6 exercises with a weight bench

Whether you’re a gym newbie or an amateur athlete looking to change your routine, here are 6 of the best exercises you can do with a weights bench.

Decathlon

6 Exercises With A Weight Bench

6 exercises with a weight bench

Decathlon

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Six great exercises you can perform with a weights bench
1) Flat dumbbell bench press

Target muscle group: Chest

One of the big three (along with deadlifts and squats), this is an excellent mass builder for your chest.

How to perform this exercise:

Find two dumbbells with the same weight – starting off with a light weight. Grab each dumbbell in the palm of your hand, lie on a flat bench, move your shoulders back, and arch your back slightly. Position the dumbbells on your chest, then extend your arms until they are straight. Move the weight back to the same position and repeat for more reps.
2) Incline dumbbell flyes

Target muscle group: Upper Chest

This is one of the most effective weight bench exercises for shaping your upper chest muscles.

How to perform this exercise:

Raise the dumbbells above your chest so that your elbows are slightly bent and the dumbbells are shoulder width apart. Breathing in, lower your arms in an arc until you can feel your chest stretching, then return to the starting position and repeat for more reps.
3) Dumbbell curl

Target muscle group: Biceps

This can be performed in a sitting or standing position and is great for overall bicep development.

How to perform this exercise:

Grab a dumbbell in each hand, stand up straight, and position your hands with the palms facing forward. Next, curl the weight upwards while exhaling and contracting your biceps - ensuring your elbows do not flare out. Move the dumbbells back to the starting position, ensuring you keep your back straight, then continue as many reps as you can handle (without sacrificing on form).
4) EZ bar tricep press

Target muscle group: Triceps

Of all the exercises to do on a weight bench, the EZ bar tricep press is one of the most misunderstood. Many people end up recruiting their shoulder muscles and fail to activate the triceps, and eventually they give up. However, when performed correctly, this can be an extremely effective isolation exercise for the triceps.

How to perform this exercise:

Grab an EZ bar and load it with the desired weight, then find a flat bench and hold the bar at a medium grip above your chest. Extend your arms so that they’re straight but at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Then, gradually move your forearms backwards until you feel the contraction in your triceps. Return to the starting position and repeat for more reps.

Variations: The same exercise can be performed with dumbbells, although you may find it easier to do the movement by holding one heavier dumbbell with both hands.
5) Dumbbell overhead press

Target muscle group: Shoulders

 No shoulder workout is complete without the overhead press!

How to perform this exercise:

Put your bench at the highest position (close to a 90-degree angle), grab two dumbbells, then position your hands directly above your shoulders with your palms opposite each other. Move the dumbbells straight up until your arms are extended, then repeat the motion.

Variations: You can perform this exercise with both arms simultaneously, or alternating between each arm. If the gym is busy and you don’t have access to an exercise bench with weights, you could also do this exercise standing up. Just make sure you keep your legs and back straight throughout the movement.

You can also use a barbell, although be careful with how much weight you use. If you’re new to weightlifting, it’s a good idea to start practising with the bar before adding weight. This will help you to learn good form to minimise the risk of injuries.
6) Bent over dumbbell rows

Target muscle group: Back

This is one of the best weight bench exercises for targeting your back.

How to perform this exercise

Start by grabbing a dumbbell in your left or right hand. If you start with your left hand, position the palm so that it faces your torso. Put your right hand and right knee on the bench – these will help to stabilise the movement. Bend forward at the waist, bending your left knee a little as well, and keep your back as straight as possible so that it’s almost parallel to the bench. Extend your left arm so that it’s at a 90-degree angle, pulling the dumbbell until it's at the same level as your waist, making sure you keep your forearm perpendicular to the floor. Repeat the movement then perform the exercise with your right hand.

Variations:

Bent over rows can also be performed with both hands simultaneously or with a barbell. You won't need a bench for this variation, although the same rules apply regarding your back, arm and knee positions.
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