If you’re looking to upgrade your home gym with a versatile piece of workout equipment, the best weight bench might make you never want to head back to the gym. Weight benches provide support while you target your muscles to build strength and endurance. There are several different types of weight benches, such as flat weight benches, adjustable weight benches (a.k.a. flat-incline-decline weight benches), and Olympic weight benches.
“Weight benches are an essential piece of home gym equipment. They open the door for much more versatility in your weightlifting routine, including upper and lower body work with dumbbells, barbells, and body weight,” Rachel MacPherson, an ACE-certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, tells SELF. “You can use them to support your back during hip thrusts, as a platform for step-ups, to support your body during seated movements like shoulder presses, bench presses, and flies, as well as chest support during spider curls and chest-supported rows. Benches are also useful for unilateral exercises like Bulgarian split squats, single-arm rows, and leaning lateral raises.”
What to look for when buying a weight bench
Benches come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and configurations so when you’re looking for a weight bench, MacPherson recommends keeping your budget and needs in mind. Whichever you choose ultimately depends on your experience, fitness goals, and the exercises you’d like to implement into your workout routine.
- Type: You should consider whether you’d like: a straightforward option that simply provides a strong and stable base for workouts; adjustability for a wide range of exercises and different angles; an all-in-one option that allows you to lift heavy; or an option to target specific muscles with extra attachments. For example, flat benches don’t adjust for angles, MacPherson says, making them less versatile than adjustable benches. With an incline or decline on adjustable benches, you can target your muscle groups from slightly different angles than you could with a flat bench.
- Durability: “A good weight bench will be solid, sturdy, and versatile. It won’t be too narrow or short either, so it can be used by a range of body types,” MacPherson says. “Padding and other materials are key to look at as well. Look for sturdy materials and solid construction, such as powder-coated steel. You can check for weight ratings to determine how strong and sturdy a bench might be. I suggest going with something that can withstand at least 500–700 pounds, or even 1,000 pounds or more, which would include your body weight, force impact, and any weight you are lifting.” Steel frames are also a great pick for durability.
- Storage: Some weight benches are foldable, while others, such as Olympic weight benches and preacher-curl benches, are fixed into position. Foldable weight benches are easier to break down and store, helping you save space when not in use. They’re also typically easier to set up. A drawback of foldable weight benches is that some may not be as stable compared to fixed-weight benches. Fixed-weight benches provide more stability when lifting and are generally great options for heavy lifters. Just keep in mind that they can be higher in cost.
- Accessories: Accessories like resistance bands, workout booklets, and access to online workout programs can be especially helpful for beginners or anyone who wants to get the most value out of their purchase. Some weight benches also provide attachments, like a preacher-curl pad, leg extension, and dip station, that allow you to do isolation exercises to work your biceps, quadriceps, and core.
Below are 13 highly-rated options based on customer reviews so you can choose the best weight bench for your home gym.
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