The Exercise Bench helps you do it all!
From the shoulder press, dumbbell row, skull crushers and even cardio - the Exercise Bench, or Weight Bench, allows you to perform a variety of exercises target every muscle.
It’s a must have complement to your home gym, and there is a bench for you no matter how big your space is.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- Why Use a Weight Bench
- Types of Exercise Benches
- What to Look For When Shopping for an Exercise Bench
- The Better Body Weight Bench Line-Up
- Weight Bench Workouts
Why Use an Exercise Bench?
By providing a sturdy base and, depending on the model, back support, the weight bench allows you to lift heavier and target your muscles more efficiently.
A stable base to trust so you can lift your heaviest. The bench provides a stable base for a safer bench press and shoulder press when using heavy loads. If your goal is to build a better physique, having workout equipment that allows you to lift heavier is crucial to hit those targets.
Develop your strength and improve your form. The weight bench allows you to follow your body’s natural movement, guiding you without restricting you. Adjusting the angle allows you to choose which angle is best to reach your goals.
Enjoy a full range of motion. With the weight bench, you’re able to perform many seated exercises that would not be possible on the ground as your arms are unable to move below the torso without the bench.
Transform those pesky pecs in no time! The incline/decline angles isolate specific muscles, helping you target difficult areas like your pectorals and triceps.
Stop neglecting your core. Decline sit-ups done at a 30 degree angle are known to work the the harder-to-train lower abdominals. An exercise bench is the safest bet when attempting decline sit-ups. Want to up the challenge? Add a dumbbell or weight plate to really feel the burn.
Leg day is the best day.. Getting in a heavy leg workout at home can be challenging if you don’t have a rack and barbell. Make your leg days more challenging by trying a unilateral leg exercise like the pistol squat, with a weight bench to support you on the way down. By performing the squat on one leg, you are doubling the weight while simultaneously engaging your core and improving your balance.
Burn fat with a HIIT workout. High intensity interval training circuits are an effective way to burn fat. Try incorporating your Exercise Bench for bodyweight exercises like hop overs, box jumps, step-ups, to get your heart rate going and shred that fat.
Types of Fitness Benches
When deciding on a weight bench, think about the types of workouts you would like to perform and how much space is available in your workout area.
The most common benches fall into four categories:
Adjustable, Flat, Olympic and Specialist.
This type of bench is the most versatile and can typically be modified to fit three or more exercise positions. The most common are flat, incline and decline.
Typically, adjustable benches have a seat that stays flat and a back portion that moves up and down. They are designed for functionality and stability. The adjustable bench allows for a variety of different exercises due to its multiple positions. If you are looking for a versatile piece of equipment, the adjustable bench should be at the top of your list.
Flat benches are great if you are tight on space and budget. This bench lies flat and does not offer adjustments other than changing the height to fit your needs. If you are using the bench mainly for bench pressing, this would be a great option for you.
Flat benches tend to be a lot lighter and can fold downward which works well for smaller home gyms.
If you are looking for an all-in-one piece of equipment, the Olympic bench is a great option. It provides everything you need for multiple exercises in one station. Keep in mind that this bench is the largest of the four and tends to be more expensive as well.
Unlike the Adjustable and Flat Benches, Olympic benches are stationary due to their large size. An Olympic Bench provides both the bench and additional equipment to store your weights.
Specialist benches are tailored towards a particular workout routine.
They are often used for physical therapy to help strengthen a specific area. If you have other machines in your home gym and only require a bench for a specific exercise or muscle group then a Specialist Bench may be right for you. A common specialist bench you’ve likely seen at the gym is an abdominal curl bench.
What to Look For When Shopping for an Exercise Bench
There are several factors to consider when choosing the right bench for you.
Body Type and Size: Your bench’s frame should match your body type to ensure safety and stability. The ideal size of your bench depends on your height. The bench should be wide enough to lie firmly on your back without any overhang but at the same time, not so wide that it gets in the way of the downward movement of your arms. The backrest should be long enough to support your back and your head comfortably.
Capacity: Every bench will have a maximum capacity load. This indicates how many pounds the bench can hold. The weight capacity should cover your weight as well as the maximum load of the weight you plan to use.
Adjustability: Depending on what your needs are, you can opt for the adjustable or flat bench. Flat Benches definitely allow for more weight load but an Adjustable Bench allows you to perform several exercises with just one bench.
- Space: Some benches such as the Olympic Bench require a lot of space. If you have limited space in your home gym, a flat or folding bench would be best for you.
The Better Body Exercise Bench Line-Up
As we mentioned before, there are several factors when choosing the right bench for you. With so many options out there it can be daunting picking a bench to best suit your needs. Below are four of our favourite benches - there’s something for everyone!
