If you work out at home, a workout bench is something that you basically "have to have" after you buy free weights.
At the beginning you start with a couple of dumbbells, then you realize that you can't change weight and so you buy more weights (actually, take my advice and get adjustable dumbbells instead).
But I bet you're not going to be satisfied yet...because you're going to feel limited. All you can do are some standing exercises, and we know it's not enough.
I know that at the beginning you think you're fine with very little equipment, but after you get used you wish you could do more and more.
At least that's how I felt when I first bought some home workout equipment.
Let me tell you, with free weights and a workout bench you have all you need.
A very basic bench opens the possibility to do so many more exercises. Just take a look at some websites that list all the exercises to see how many of them are done on a bench...
Dramatically Improve Home Workout Results
As I said above, with just ONE equipment like a bench you can dramatically improve your home workout results, because it allows you to so those exercises that are known to be very effective like:
- Dumbbell bench press
- Shoulder press
- Lying tricep extension
- Pull over
- Concentration curls
- Tricep dips on the bench
- Chest flys
- Dumbbell rows
And these are only some of the exercises that you can do on a flat bench.
If you want my opinion, spend a little bit more and get a bench that can incline/decline. This will allow you to do even more:
- Upper chest workout (press and flys)
- Lower chest workout (press and flys)
- Rear deltoid
- Incline bench bicep curls
- Incline bench one arm lateral raises
Best Workout Benches Out There
When I was looking for a bench, the first thing I did was going to a fitness store around here and check out what they had.
Really cool stuff, benches that sometimes not even the gyms have. Heavy, stable, soft seats etc...but...they came with a price, and what price!!
I don't need to tell you that I walked away with a "Oh...ok thank you, I'll think about it!".
Fitness stores are usually very expensive when it comes to equipment like benches and home gyms.
A bench like I wanted costed something like a full gym membership.
Well, if you don't mind to spend that much, lucky you, you can have awesome stuff and build your own gym corner at home.
But for me...it was a no go.
I started to search online to see my options, and fortunately I found some pretty good deals.
It may happen that you find benches at very low prices, sometimes on sale with high % of discount.
There are four Bowflex benches that I really like (same models often available on Amazon for cheaper):
These were the cheapest, one less than 100$ and the other just above 100$.
Now let's go with something more "sophisticated"...
These benches above can seem expensive, but I know they're good quality. There are other brands like Weider, Marcy etc. They're quite cheaper, and can be a good deal if you're not using very heavy weights because in that case you need a very stable bench:
On Amazon they offer a pretty wide variety of benches at different prices, almost always discounted. I am sure you can find one that fits your needs.
Or, if you live in Canada...
If you want to explore all the best options, including Bowflex and Bodybuilding.com...
What to Consider When Buying a Workout Bench
Based on my experience, the most important features of a workout bench are:
- Comfort: your bench should be comfortable, soft enough that it doesn't hurt your back when you do bench press with heavy weights, for example
- Stability: I've tried benches that were kinda shaky because the frame was cheap or not heavy enough
- Size: prefer a bench that is long enough to rest your head. If it is as high as your shoulders it can be very uncomfortable, especially when you do exercises like incline chest flys. Your neck can get tired soon
- Incline/Decline: don't get just a flat bench, invest in one that can incline and decline so that you are free to do all kinds of exercises
- Ankle blockers: if a bench is equipped with pads to block your feet you can use it for sit ups or to do decline bench exercises (it'll avoid you to slide down)
I have workout bench at home and it works well for me. After using it I just wish the back support was longer because I can't really rest my head on it. That's why I added this feature to my suggestions above.
Anyway, this is my bench:
I can do sit ups and also leg raises on it. To do that I decline the bench and lie on it (on my back) grabbing the two handles that you see sticking out from the pads. My head rests on the seat.
I find that having a workout bench is very useful, and in combination with free weights it should be all you need.
I have a home gym too, click here to go to the home gyms page.
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