with a manual that shows you 60 Bowflex exercises. Sixty is a very long list of workouts, I doubt that I will do all of them during my home workouts.

I go to the gym 3 times a week, and I use my Bowflex Blaze home gym one day a week, to train those muscles that I don't usually train at the gym.

Sometimes I use it also when I can't make it to the gym (I live 20 miles from town, and that's where I work and where the gym is).

So when I work from home I just workout using my Bowflex Blaze home gym and free weights, and it's amazing how I can do Bowflex exercises and be able to cover all the exercises that I was supposed to do at the gym.

Can I Train All Muscle Groups With a Bowflex Blaze?

It depends on the model, of course. But mostly yes, with a Bowflex you can do more exercises than with any other home gym.

The thing I love about the Bowflex Blaze, compared to another model like the Bowflex PR1000 for example, is that it has low pulleys.

This small difference gives you the chance to do so many more exercises like squat, deadlifts, bent over rows and the classic flat bench press and flys.

The manual doesn't even show you how to use the flat bench for chest press. It's amazing how you can figure out new exercises, many more than what they advertise.

Look at the difference between the Bowflex Blaze and the PR1000:

Don't they look the same? Don't mind the position of the bench that can be inclined or flat on both models...

The real difference is that one has low pulleys and the other one doesn't. It makes a big difference when it comes to which exercises you can do with one or the other.

Choose carefully.

Now let's take a look at all the Bowflex exercises, divided by muscle groups:

Chest Bowflex Exercises

The freedom given by the cables allows you to do a bunch of chest exercises. If you look at the manual that comes with the home gym you'll notice that it explains how to do chest workout using the incline bench and using the middle pulleys.

That doesn't mean that you can't use the flat bench with the low pulleys to do your chest press. If you want you can even do standing chest flys using the high pulleys.

Just use your imagination and you can extend the 60 exercises in the manual to many more.

Anyway, the following images describe chest exercises with a Bowflex Ultimate 2:

Bowflex Ultimate Exercises - Chest Press

Chest Press

Bowflex Ultimate Exercises - Chest Flys

Chest Flys

Anyway, depending on which direction you extend your arms when you push, you can do the following chest exercises:

  • Flat bench press
  • Incline bench press
  • Decline bench press
  • Flat chest flys
  • Incline chest flys
  • Decline chest flys

Click here for a detailed list of Bowflex Chest Exercises

Arm Bowflex Exercises

With any Bowflex you have great options for arm exercises.

Biceps, triceps, and even forearms can be trained pretty extensively.

In particular, here are some of the bicep exercises:

  • Concentration bicep curls
  • Seated/standing bicep curls
  • Incline bicep curls
  • Lying bicep curls

Just for "diversity" reasons, I was to show you arm exercises with a Bowflex Revolution Home Gym:

Bowflex Revolution Exercises - Standing Bicep Curls

Standing Bicep Curls

Bowflex Revolution Exercises - Preacher Curls

Preacher Curls

To do the seated bicep curls you can use either the middle pulleys or the low pulleys. The same applies to concentration curls. I'd seat on the bench and use the low pulleys, but it's nice to have more solutions.

One example is using the lat pulldown bar to do barbell curls!

Even more options come to my mind when I think of tricep exercises:

  • Tricep pushdown
  • Tricep extension
  • French press
  • Cross tricep extension
Bowflex Revolution Exercises - Tricep Pushdown

Tricep Pushdown

Bowflex Revolution Exercises - French Press

French Press

Click here for a detailed list of Bowflex Arm Exercises

Shoulder Bowflex Exercises

What exercises do you usually do at the gym for shoulders?

Shoulder press and raises right? Maybe you use the pec deck machine too.

Well, with a Bowflex you can do all those exercises:

  • Front raises (standing, seated or lying)
  • Lateral raises (standing or seated)
  • Bent over lateral raises (rear deltoids)
  • Shoulder press
  • Pec deck or reverse flys

For shoulder exercises let me show you a couple of workouts that you can do with a Bowflex Xtreme 2SE Home Gym (I can do the same with the Blaze):

Bowflex Exercises - Shoulder Press

Shoulder Press

Bowflex Exercises - Lateral Raises

Lateral Raises

I am actually impressed by how many shoulder exercises you can do with a Bowflex, taking advantage of low and middle pulleys.

If you sit facing the tower you can easily work your posterior deltoids with reverse flys, shoulder extensions, rear deltoid rows etc.

I could do none of those with my Marcy Home Gym, so yeah, I am completely satisfied with the new Bowflex Blaze!

Click here for a detailed list of Bowflex Shoulder Exercises

Back Bowflex Exercises

Back exercises is another category that can count on several options when you train with a Bowflex. On a general basis we can say that you do back workout by doing those exercises facing the tower.

