Are you looking to build strength, increase muscle mass, and improve your overall fitness? In that case, we recommend you try out weight bench exercises. As a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, weight bench exercises can help you improve your muscular endurance.
Join us as we navigate everything you need to know about weight bench exercises. Get ready to gain enlightening info on the benefits they offer, how to perform them correctly, and, most importantly, the different exercises you can perform on weight benches.
Table of contents
- Getting Started With Weight Bench Exercises : A 4-Step Plan
- What Exercise Can You Do on a Weight Bench?
- 6 Benefits of Weight Bench Exercises at Home
- Frequently Asked Questions
Getting Started With Weight Bench Exercises: A 4-Step Plan
Before we delve into the different weight bench exercises for beginners and pros, let’s start by outlining the prerequisite steps. This will ensure you start slowly and focus on proper technique, minimising the risk of injury.
Here are 4 steps to help you get started with weight bench workouts:
1. Warm up.
Before diving into weight bench workouts like bench presses, curls, shoulder presses, etc., it’s essential to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for exercise. Incorporate dynamic stretches and light cardio exercises to increase blood flow and loosen up your muscles. This will reduce the risk of injury and improve your overall performance during the workout.
2. Adjust the bench.
Most weight benches are adjustable, allowing you to set them at different angles to target specific muscle groups. Before starting your exercises, adjust the bench to the desired position. Common adjustments include flat, incline, and decline angles, each targeting different sets of muscles.
3. Choose the right weights.
It’s crucial to start with lighter weights and focus on proper form and technique. Gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable and confident with each exercise. Choosing the right weights ensures you can maintain good form and avoid unnecessary strain or injuries.
4. Perform the exercises correctly.
To ensure your muscles enjoy the most pump from free weight bench exercises, it’s important to perform each exercise correctly. Focus on maintaining proper form, engaging the target muscles, and moving through a full range of motion. This will ensure that you’re effectively targeting the intended muscle groups and minimising the risk of injury.
You’re now set for some weight bench exercises. In the next section, we’ll explore those weight bench workouts that you can engage in to target different parts of your body.
What Exercise Can You Do on a Weight Bench?
Having understood what it takes to prepare yourself for weight bench exercises, let’s delve into specific workout examples. We’ve categorised them into exercises that either target the upper body, lower body, or entire body for easy navigation.
5 Upper-Body Weight Bench Exercises
Incorporating the following exercises into your workout routine to help you build strength in your chest, back, shoulders, and arms:
1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
The flat dumbbell bench press is one of the best weight bench exercises that target your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Start by lying flat on the weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the dumbbells to your chest, then press them back up to the starting position. Focus on maintaining control and engaging your chest muscles throughout the movement.
To get the best out of your dumbbell workout sessions, check out our 3-day dumbbell workout plan.
2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Similar to the flat bench press, the incline dumbbell bench press targets your upper chest muscles. Adjust the bench to a 45-degree incline and lie back with a dumbbell in each hand. Lower the dumbbells to your chest, then press them back up, focusing on the contraction in your upper chest. This is a great way to develop your muscle-mind connection.
3. Bent-Over Rows
Bent-over rows are an excellent exercise for targeting your back muscles, specifically the lats (latissimus dorsi muscle). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Pull the dumbbells up toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together, then lower them back down. We recommend checking out this video tutorial for detailed instructions.
4. Shoulder Press
The shoulder press targets your shoulder muscles, particularly the deltoids. Sit on the weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height, then press them overhead until your arms are fully extended. Lower the dumbbells back down to shoulder height and repeat. We recommend exercising with a dumbbell set + weight bench bundle for best results.
5. Tricep Dips
Tricep dips are an effective weight bench exercise for targeting the back of your arms. Position yourself on the weight bench with your hands resting on the edge of the bench behind you. Extend your legs in front of you and lower your body by bending your elbows. Press back up to the starting position, focusing on engaging your tricep muscles.
