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Best weight bench-garage workouts

When it comes to home gyms, a weight bench is just for doing the bench-press right? Wrong! Searching out the best weight bench for your exercise program is vital in order to maximize your home workout routine and gain maximum benefits from your efforts.

Having said that, obviously the first exercise that springs to mind with any home gym weight bench is bench press. And yes, obtaining the best weight bench for the job is your first step to progression. When you’re now able to perform 30 or more perfect form push ups but your attempts at single arm push ups are leaving you with nothing more than a broken nose, a dislocated shoulder and a strong urge to discontinue with your exercise program attempts at progression need to become a little bit more inventive!

Bench presses are great for isolating the relevant muscle groups in order to build strength, power and endurance, before returning to more compound exercises to work the whole body. This works particularly well if you opt for dumbbells, rather than a barbell, to ensure that both sides of your body are working independently from each other and getting a chance to work to their maximum ability. Your weight will be lower with dumbbells however as the muscles need to work that bit harder to overcome the lack of stability and balance that you get from a barbell. It is therefore a good idea to incorporate both options into your workout to build strength, power and stability in equal measures on both sides of your body.

Best weight bench options

But your search for the best weight bench is not just to perform endless bench presses and flies. Overexercising of this particular muscle group, that pectoralis major, can lead to a rounded posture and weakness, pain and discomfort in the muscles of the upper back. This is a particular problem these days as the majority of us spend an unbalanced amount of time stooped forward with rounded shoulders anyway…at our desks, at our laptops, looking at our smart phones, driving for long periods of time. 

The only upside to this age of gadgets is that most TV’s are now wall mounted, allowing us to remember to lift our heads and engage our neck muscles for a few hours a day!  With all this in mind, it is therefore vital to ensure you perform a balanced and safe workout, incorporating the muscles of the upper and lower back, rotator cuff, core as well as balanced lower body strength and stability training to leave you standing straight and tall like the fully evolved human beings we’re supposed to be, and less stooped and cave-man like such as our ancestors were. Mind you, that wasn’t because of smartphones…they were still figuring out how to walk properly…we have no excuse!

Weight bench exercises

So what else can you do with a weight bench that makes it worth the investment? Well, apart from bench press there’s dumbell bench press, flat flies, inverted flies, reverse flies, bent over dumbell row, shoulder press, Arnie press, elevated push ups (feet up on bench), single leg squats using bench for stability), single leg stand-ups on bench, plyo step-ups, core work, core work and more core work…the list goes on and on. And this is all with just the bench and some free weights…not even a squat rack in sight! The only limit is your imagination. Actually no, that’s not strictly true…the only limit is your level of knowledge. So seek advice from a professional and become learned in the way of the healthy and safe weight trainer.

 

Jeez, that all sounds very complicated! Well it’s not really but if you’re just getting started seek professional advise from a real life flesh and blood coach or personal trainer (not an internet expert who can’t see your technique and offer corrections). One or two sessions with an expert before you start your home gym training schedule will ensure good technique and a safe balanced workout, ultimately leading to optimum results so it’s well worth the small investment at the beginning to avoid possible injury and muscle imbalance. After all, it’s easier to prevent than correct!

 

We’re just gonna take a look at some of our favorite picks of the best weight bench available out there so check out the reviews and get started on the new, fitter stronger healthier version of you!

 

Marcy Utility Flat Bench

Rated: 4.5 Stars

Assembled Dimensions: 43L x 14W x 17H Inches

Item Weight: 18 pounds.

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds

 

About the Marcy Utility Flat Bench:

A good basic model from Marcy at a good price, this flat weight bench is constructed from high-density foam and boxed upholstery to offer maximum support and comfort to the user whilst performing their workout. The frame is made from heavy duty 14-gauge steel tubing, powder coated for extra durability, and it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty.

 

The Good Bits:
  • Easy assembly.
  • Sturdy enough for tricep.
  • Wide, so comfortable even for the larger user.
  • Very easy asssembly.