The Blaze comes with a lat tower equipped with a lat pulldown bar that allows you to do

  • Lat pulldowns (same as pull ups)
  • Lat pulldowns with reverse grip (same as chin ups)

and of course you can do the same exercises using the handgrips included. I believe you can do that with any Bowflex on the market.

Other major back exercises available are:

  • Bent over rows (low pulleys)
  • One arm rows (low pulleys)
  • Seated rows (middle pulleys)
  • Lying lat pulldowns
  • Low back extensions (yes, those too)
  • Lying lat flys (which I would find hard to do at the gym)
  • Stiff arm pulldown
  • Upright rows (traps)
Bowflex Exercises - Lat Pulldowns

Lat Pulldowns

Bowflex Exercises - Bent Over Rows

Bent Over Rows

Again, except for the lat pulldown and upright rows, I couldn't do any of these amazing exercises with my previous home gym!

Best thing ever?

Using the squat station and the squat bar (or even the lat bar) attached to the low pulleys you can even do...DEADLIFTS.

It's not even in the exercises manual, incredibly. But I tried and I could do deadlifts with no problem at all.

Click here for a detailed list of Bowflex Back Exercises

Leg Bowflex Exercises

I think that leg extension and leg curls (whether standing or lying) are the two leg exercises that most of the home gyms have in common.

With a Bowflex you can certainly do those two, plus squat, leg press and a few others.

Bowflex leg exercises:

  • Leg extension
  • Lying or standing leg curl
  • Leg press
  • Squat
  • Calf raises
  • Hip Adduction
  • Hip Abduction
  • Leg kickback (ladies I know you love this)
Bowflex Exercises - Squat


Bowflex Exercises - Leg Press

Leg Press

Bowflex Exercises - Leg KickBack

Leg Kickback

It's a full leg workout isn't it? In my opinion, squat and leg press are really the cherry on the pie, together with the deadlifts described above.

Being able to do those exercises makes it worth the money!!

Aerobic Rowing

That's right! I am not kidding.

This was the best discovery regarding my Bowflex Blaze...rowing!

Once you remove the bench, you can set the seat to sliding mode and use the middle pulleys to do aerobic rowing.

Between all the Bowflex exercises, this is the one that you don't expect!

Bowflex Exercises - Aerobic Rowing

Aerobic Rowing

The Bowflex 20 Minute Workout

Each Bowflex comes with some of the best workout routines that maximize muscle building and fat loss. One of these is the famous 20 minute workout Bowflex routine.

Bowflex Video Demonstration

I found a nice video on YouTube that shows all the bowflex exercises that you can do the a Bowflex Classic model.

This is the classic and simplest model, and still, look how much you can do!


What About Other Bowflex Models?

Ok, nice article about Bowflex exercises...but this is all about the Blaze model.

What about other models then?

In a way or the other, all the Bowflex allow you to do the same type of exercises, there is some difference between models, but they all offer Bowflex exercises that cover a full body workout.

If you want my opinion, I think that if you want to choose the best Bowflex you should go with one that is equipped with low pulleys.

Without low pulleys you can't do some of the best Bowflex exercises like squat, deadlifts, calf raises, bent over rows etc.

Another interesting aspect is the bench. With a Blaze, but also with a PR100 you can set the bench to flat or incline position, and even remove the back seat pad.

This allows you to do leg press and aerobic rowing. Two exercises that you couldn't do with a Bowflex Xtreme for example.

Click on the images to see the details:

And finally, click here to see ALL the Bowflex models manuals.

There are so many Bowflex models out there, understandable considering how many years Bowflex has been making home gyms.

Of course they don't sell older models, but you can still find them on some websites like or

Click here to find out where to buy a Bowflex

You can even find used Bowflex on classified ads websites.


Return from Best Bowflex Exercises to Build Muscle 101

5 Responses

  1. Avatar James F Wiggins
    I receive my bowflex pr 1000 tomorrow and look forward to getting Started.
  2. Avatar Carson
    Im looking at the blaze compared to the pr1000....the pulleys look to be in the same place....??
    • Cristian Cristian
      I don't see low pulleys in a Bowflex PR1000
  3. Avatar Lisa
    Im looking at the Bowflex Blaze, the Xtreme SE 2 and the Revolution. What is the SE worth the extra $$ than the Blaze and isnthe Revokition really worth the $$$. Im looking to tone and tighten not become a bodybuilder. I do like leg presses which you cant donwith the SE. Ive also read that leg presses on the Revolution dont really work if you are under 5'8". Im 5'3". Any recommendations? Thanks!
    • Cristian Cristian
      I highly recommend the Bowflex Blaze. You can do all leg exercises including leg press and squat!