Weight bench is one of the most common and versatile fitness equipment that you can find in every gym or at home. A weight bench can support a variety of exercises and help train various muscle groups in the body. Adding a weight bench to your regular workout routines can increase the intensity of the exercise and help attain better results.
The modern day weight benches are adjustable, which means apart from the regular exercises, you can also add incline and decline variations to stimulate more muscle groups. This not only increases the rate of muscle growth but also helps to get enhanced results.
Here we have compiled a list of 7 exercises that you can perform using a weight bench. It is a combination of multiple workouts that impacts various muscles groups in the body. Adding them to your workout routine will surely help you to boost your workout results.
7 Best Weight Bench Exercises to perform at home
1. Dumbbell Bench Presses
Dumbbell presses are one of the most effective chest building exercises that you can perform at home. While many prefer to work with barbell bench presses, we recommend dumbbell presses for the increased range of motion it offers. This allows you to involve more chest muscles and perform targeted workouts. Also in the process you are able to stimulate your biceps and triceps.
How to Perform Dumbbell Presses?
Lie down on the weight bench facing the ceiling, hold one dumbbell on each hand (keeping your elbows bent), keepingthe dumbbells on either side of the shoulder.Your starting position can either be palms facing forward or palms facing each other. Once you get into this position, press your arms forward in a motion above your chest till your arms are straight and then bring the dumbbells back slowly to the neutral position.
Two variations of dumbbell bench press-
Inclined Dumbbell press– The inclined exercises are performed by keeping the bench at an angle of 30⁰-45⁰ lying on the bench with straight back while your feet lay on the floor. The workout is performed in the same way. The incline bench presses help you to target the top chest muscles and increase shoulder muscle stimulation.
Declined Dumbbell press– The declined exercises are performed by further inclining the adjustable bench at an inclined angle lower than the straight position. First, you need to lie down on the bench carefully, ensuring your feet are fixed to the rollers for firm gripping and stability and then you can hold the dumbbells and perform the exercise. The decline presses are more focussed on the lower part of the chest muscles.
It is important to keep the form in check while working out with free weights, so make sure you know the right posture to perform the workout.
Crunches are one of the most recommended exercises to build abdomen muscle and get chiselled Abs. While you can perform crunches by lying on the floor, a weight bench allows you to perform wide variations of crunches that increase the effectiveness and impact of the workout. Crunches help you to build your core muscles and get a V-shape body,weight bench can boost the results.
How to perform crunches?
The standard crunches are performed lying straight on the ground (on a yoga mat or foam) with hands at the back of the head and knees bent the starting position. You push your head towards your knees to squeeze your core or abs muscle and then get back slowly. While there are multiple variations that you can perform on floor, a weight bench increases the intensity and resistance.
Two variations of crunches on weight bench
Incline Crunches– With incline crunches, you are able to exert more pressure on your core muscles. Being inclined at an angle, you have to put more effort in every crunch, which increases the resistance and improves the results. The foam grips help to get the support needed to be stable on the bench, lie down on the bench (head being on the lower end) with hands at the back of your head. Push your head towards your knees trying to get as close as possible and then move back slowly to complete one rep.
Reverse Crunches– The reverse crunches too are performed on an inclined bench, with head being towards the upper side, hold on to the rollers or bench to keep your body stable. Now raise your legs up to bring your knees closer to your head and bring them down slowly to complete the range of motion. The exercise not only tightens your abs but also helps to strengthen the lower back muscles.
3. Dumbbell Chest Fly Exercises
Dumbbell chest fly is an upper body exercise that helps to get stronger chest and shoulders. In general fly exercises are performed on a chest fly machine sitting vertically. But with a weight bench you can perform this exercise with the help of dumbbell, while lying down flat on the bench.
How to perform Dumbbell Chest Fly?
Lie on the bench on your back with your feet firmly set on the floor on either side of the bench. For beginners, it is recommended to use light weight dumbbells. Hold one dumbbell on each hand and keep your arms straight above your chest with elbows slightly bent in a supinated (palms facing each other) position. Slowly lower the dumbbells in a motion to open up your chest muscles, till your arms reach the shoulder level then bring it back to its original position to complete the rep.
Two variations of Fly Exercises on bench-
- Incline bench dumbbell chest fly– This exercise is performed on incline bench, set at an angle of 30⁰or 45⁰. The incline bench increases the range of motion and performance. Along with the chest muscles, it also activates the upper shoulder muscles.
- Reverse Dumbbell Fly– This exercise too is performed on an incline bench set at 30-45°. Here you lie on the bench flat on your chest rest, with arms hanging towards the floor. The arms are slightly bent with the palms facing each other. Raise your arms slowly up in a motion to open your chest muscles till your arms get in level with your shoulders. Hold and then slowly bring them back to the starting position. This exercise focuses on strengthening your shoulders and upper back muscles.
With fly exercises, the motion and form of the exercise is very essential to avoid any injuries, even when it is performed with light weights.
