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In every gym or studio you'll find at least one weight bench. Designed to provide you with the solid foundation from which you can perform a whole range of exercises, exercise benches very quickly become an essential part of any fitness program. They also allow you to increase the number of specific exercises with free weights and machines alike, safely and comfortably. A good exercise bench needs to be strong and secure as well as being well padded to ensure you remain comfortable. Read more...
A weight bench is a central part of any home gym kit. Essentially it is a board approximately 1 foot wide by three foot long supported on legs. The board is usually padded so that it is comfortable for laying or sitting on. It is usually used in conjunction with free weights like dumbbells and barbells.
Two key things to consider when buying a weight bench is that it has to be sturdy and supportive. In essence it needs to support your weight and the weights of the weights that you are using! To do this we would recommend that the primary pieces of the bench should be made out of metal and thick enough so they do not bend. The bench should not tip when you are using it, particularly as many exercises will take place at one end of the weight bench. Also check the feet or the base and see if they are made of non slip material
Some weight benches can be positioned at angles to help work specific muscle groups. If you are laying on a bench with your head up you are effectively doping an incline exercise. When your head is down you are working a decline exercise. These types of exercises are normally harder than when the weight bench is flat.
Large barbells can be positioned over the weight bench to help with a bench press. Leg attachments can be added to aid with leg curls. You can also add bench extensions which can help when doing crunches and sit ups.
It can also be useful to have a weight rack attached. The rack could be situated underneath the bench or hooked on the side. The beauty of this is that your workout area is kept clear and tidy but it means you can also reach your weights whilst on the bench.
One of the downsides of weight benches is that they can take up a lot of space, so you may want to consider a folding bench. These can be folded up and stored in quite small rooms. Whether you are buying a folding or non folding weight bench do measure up before you buy and remember to include in your measurements any attachments.
You may want to consider one of these if you want your bench to hold a good amount of weight. They also come with attachments which can support different muscle groups, so it can be worth the extra money. Attachments can include a preacher curl for bicep development. Olympic benches can also benefit taller people because quite simply they are longer than average weight benches.