 

The Bad Bits:
  • Not sturdy enough for plyo jumps if you’re big. However, step-ups can be performed as a consolation prize!
  • Not adjustable. Comes in one height and one height only. While this is probably enough to get started with you’ll probably be looking for an adjustable bench sooner or later to increase your range of exercises to include more muscle groups.
  • Possibly a bit short if you’re a taller person (not that I have that problem myself!)

 

What the Reviews Say:

Good reviews on this one as possibly the best weight bench to get started with in the lower price range. Strong, stable and solid with the maximum weight capacity being more than adequate to perform it’s function. Customer’s state that the padding is thick, solid and comfortable.

There is, of course, a small percentage of negative reviews stating that the included hardware did not seem suitable for the job, leading to instability in the bench itself. However, these are in the minority and may have just been a quality control issue. Mainly the reviews indicate that this is a good, solid piece of equipment for the price you’re paying.

What We Say:

A great basic model at a great price for a first-time investment in home fitness. The maximum weight on this is 300 pounds which is more than enough for anybody beginning a fitness and strength training regime. The only downside is that it is not adjustable so removes the option of performing many exercises as you advance in your training program. However, for getting started it’s well worth the money.

 

Bowflex Select Tech 3.1 Adjustable Bench

Rated: 4.5 Stars

Assembled Dimensions: 56L x 26W x 20H Inches

Item Weight: 68 pounds.

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds user, 180 pounds weight, so 480 lbs total

 

About the Bowflex Select Tech 3.1 Adjustable Bench:

A strong, durable piece of kit from Bowflex. So strong, in fact, that it comes with a 15 year warranty on the frame! Did I read that right? That’s a whole lot of working out! The upholstery warranty is for the standard 12 months though so go easy on it!

There’s a bit more going on with this best weight bench from Bowflex. Adjustable to four different positions, with a leg brace included to stabilize your body during declined exercises, this bench allows you to perform up to 30 different exercises to maintain a full body, balanced fitness regime.

Bowflex’s patented spiral flex resistance technology allows a nice, smooth motion when adjusting the bench height and the included wheels allow it to be moved easily…saving your back and your flooring!

 

The Good Bits:
  • Adjustable to 4 different levels of incline/decline
  • Comes with detachable cushioned leg brace to add stability to your workout.
  • Has wheels attached so its easy to move around.

 

The Bad Bits:
  • Doesn’t fold up for handy storage. However, it is pretty compact anyway and if you’re a gym junkie like me the last thing you want to be doing is storing away your kit.
  • Missing a 30-degree incline. This is quite relevant and mentioned several times in the reviews as a lot of exercises are set to this angle and, if you’re sticking to a rigid program, this may be quite frustrating.

 

What the Reviews Say:

Plenty of great reviews, commending the quality of engineering with easy height adjustment, comfort and stability. A few of the less positive reviews seemed to have problems with missing or incorrect hardware, and so assembly could not be fully completed. However, customer service from Bowflex does seem to be pretty good. A handful of reviews stated that there was a very strong odor from this product when it was opened first but that it faded over time.

Bowflex 3.1 Adjustable Bench
List Price: $199.00
Price: $128.99
You Save: $70.01
Price Disclaimer

What We Say:

A bigger investment than the first product, with a bit more going on. The adjustable height is a plus. However, it could probably do with more than 4 different adjustment levels for the price you’re paying. The leg brace is a very handy feature that is often missing in most home weight benches and can enhance your workout and progression a lot. Good quality for the bigger investment but the only downside is it could do with more adjustment positions.

4 Stars from Us!

 

Weider Pro 255 L Slant Board / Ab Bench

Rated: 3.5 Stars

Assembled Dimensions: 40L x 18.25W x 53.5H Inches

Item Weight: 33 pounds.

Weight Capacity: 300 pounds user, 110 pounds weight, so 410 lbs total

 

About the Weider Pro 255 L Slant Board / Ab Bench:

Available at a good economic price but with the added features of more expensive weight benches, the Weider Pro 255 can be adjusted to six different positions to suit your exercise requirements and comes with a leg-lock to increase your stability when performing declined exercises. Constructed from powder coated steel supporting comfortable, easy-wipe vinyl upholstery this model of weight bench is an ideal piece of kit to add to any home gym to increase your range of exercises.