Featured: Better Body Foldable Exercise Bench
The Foldable Exercise Bench is our most compact weight bench, with a simple folding mechanism that makes it easy to move and store. It's ideal for small spaces like apartment home gyms.
There is also a padded ankle support for added stability and comfort to help you stabilize and move efficiently through your reps.
4 adjustable base settings, 7 different back angle settings, folds flat for storage
Weight Capacity: 800 lbs
Dimensions: 48” L x 12.5 “ W x 18” H
Exercise to try: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Featured: Better Body Flat Utility Bench
A simple bench designed to support you through presses, rows, and a variety of workouts. Great for plyometric movements like step-ups, if you want to add some HIIT to your routine. A premium finish feels comfortable on skin and clothing.
Features a convenient area underneath for storing your dumbbells
Capacity: 700 lbs
Dimension: 47” L x 10” W x 16.5” H
Exercise to try: Bench Press
The Better Body Premium Exercise Bench is perfect for the everyday lifter who wants the ability to perform a variety of exercises in full range of motion. This bench has 13 adjustable cushion settings and 3 adjustable seat settings, giving you full control over your angles.
The Premium Exercise Bench is also lighter than the Heavy Duty bench (coming up next) - making it easier to move around.
13 adjustable cushion settings, 3 adjustable seat settings
Capacity: 1000 lbs
Dimension: 59” L x 11.5” W x 46” H
Exercise to try: Dumbbell Row
Featured: Better Body Heavy Duty Bench
The Better Body Heavy Duty Bench is perfect for those wanting to perform much heavier lifts, thanks to the stability provided of its wider back.
Allows 5 points of back adjustments and 2 additional seat adjustments.
5 back adjustments, 2 seat adjustments
Capacity: 1000 lbs
Dimension: 55” L x 11.2” W x 117.5” H (when flat)
Exercise to try: Skull Crushers
4 Exercises You Can Do on a Workout Bench
By locking your arm into place using your knees, you optimise your bicep curls so they're much more concise.
How to do Concentration Curls:
- Sit on a bench that’s set at a height so your knees are bent at 90° with your feet flat on the floor.
- Pick up a dumbbell in your right hand and place the back of your upper right arm on the inner part of your right thigh. Your arm should be extended holding the weight off the floor.
- Slowly curl the weight up, only moving your forearms – the position of your upper arm on your thigh will help you keep it still during the exercise.
- At the top of the move, pause for a beat and squeeze your biceps, then slowly lower the weight back to the start.
- Do all your reps on one arm, then switch to the other.
Muscles Targeted: Biceps
A killer tricep workout! The bench provides a solid, flat base for you to train from.
How to do Skull Crushers:
- With the bench in a flat position, lie back as you would for a bench press.
- Take the dumbbell so it's positioned above your head.
- Hex weights are great for this exercise as you can hold on to the rubber weight securely.
- Ensure your elbows are tucked in so you can target your triceps.
- Then, keeping your arms bent, lift the weight up and over until your elbows meet
Muscles Targeted: Triceps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
A great chest exercise you can do on any adjustable bench. Hitting a muscle from varying degrees of incline angles builds a chiseled chest more thoroughly.
How to do an Incline Dumbbell Bench Press:
- Sit on the bench and lean back.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with hands positioned at your shoulders, elbows bent and angled down below your ribs.
- Relax your neck against the bench. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Press both dumbbells straight up over your chest as you exhale. Keep your wrists straight (don't let them "cock" backward).
- At the top of the movement, the dumbbells should almost touch each other and your arms should be perpendicular to the floor.
- Reverse the movement and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the top of your chest as you inhale.
- As you lower the dumbbells, your elbows should come down at roughly a 45-degree angle to your torso.
- They shouldn't splay out to the sides, pointing toward the side of the room. Instead, keep your elbows pointing to the floor.
Muscles Targeted: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Single Arm Dumbbell Row
This bench workout is great for strengthening and developing the musculature of the back and core. By focusing on one arm at a time you can better isolate the latissimus dorsi.
How to do Single Arm Dumbbell Rows:
- Put your left leg on the bench and grab the far side with your left hand, then bend over so your upper body is parallel with the ground.
- Reach down and pick up the dumbbell in your right hand with a neutral grip (palm facing you), then hold it with your arm extended, keeping your back straight.
- Bring the dumbbell up to your chest, concentrating on lifting it with your back and shoulder muscles rather than your arms.
- Keep your chest still as you lift.
- At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder and back muscles.
- Lower the dumbbell slowly until your arm is fully extended again.
- Do all your reps on one arm before switching to the other side.
Muscles Targeted: Back, Lats, Traps, Core
Use a Weight Bench for a Wicked Workout
Having a strong, stable bench allows you to safely lift heavier weights at home.
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned lifter, the exercise bench can be a game-changer for your home workouts.
Shop our benches today.