The weight bench is a wonderful thing, and with the right workout, you’re onto a winner. You can use them for pretty much anything, and whatever you do use them for, they make it easier. They are just awesome. Making the most of them, however, isn’t always an easy thing to do. You’re pretty spoiled for choice.
You can split up your workouts like you probably know, such as workouts like push-pull legs where you use a range of equipment, but that’s not always easy. If you want to keep things quick and easy, or maybe you’ve got a bench at home, a full-body workout like this can be just the thing you need. It’s still a hard hitter, after all.
So, with that in mind, here’s a weight bench workout that will hit every muscle group in your body!
Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.
- Chest Press
- Shoulder Press
- Reverse Flyes
- Hyper Extensions
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Box Jumps
- Decline Sit Ups
- Incline Bicep Curls
- Tricep Dips
1. Chest Press
One of the easiest exercises to do with your bench is the bench press. It’s a great way to hit most of your upper body and mostly works your chest, which is a big hitter for a lot of people.
A big factor with this one being a great full-body hitter is the different ways you can do it too. There are grip changes like close or wide grip to change tricep activation, but others too. Change it up!
2. Shoulder Press
Bench pressing is awesome, but shoulder pressing is another huge lift that the weight bench can take into a league of its own too. It’s an amazing way to hit your whole deltoid group, and it’s the best exercise you can generally do for your shoulders.
Make sure you use the back support when you need it, and keep things nice and tight. The bench is great for overloading the muscles, but try not to rely on it too much for the sake of your technique.
3. Reverse Flyes
Before you move onto your arms, we’re going to switch straight to the other side of the body. It always helps to hit all the biggest muscles first. Starting with your rear delts and upper back, the reverse fly can be a great tool for building mass and strength too. The form might be a little bit harder to keep than some other exercises, but it’s easier with a weight bench involved.
You’ll need to set the bench to an incline and lay in a position where you’re facing backwards rather than upwards like usual. This allows you to ensure you’re keeping your arms and torso still and are just using your upper back and shoulders. Simply let the weights hang and lift outwards, keeping your arms at the same bend the entire time. Elbows out!
Rows are a weight bench classic and work wonders for your mid-back, particularly your lats and traps. They’re a great way to hit your back hard without needing too much time and are one of the few back exercises that give you the ability to train your back one side at a time. That’s perfect to really be able to concentrate on your contraction.
With one knee and one hand on the bench and the weight in the other hand as you face the floor, lower the weight and pull it back to waist height. Really make sure you’re using your middle back. A pro tip is to make sure you’re not doing a bicep curl at the same time. It’s an accidental cheat and won’t give you any real benefits for your back.
5. Hyper Extensions
Moving on to your lower back, hyperextensions are the only real exercise you can use with a bench. Luckily, they’re also one of the best (and hardest, too!). They’re not one to be sniffed at either. Hang yourself from the abs upwards from the bench and allow yourself to fall lower than the actual flat bench itself, and raise yourself up again as high as you can reasonably go.
Be careful not to put too much strain on your back right away, as this can cause some pretty bad damage, but you can incline the bench to match your abilities if need be. The greater the angle of the bench, the easier you should find the exercise, so bear that in mind.
6. Bulgarian Split Squat
Moving further down the body still, your legs can really see benefits from a weight bench too. Stepping or jumping squats may be the first to come to mind, but Bulgarian split squats can be a real hero to your legs. Your entire leg muscle group will see benefits from the exercise in some way or another, and they’re especially effective in targeting your quads, too, which can be a difficult thing to do safely.
With one foot on the bench behind you and the other leg on the floor, simply do a regular squat motion range and return to an upright position. Change legs to complement your set pattern when needed and add extra weight with dumbbells if you find this too light, but the exercise itself will definitely improve your legs which can be difficult to do without other equipment.
7. Box Jumps
To make sure the weight bench workout is not too upper body focused, it’s important to keep the legs involved as much as possible and have the best impact that you can. The box jump is a great way to do it. The movement range is similar to that of a squat but with the added explosive movement to get you off the ground at the top of the contraction. It’s a prime example of plyometric exercise.
This exercise will also help you to improve your agility and your balance at the same time as building strength in your legs, so it’s important to remember that weights are not always the best way to go about your workouts. This will work the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves more than anything, so be prepared to feel the results.
8. Decline Sit Ups
Now that you have some of the more compound exercises out of the way, you can specify on isolating the more supporting muscle groups. The abdominal muscles are a good place to start, especially if the bench goes into a decline position. Decline sit-ups are one of the hardest ab exercises out there though, so take it easy!
With your body lower than your legs, it makes the motion range required from your abs increase far more than standard sit-ups can, enabling you to push your ab exercises to the next level. It’s awesome for greater muscle contraction in the long run, but make sure you don’t let the blood rush to your head too much!
9. Incline Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are a classic exercise for getting stronger arms. The addition of a weight bench at an incline angle means that, again, your motion range is much larger than the more standardised version that a standing or even seated neutral curl can provide. As well as isolating the bicep and preventing you from using your back as a stabiliser whether you like it or not, you are completely isolating the muscle and working both the long and the short head muscles in the bicep.
You can also focus on your form and contraction rather than the rep count, which often leads to swaying or too much movement of the elbows, which can be big causes of an increase in momentum. Weight bench workouts like this are awesome for making that happen, even on exercises, you might not usually use them for. It’s all relative, and your arms can seriously benefit from the change.
10. Tricep Dips
Last but not least, we have tricep dips. Tricep dips may not be the most popular weight bench exercise, but they shouldn’t be written off. They are one of the most effective ways to target the long heads of the triceps, and as far as natural exercises go, they’re awesome ones to do.
They have a lot of variation to them too. You can dip with your hands on your bench and feet on the floor or feet elevated, as well as your hands, for an even harder motion. Do whatever you need to, but it’s always a good workout. Once this gets too easy, you can even add weighted clothing or place a weight plate on your legs to beat the problem of body weight restrictions.
The weight bench workout is an awesome one to do, and it genuinely does hit pretty much every muscle in your body. Not only is that hard to do, but only using one piece of equipment, it’s even harder. Whether you’re beating the queues in the gym or making the most of a home workout, you’re set with a workout style like this.
You should really be performing around 10 reps for 3-4 sets of each exercise and using the weight that is comfortable but challenging If you want to see significant improvements. Change things up, try different set styles, and see what helps your progress the most. good luck
More like this, don’t forget to check out the 6-week weight bench workout plan too!
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