4 Lower-Body Weight Bench Exercises
To achieve a well-rounded physique, it’s essential to incorporate lower-body weight bench leg exercises into your routine.
The following exercises will help you build strength in your legs, glutes, and hamstrings:
Step-ups are a simple yet effective exercise for targeting your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Stand facing the weight bench and place one foot firmly on the bench. Push through your heel and lift your body, bringing your other foot onto the bench. Step back down and repeat, alternating legs.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian split squats are a challenging exercise that targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Stand facing away from the weight bench and place one foot behind you on the bench. Lower your body down into a lunge position, keeping your front knee aligned with your ankle. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
3. Glute Bridges
Glute bridges are an excellent exercise for targeting your glutes and hamstrings. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the weight bench, hip-width apart. Press through your heels and lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top. Lower your hips back down and repeat.
4. Calf Raises
The calf raise is an effective weight bench leg exercise focused on strengthening your calf muscles. Stand on the edge of the weight bench with your heels hanging off the edge. Rise onto your toes, then lower your heels back down. Repeat this movement, focusing on the contraction in your calves.
4 Full-Body Weight Bench Exercises
In addition to targeting specific muscle groups, weight bench exercises at home can also provide a full-body workout.
By incorporating the following compound exercises, you can engage multiple muscle groups and maximise your training efficiency:
Burpees are a dynamic full-body exercise that combines strength and cardio. Start in a standing position, then squat down and place your hands on the weight bench. Jump your feet back into a plank position, perform a push-up, then jump your feet back in and stand up, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat this movement, focusing on maintaining proper form and engaging your entire body.
2. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a challenging exercise that targets your core, shoulders, and legs. Start in a plank position with your hands on the weight bench. Bring one knee in towards your chest, then quickly switch legs, alternating back and forth. Keep your core engaged and maintain a steady pace throughout the exercise.
3. Russian Twists
Russian twists are an effective exercise to do on weight benches. It’s good for targeting your obliques and core muscles. Sit on the weight bench with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground. Lean back slightly and rotate your torso from side to side, touching the weight bench on each side. Keep your core engaged and maintain a slow and controlled movement.
4. Plank Variations
Planks are a staple exercise for building core strength. Start in a plank position with your hands on the weight bench. Hold this position for a set amount of time, focusing on maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels. To add variation, you can also perform side planks, lift one arm or leg, or incorporate knee tucks.
These specific weight bench exercises can help you attain a strong and well-built body. However, their benefits are beyond building strength; they offer a host of other benefits, as we’ll observe below. And if you seek more intense workouts, check out our guide on home CrossFit workouts.
6 Benefits of Weight Bench Exercises at Home
Weight bench exercises offer a wide range of benefits for individuals of all fitness levels. Whether you’re aiming to build muscle, boost strength, burn fat, improve bone density, enhance cardiovascular health, or increase flexibility, weight bench exercises are a great way to achieve these and more.
1. Builds Strength
One of the primary benefits of weight bench exercises is their ability to build strength. By incorporating resistance training into your workout routine, you can target specific muscle groups and increase their strength and endurance. Weight bench exercises engage muscles in your chest, shoulders, arms, legs, and core, helping you develop a strong and well-rounded physique.
2. Builds Muscle
Building muscle is another key benefit of weight bench exercises, as proven by research. By incorporating weight bench workouts into your fitness routine, you can target specific muscle groups such as the chest, shoulders, arms, and legs. The weight bench provides a stable and controlled environment for performing various exercises like bench presses, incline presses, dumbbell flyes, and tricep dips. These exercises engage multiple muscle fibres, promoting muscle growth and strength development.
3. Burns Fat
If your goal is fat loss, weight bench exercises can be highly effective. Strength training workouts, including those performed on a weight bench, help increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn calories even after your workout is complete. By combining weight bench exercises with a balanced diet, you can achieve significant fat loss, resulting in a more toned and sculpted physique.
