The exercise bench is more than just a place to rest between sets. When you add an exercise bench to your home workout you gain a valuable tool that helps you complete a vast range of exercises with correct form. You can do a lot with a home workout bench, and they are indispensable when you already have a squat rack for your big lifts. For this blog, we’ll give you a rundown of how to use your exercise bench with just a handful of weights.
The bench press is a staple in any weightlifting workout. It is a compound workout that targets the chest as well as engaging your triceps and anterior delts. Without a rack you can still get an amazing chest workout with just a pair of dumbbells. In fact, the dumbbell bench press is more challenging than a barbell press and uses more stabilising muscles. Lie back on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand at about the height of your chest making sure to keep your core engaged to avoid an injury. Press both dumbbells upward as you would a barbell and squeeze your chest at the top of the motion. Lower the dumbbells back to be in line with your chest then repeat. Use any flat bench for this exercise, or an adjustable bench with an incline to target the top of your chest.
Arnold Shoulder Press
The shoulder press is a classic exercise for use with an incline adjustable bench, but you’ll feel an even greater burn with the Arnold Press variation. Sit with a straight back on an adjustable bench. Start with a dumbbell in each hand at chest height with bent arms, palms facing in, like you’re at the top of a biceps curl motion. Rotate your shoulders and arms, then raise the dumbbells above your head. Lower the dumbbell back to its starting position, rotating your arms for your palms to once again face your body, then repeat. The Arnold shoulder press targets all three heads of the deltoid but increases the risk of injury. Start with light weights and focus on form.
Decline Weighted Twist
The ultimate bench core exercise. Hook your legs into the ankle and knee anchors of an Ab Board decline bench. Lean back on the bench until your back is perpendicular to the bench. Hold a weight in front of you with both hands and slightly bent arms. Twist to one side with a controlled motion then twist to the other side. Repeat for your desired reps or roughly 30 seconds to a minute. The decline weighted twist will target your obliques in much the same way as a Russian twist but will also engage your rectus abdominis.
There’s a lot you can do for your triceps on a flat exercise bench, including dips and skull crushers, but we’ll focus on the classic kickbacks here. Place your right knee on the bench and stretch your left leg behind you for stability. Rest your left hand on the bench. Your torso should be roughly parallel with the bench. Hold a weight in your right hand with a bend in the elbow, and your upper arm tucked into your side. With a smooth, controlled motion and without moving your upper arm, send the weight back behind you to straighten your arm. Repeat on your left side. This is an isolated exercise that is guaranteed to strengthen your triceps.
One of the most reliable workouts for your back on a flat bench is the bent-over dumbbell row, and it’s so simple. Rest your left knee and hand on a flat bench so that your torso is roughly parallel with the bench. Keep your back straight for this one. Plant your right foot on the ground to the side of the bench for stability. Hold your dumbbell in your right hand with a straight arm. Keep your shoulder blade pulled back to avoid an injury. Engaging your latissimus dorsi, bend your arm and raise the dumbbell to your torso. Lower and repeat for desired reps and on both sides.
On The Bench
This is just the top five of an extensive list of everything you can do with your Reebok fitness bench at home. The possibilities are endless, and this is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment you can add to improve your upper body workouts. This bench isn’t just for rests between sets.