4. Bench Dips
Dips are an effective way to build bigger and stronger biceps and triceps. Apart from this, dips also stimulate chest, shoulders and upper back muscles. This makes dips one of the best upper body strength building exercises. A weight bench can be a good alternative to a dip station and a good addition to the workout routine. Bench dips help you to build a good foundation to perform traditional dips by hanging your body between two parallel bars.
How to perform Bench Dips?
Sit on the bench (body adjacent to the bench) with your arms on the side of the thighs. Now, lift and move your body out of the bench, with the legs extended and hands on the bench (the starting position). Bent your elbows and lower your body to as far as you can go. Then push up by exerting pressure on your palms to get back to the starting position.
You can add bench dips to your upper body workout routine, especially on chest days. You can add variations like adding weights, etc. to add more intensity to the exercise.
5. Row Exercises
Rowing exercises help to build stronger back. While there are different variations of rowing exercises that you can perform, the most common exercises are barbell rows and single Arm row exercises performed with free weights. Rowing exercises work intensively to increase your back strength and thus,is a recommended workout.
Two variations of rowing exercises using bench-
- Single Arm Row– Set up your bench and ensure it is stable as you are going to lean on it. Put your right leg on bench and bent down to ensure you are parallel to the bench. Put your right hand on the bench. Pick up the dumbbell using your left hand, while keeping your back straight. Bring the dumbbell up to your chest, by exerting pressure through your shoulder and back muscles. Hold and then lower the dumbbell slowly to extend your arm again to complete one rep.
- Dumbbell Incline Row- Set your bench at an angle of 45⁰, lie on the bench beingflat on your chest. Hold dumbbells on both hands and pull up to the chest, by squeezing your shoulders, while making sure that you do not move away from the bench. Release the pressure and bring the dumbbells down again to the starting position to complete the rep.
6. Bicep Curls Exercises
Biceps are the first muscle group that beginners generally focus on, as because biceps are something that can be actually flexed in the open. Bulging and swollen arms is everything we want as soon as we pick up dumbbells. Thus, bicep curls become the best exercise to add to the workout routine.
How to perform Curl exercises?
The standard curls are performed standing straight on the floor with straight arms and one dumbbell on each hand.Bring up the dumbbells to your shoulders by bending your elbows. Hold and bring it back slowly to the starting position to complete the rep. Bicep curl exercises become essential as they help to build overall strength, to focus on other pulling exercises.
Two variations of Bicep Curls using a weigh bench-
- Incline Dumbbell Curls– Set the bench at 45⁰ andlie down on the bench on your back, with your arms dropped behind your body (reduces leverage on the biceps and adds resistance). Pick a dumbbell on each hand, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells bringing it closer to the shoulders. Hold for a few seconds and then move the dumbbell back slowly to its original position to complete the rep.
- Reverse Dumbbell Curls– Similar to incline Dumbbell curls the bench is set at 45⁰, except you have to lie down on the bench with your chest against the bench. Grab one dumbbell on each hand, bend your elbows and bring the dumbbell as close to the shoulders as possible. Hold and bring it back down slowly to its original position and complete one rep.
7. Triceps Extension Curls
Triceps are the base to your arms strength. Every time you try to apply strength to push or pull, you are using your triceps. Strengthening your triceps helps you to enhance your ability to perform daily activities; it also increases your overall strength and flexibility. Triceps extension curl is an isolation exercise, built exclusively to target triceps, by flexing the elbow with resistance.
How to perform Triceps Extension Curls?
The Overhead Triceps Extension is the most common exercise that stimulates your triceps. It is performed by keeping your biceps close to your ears with your hands straight and elbows pointing forward. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, and bend your elbow to lower the weight behind your head till you can feel the tension in your triceps (at an angle of 90⁰). Hold and straighten the arms again to complete the extension exercise. It is recommended to keep the core tight, while doing the extension curls.
Two variations of Triceps Extension curl using a weight bench?
- Barbell Triceps Extension or Skull Crushers- It is performed using a barbell, while lying straight on a weight bench. Hold the barbell at a shoulder distance with the palms facing out (pronated grip). Start by extending the weight above the head; bend the elbows to lower the weight till you feel the tension in the triceps. Hold and then squeeze the triceps and straighten the arms to get it back to its original position to complete one rep.
It is called skull crushers, as the barbell hangs just around your head, so make sure you begin with lightweights.
- Incline Overhead Triceps Extensions Curl-Set the bench at an angle of 45⁰; lie down on the bench on your back. Hold one end of the dumbbell with both hands directly over your head, this is the starting position. Keep your chest up and core tight, bent your elbows and lower the weight behind your head. Keep the tension on the triceps, hold and then bring the weight back up to the starting position to complete the rep.
Here are the 7 most effective exercises that you can perform using a weight bench. Most exercises recommended above are performed with free weights; therefore it is advised to learn the right form to perform the exercises to avoid any kind of injuries. Adding a weight bench is one of the most effective ways of adding versatility to your workout routines. Get a weight bench today and start working out with increased intensity and versatility.