4. Improves Bone Density
As we age, maintaining strong bones becomes increasingly important. Weight bench exercises have been proven to increase bone density, reducing the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis. By regularly engaging in weight-bearing exercises, you can strengthen your bones and promote better overall bone health.
5. Enhances Cardiovascular Health
Weight bench exercises can also have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health. When performed with sufficient intensity, these exercises elevate your heart rate, improving circulation and cardiovascular endurance. A strong and healthy heart reduces the risk of heart disease and improves overall cardiovascular function.
6. Increases Flexibility
While weight bench exercises primarily focus on strength and muscle development, they can also contribute to improved flexibility. Many weight bench exercises involve a full range of motion, stretching and lengthening your muscles. Over time, this can lead to increased flexibility and improved range of motion, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing overall athletic performance.
Engaging in weight bench exercises at home is an effective way to build strength, increase muscle mass, and improve overall fitness. Remember to start with lighter weights, focus on proper form and technique, and gradually increase the intensity as you progress. To enjoy these benefits from weight bench exercises, it’s important you do your workouts on high-quality weight benches.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exercises do you do with bench press?
You can do the following weight bench exercises using a bench press:
- Flat Bench Press: This exercise is a staple for building overall upper-body strength and targets the deltoids, pecs, triceps, and lats.
- Incline Bench Press: This variation targets the upper chest, front delts, and shoulders, helping to build upper-body strength.
- Decline Bench Press: This exercise targets the lower part of the chest, providing a different angle of stimulation.
- Dumbbell Bench Press: Holding dumbbells instead of a barbell increases the demand for stability and control while targeting the same muscles as the flat bench press.
Can you get in shape with just a bench?
Yes, it’s possible to get in shape with just a bench, as it allows for a wide range of exercises to be performed, targeting different muscle groups, including the arms, lower body, and core. Weight benches offer a chain of possibilities and are great for exercises where the lifter is lying down, particularly targeting the chest and triceps. Weight benches are not limited to just chest and tricep work but can also be used for targeting the biceps while sitting, reducing stress on the lower back during exercises like seated bicep curls.
Can you grow your chest with just a bench?
While the bench press is a great exercise for chest development, its effects are limited because it doesn’t engage your entire chest muscle fibres. You should, therefore, incorporate other exercises to target the chest muscles effectively.
Here are some exercises to add to your routine:
- Incline and Decline Dumbbell Presses: These target different pec fibres for well-rounded development. Incline hits the upper pecs, while decline focuses on the lower, creating that coveted pec pop.
- Dips: These exercises are great for strength building. They engage your entire chest, shoulders, and triceps, making them a compound exercise powerhouse.
- Cable Crossovers: Precision and control are the name of the game with cable crossovers. They allow you to maintain constant tension throughout the movement, sculpting and defining your pecs with laser focus.
Can you lose weight with a weight bench?
While the bench press alone may not be a great fat burner, it’s still possible to lose weight with a weight bench by following a well-rounded workout routine that includes bench presses. Incorporating other exercises like reverse flyes, rows, hyperextensions, Bulgarian split squats, and box jumps can help target different muscle groups and burn more calories.
Additionally, combining weight bench exercises with a calorie deficit and consistent dumbbell workouts can contribute to weight loss. In a nutshell, using a weight bench as part of a comprehensive exercise program can be effective for losing weight and improving overall fitness.
With consistency and dedication, weight bench exercises can take your fitness journey to the next level. So keep pushing your limits, stay dedicated, and enjoy the incredible results that weight bench exercises can bring to your fitness journey!
For more information on weight benches and other home gym equipment, check us out at HyGYM. We offer a wide range of high-quality and affordable fitness equipment to help you create the perfect home gym setup. Don’t forget to browse our catalogue of weight benches, dumbbells, squat racks, and more to find the perfect equipment for your weight bench exercises.