How to Use a Weight Bench - Step-By-Step Guide and Safety Precautions?
Despite being a piece of simple gym equipment, a weight bench is also one of the most versatile tools. You can add it to your home gym and quit using a chair to do exercises on your upper body. But, the majority of beginners face the issue of how to use a workout bench and how the position may influence their training.
A weight bench enables you to control your exercise performance by bringing more versatility to your training routine. It creates a solid base for strengthening and toning your upper body.
You'll build up your chest, namely pectorals, arm, and shoulder muscles. Although the targeted muscles may vary depending on the exercise variation you perform. So, you'll be able to activate pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps and biceps brachii, and traps.
An adjustable weight bench allows you to move properly while performing any exercise and provides the necessary support for activating specific muscles. Moreover, you can apply it to do conventional exercise variations to diversify your training and involve your muscles in different ranges of motion.
Before using a weight bench, you need to adjust it considering the exercise type you plan to perform, meaning switch between different inclines or declines, and also collect equipment, i.e., a dumbbell, kettlebell, or a short bar.
Follow these steps on how to adjust a workout bench before taking up exercising to get maximum comfort and not limit your range of motion:
1. Move the Bench Into Position and Gather the Equipment
Before adjusting the bench into the proper position, find an appropriate place you can train on this equipment without interfering with others. Then, you need to manage its overall position by placing the backrest. You should adjust the pin correctly that is located on the reserve side of the back. Lift up the back pad with one hand and tug the pin with the other to secure the bench in the needed position. Move the backrest until the pin finds the hole and clicks into it. Check whether it’s locked safely.
2. Set bench position
Make sure to tune your bench inclination to the correct position to target the needed muscles properly. Some exercises like barbell rows, dumbbell bench press, or flat dumbbell fly, may require a flat position to protect your back, while others can be performed at diverse bench angles. Set it up properly to avoid injuries.
Exercises like seated lateral raises and seated dumbbell shoulder press require placing the bench at 90 degrees. While for the decline dumbbell pullovers and decline dumbbell curls you need to change the bench position to the decline one.
Additionally, you can use a weight bench as a piece of accessory equipment to do bodyweight exercises like bench tricep dips, Bulgarian split squats, bench dips, seated crunches, and GHD sit-ups.
3. Brace Against the Bench
Tips From the Champ
Olympic Weightlifting Champion
7 Main Exercises on a Weight Bench for Beginners
A weight bench is a highly versatile piece of equipment every sports devotee should at least work out on, since it provides numerous options to train not only arms and chest muscles, but also your abdominals and legs. Knowing how to use a weight bench properly, you'll also engage your lower body and abdominals.
Let's observe the most popular and effective exercises you can add to your training routine. The list includes exercises with free weights and without by engaging your body weight.
1. Dumbbell Chest Press
It's one of the most popular weight bench exercises amongst athletes at gyms. The exercise works out middle chest muscles dominantly, namely, the pectorals, so you should use both the bench at the incline or flat position. Be cautious while exercising: without keeping proper form, you can injure yourself. Keep your upper arms perpendicular to the trunk and forearms perpendicular to the ground.
2. Dumbbell Skull Crushers (Lying Tricep Extensions)
To work out your triceps, adjust the bench incline or keep it flat. Take dumbbells, barbell, EZ curl bar or a multi grip tricep bar to strengthen your arms. Avoid taking the weights too down to the forehead since you won't be able to extend your triceps fully and can get injured. Lie on a flat bench, straighten your arms, and hold the dumbbells above your head. Then, bend your elbows by lowering the dumbbells to the sides of your head. Extend your arms up fully and repeat.
3. Bent Over Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
4. Dumbbell Incline Chest Press
5. Reverse Fly
6. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
7. Plyometrics Workout With a Weight Bench
Elevated Side Plank With Knee Raises
Titan Fitness Single Post Adjustable FID Weight Bench - Weight Bench We Recommend
Titan Fitness-made adjustable FID weight bench offers more than 25 various positions for the seat and backrest, making it possible to switch between flat, incline, and decline options. It has 7 back pad positions and 4 seat positions. Another functional perk is the availability of the feet roller enabling to add more exercise variations at the decline position.
Let’s observe its specs in short: the weight is 71 lb, while the maximum weight capacity is 1500 lb. Sounds impressive. The bench has a tripod construction that enables you to place your feet properly during the training. The dimensions are the following: 56.75” L x 25.25” W x 18.25” (flat position)/ 53” H (upright position).
You’ll be able to perform tens of different exercises and will never get bored working out on this bench. What’s more important, the training tool doesn’t wobble while training and is easily adjustable. You can move it around easily with the help of the front handle below the seat and transport wheels. Overall, you’ll get a durable, high-quality, and versatile weight bench that is worth every dollar spent on it.
Should I Use a Weight Bench?
How Many KG Should a Beginner Bench?
How to use a weight bench isn’t rocket science, but you should know some small key aspects about how to do it properly to provide yourself with good support while lifting weights and perform it carefully without injuries.
Nevertheless, are you not sure about what type of weight bench to choose, or which training accessories to add to challenge yourself? Write your queries below and we'll tell you many essential tips concerning the selection of this piece of equipment.
- David Rodríguez-Ridao, José A Antequera-Vique, Isabel Martín-Fuentes, José M Muyor. Effect of Five Bench Inclinations on the Electromyographic Activity of the Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, and Triceps Brachii during the Bench Press Exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, no. 17(19) (2020): 7339.
- Glass S.C., Armstrong T. Electromyographical activity of the pectoralis muscle during incline and decline bench presses. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, no.11(3) (1997):163–167.
- Lauver JD, Cayot TE, Scheuermann BW. Influence of bench angle on upper extremity muscular activation during bench press exercise. European Journal of Sports Science, no.16 (2016): 309–316.
- J Padulo, G Laffaye, A Chaouachi, K Chamari. Bench press exercise: the key points. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, no.55(6) (2015): 604-8.
- Mausehund, Lasse; Werkhausen, Amelie; Bartsch, Julia; Krosshaug, Tron. Understanding Bench Press Biomechanics—The Necessity of Measuring Lateral Barbell Forces. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, no.36(10) (2022): 2685-2695.
- Gołaś, A, Maszczyk, A, Pietraszewski, P, Stastny, P, Tufano, JJ, and Zając, A. Effects of pre-exhaustion on the patterns of muscular activity in the flat bench press. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, no. 31(7) (2017): 1919-1924.
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Olympic Weightlifting Champion
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Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,
C&J - 240 kg
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