 

The Good Bits:
  • Adjustable to six positions.
  • Comes with leg-lock to stabilize the user during declined exercises.

 

The Bad Bits:
  • Not stable or heavy enough for step-ups or plyo work.
  • A bit awkward to adjust positions.
  • No completely flat setting…10 or 15 degrees minimum.

 

What the Reviews Say:

Mixed reviews on this one and possibly not the best weight bench for serious heavy lifting. First up plenty of happy customers stating that, for the price you pay, it’s a good product and performs as expected. Buyers stated that assembly is a bit fiddly. Some hardware missing or parts not aligning correctly but, once up, it does the job.

Some less than happy customers complained that the product seemed poorly made, with a few of the finer pieces not fitting together properly. Several stated that the caps on the outside of the foam pads are weak and break off easily, leaving sharp edges and that the lock downs are in an uncomfortable position, particularly for anybody suffering from knee problems. One other common complaint is that it doesn’t seem to lie flat…almost, but not quite!

Weider Incline Weight Bench
List Price: $99.99
Price: $50.78
You Save: $49.21
Price Disclaimer

What We Say:

Well OK so it’s probably not the sleekest or best weight bench on the market but it is at the bottom end of the pricing scale. If you’re a beginner or intermediate looking to do some home workouts with moderately heavy weights this will perform the job. It offers the capability to perform a good range of exercises due to it’s 6 different bench positions. Apart from it not actually being able to lie flat (which seems to be a slight manufacturing oversight) it is a good basic piece of kit. There possibly is heavier duty or more robust models out there. If you’re planning on benching heavy it’s probably worth the investment but you will pay more for the higher end models.

 

Marcy Diamond Olympic Surge Bench

Rated: 4 Stars

Assembled Dimensions: 80 x 60 x 47.5 Inches (W x H x D)

Item Weight: 114 pounds.

Weight Capacity: 600 pounds

 

About the Marcy Diamond Olympic Surge Bench:

Lots going on with this one and, for the price. There’s some nice added features that you don’t see on similar models of equal value. Constructed from steel, with a thick foam padding, this bench is adjustable to four different positions, depending on your exercise requirements. The seat and back pad works on a slide track to ensure correct positioning. Enuring perfect form when executing chest press and military press. It also included an adjustable preacher curl pad and bar. A reverse walk in squat station and a dual function leg developer. This model includes two bar catches on the back of the frame. Enabling you to incorporate squats into your workout routine.

 

The Good Bits:
  • Suitable even for people 6 ft and over.
  • All elements of product very adjustable and versatile.
  • Includes handy additional features such as preacher curl pad, squat station and dual function leg developer.

 

The Bad Bits:
  • Slight wobbling in seat pad when you sit on it first (but stabilizes when you’re in the correct position)
  • Plastic caps for the leg exercise pads break off fairly easily.
  • Lots of parts to assemble.

 

What the Reviews Say:

Again, mixed reviews on this one. Just over half of buyers describe the Marcy Diamond as incredibly strong, sturdy and robust with a high level of versatility. About a quarter of buyers were unhappy with quality of the product. Saying that screws didn’t align correctly or were threaded badly, leading to instability in the structure. However, multiple buyers did state that, even after extended use of up to 2 years, it was still going strong and felt stable and secure.

Marcy Olympic Weight Bench for Full-Body Workout MD-857
List Price: $299.99
Price: $199.99
You Save: $100.00
Price Disclaimer

What We Say:

Well it costs a bit more than the other basic models. But you do get some nice added features for your money. The assembly seems to be a bit of a task with so many parts to fit together. However, once it’s assembled it seems to be as sturdy as you’re going to get in home gym weight bench in that price range. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of wobble in the seat which can be quite unnerving. Although it does seem to stabilize once you’re in the correct position. It seems to stand up to a heavier load more so than the more basic models. With its versatility and adjustability you’ll be able to progress your workout without needing to upgrade.

Peak Health Pro
 

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