What kind of exercise bench should I buy? | Exercise.com

What kind of exercise bench should I buy?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Purchasing an exercise bench for your home is a great way to get regular full-body workouts without the expense of a home gym or health club membership.
  • Before shopping, you need to consider what your needs are so that you can make a purchase that is right for you and not spend unnecessary money on extras you will not use.
  • Make sure you measure the dimensions of the space you plan to keep the exercise bench in.

Many people wish to purchase an exercise bench as a cost-effective way of working out, but when they start shopping and seeing all of the options they begin to wonder, “How do you buy an exercise bench?”

Purchasing an exercise bench for your home is a great way to get regular full-body workouts without the expense of a home gym or health club membership.

Before you set out to buy one, however, there are some questions you need to ask yourself and some information you need to know.

There are many different styles of exercise benches from a basic cushioned, flat bench to those with many accessories and added features.

Before shopping, you need to consider what your needs are so that you can make a purchase that is right for you and not spend unnecessary money on extras you will not use.

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What Should I Consider Before Selecting an Exercise Bench?

Before you even start shopping around and looking at benches you need to ask yourself some important questions so that you are prepared in advance for what you will need to know upon entering the store.

  • First, you need to consider what your budget is. While exercise benches can be cost-effective compared to other home gym equipment or a health club membership, many still come with a fairly high price tag.
  • Next, you need to consider what you wish to use the bench for. Do you want a complete full-body workout, which will require some accessories to adequately work all muscle groups, or do you plan to primarily use it for bench pressing to work your chest and shoulders?
  • Finally, you need to measure the dimensions of the space you plan to keep the exercise bench in. Do not skip this step or you may find yourself with the perfect bench and no space to keep it in. Some benches with a lot of weights and accessories will take up a fairly large amount of space.

What Types of Exercise Benches Are There?

There are several types of exercise benches you need to be aware of from the very simple to the very complex. The first type is a simple flat bench. This type is good for beginners but may not have enough features for you if you are more advanced in your weightlifting.

You can get a basic overall workout with these using a pair of dumbbells or slide the bench under a weight rack for barbell lifting.

The second type of exercise bench is an incline or decline bench. A fixed decline bench is good for working abdominals and a fixed incline bench is good for arm and shoulder workouts doing dumbbell repetitions.

The last type of exercise bench is one that is adjustable. If it is within your price range and you wish to get a truly complete workout this is often the best option.

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This bench can be used in the flat position or positioned at various incline or decline levels so that you can tailor your workout more to your needs and level of fitness ability.

Finally, once you have picked out the basic bench type that is right for you, you need to decide what accessories you need.

You might consider making a list of accessories offered and decide what you must have, don’t want, and what you would like but do not need immediately to begin your workout regimen; these accessories you can purchase little by little over time.  You will most likely want a weight rack with your bench.

The best ones come attached to the bench for easy access and organization of your dumbbells.

Another option typically offered is a tower for push-ups, dips, pull-ups or chin-ups, and leg raises. You can also purchase a hyperextension attachment for your bench to work your lower back and obliques. If bicep curls are your thing, consider a preacher curl attachment.

Other accessories are available to increase your safety while exercising. If you plan to work out alone, which is typical when people work out at home, you will want a barbell catcher on your bench.

You also may want leg and foot stabilizers added to your bench if you plan to lift very heavy weights or just feel more comfortable with extra stability.

Can I Try out Different Exercise Benches?

After having come prepared with your questions and answers and having decided on the type of bench and accessories you want, you have one final step before actually making your purchase. You need to try out the different benches being sold.

Check for stability and non-slip material on the base. Look into how much weight each bench can handle and consider how much you plan on lifting.

Finally, if several members of your family plan to use the bench check out the height adjustments to make sure that the bench will be comfortable for all users and not just you.

You can create a complete home workout routine around an exercise bench and a few other pieces of weight training equipment. Go PRO today to get started.

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