Catching a movie in a theater is a great experience, from the smell of popcorn to the excitement of the big screen. But sometimes you just want to want to relax at home and watch a trashy movie on Netflix. Believe it or not, the same principle can be applied to your fitness routine. Sure, being around others at the gym can drive your competitive side and encourage you to work harder. But sometimes you don’t want to have to fight for popular machines or deal with the showoffs. You can get just as thorough a workout at home — the key is getting the right equipment. Just like a beautiful rug ties the room together, a proper weight bench can make your home office/game room/garage/nursery feel like a proper home gym.
Like any exercise equipment worth its weight (and cost), a workout bench suits a variety of exercises. You can do dumbbell exercises ranging from shoulder presses to curls to rows. You can also take advantage of the elevation of a bench to work your core and legs with exercises like dips and step-ups. The key to maximizing your workout is choosing the right bench.
There are two kinds of weight benches — flat and adjustable. Flat benches lack the versatility of adjustable benches because they cannot be raised and lowered to suit different workouts. What they lack in flexibility, they make up for in stability and value. Flat weight benches can often hold greater weight loads, and they’re generally more affordable. Flat benches can still do a lot, though — you can use them for curls and presses as well as leg exercises. Whatever kind of workout you’re going to be doing, we’ve picked out the best benches available right now.
1. Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench Series
Bowflex didn’t become a household name just because of a dedicated marketing team — they make innovative and dependable products. Their SelectTech bench adjusts to six different positions, ranging from a 17-degree decline to a 90-degree incline. Both the seat and the backrest are adjustable. The leg brace is detachable, and wheels make the whole thing easy to move as needed.
Pros: Both the seat and back are adjustable. Bench includes wheels for easy movement. Removable leg support.
Cons: Lower weight capacity than some other options.
2. Marcy Flat Utility Weight Bench
If you’re looking for a sturdy and reasonably priced flat bench, consider Marcy’s no-frills take on the home gym staple. It’s 41″ long and 14.5″ wide, making it a space-saving, yet accommodating, option. The durable bench has a 600 pound weight capacity. The powder-coated legs resist abrasion. The padding is comfortable for extended workouts.
Pros: Reasonably priced, made from sturdy materials. Space-saving design.
Cons: May be small for taller people.
3. FLYBIRD Adjustable Weight Bench
Flybird’s adjustable weight bench can be switched to a variety of positions for a versatile and complete workout. There are seven different backrest positions, with as high an incline as 95 degrees to as low a decline as 215 degrees. The seat can also be adjusted to three different positions. The versatility doesn’t come at the cost of sturdiness — the bench has a 620-pound weight capacity.
Pros: Easy to adjust automatic lock feature. Widely adjustable design with seven different back positions and three different seat positions. Folds to a compact size.
Cons: Bench is somewhat high above the ground when set up, which may be awkward for shorter people.