The Best Workout Bench For Your Home Gym
If you are serious about lifting weights in your home gym, then you are going to need a weight bench. This will allow you to do a greater combination of exercises than you would be able to do in a standing position.
This means being able to focus on specific areas of your body.
Sure, weight benches are a large investment, but they are going to pay off in dividends when it comes to what they can do to your health and the look of your body.
On this page, I want to introduce you to the main types of benches on the market. I also want to introduce you to what I feel are some of the best workout benches currently available.
These are benches which would be a perfect addition to any home gym.
#1 Flat Benches
These are the most common benches available. Part of this is down to the fact that they are exceedingly cheap.
Flat benches are nothing more than a bench you can lay down on. There is no adjustment or anything like that. This means that they are simple.
When you use flat benches, you are going to have a bit of a limitation in place when it comes to the type of exercise that you can do on them, but they are the perfect type of ‘starter bench’.
Flat benches are fantastic for those who are working their upper body.
#2 Adjustable Flat Benches
If you need a bit more to your exercise, then you may want to opt for an adjustable flat bench.
On these, you can incline or decline the bench as needed (or just leave in a flat position). This will allow you to target more muscle groups on your body. In particular, your legs.
Sure, they are a bit more expensive than flat benches, but they offer a lot more in the way of versatility.
#3 Olympic Weight Benches
If you are building a home gym, then you are probably not going to be aiming for Olympic weight benches right off the bat. These weight benches are way larger than any of the previous options.
For starters; the bench is often going to be a whole lot wider than your typical flat bench. In addition to this, Olympic weight benches tend to come with a whole load of wonderful attachments. This includes squat racks, dumbbells etc.
If you have the space in your home, and you have the budget available to you, then Olympic weight benches are going to be a fantastic place to start for you. You have a lot of options with them.
However, I do feel that they are going to be a step too far for the vast majority of people.
#4 Folding Weight Benches
These benches are for those who may not have a lot of space in their home i.e. they want to pack away the bench regularly. In terms of features, they are pretty close to your standard flat bench.
However, do bear in mind that because you can fold them up whenever, it is unlikely that they are going to be all that durable. So, unless space is a major concern, you shouldn’t really go for folding weight benches.
#5 Abdominal Benches
These benches are made specifically for working the abdomen. They have foot rollers on the end, and can be inclined or declined however you see fit.
#5 Preacher Curl Bench
A very specific type of workout bench, and one which is unlikely to feature that much in home gyms. These are built specifically for preacher curls.
So, they are only really great for working on your biceps and not that much more.
Now, let’s move on with some of the best workout benches that I have come across.
Marcy Pro PM-507
If you need a flat bench which can fold up with ease, then look no further than the Marcy PM-507. This is the perfect addition to any home gym.
Despite the low price, this bench is incredibly durable, and it is very comfortable to lay down on too.
One of the reasons why I have included it on my list is down to the fact that it is very portable. While you can’t really tell from the picture of it, there are some wheels on the base.
So, if you have a particularly large home gym, then you should be able to find that you can move it from position to position with relative ease.
Obviously, since it is a bit on the cheaper side, it does have its downsides. This is nothing more than a comfortable bench that you can do some workouts on.
It is not absolutely brimming with features, which is probably going to limit what you can do with it.
However, for somebody that is just getting started with their home gym, I honestly can’t think of anything better than this.
- Comes almost fully assembled (you only need to install the leg braces and foot holds)
- It folds up nicely for storage purpose
- The bench is lightweight which makes it easy to transport around
- Solid and sturdy built
- The padding is not that thick and soft so it’s not exactly the most comfortable option out
UBOWAY Adjustable Weight Bench
If you are regularly working with dumbbells, and I have no doubt that you are since you are reading this website, then you may find that the UBOWAY adjustable weight bench is going to be right up your street.
This workout bench can be moved into a multitude of different positions, which means that you are going to be able to target each specific muscle group.
Despite the low price, this adjustable weight bench comes complete with high density foam, which means that each time you sit on it, you are going to feel incredibly comfortable. It is built to help reduce muscle fatigue during a workout.
If that wasn’t enough, if you order this UBOWAY adjustable weight bench, you will be able to have it delivered to your home AND it will be fully assembled when it gets there.
This means that you can get started in your new home gym as quickly as possible.
The downside is that it is quite a light weight bench, which means that you are going to need to take a little bit of care when you sit down, or it is going to be slipping and sliding all over the place.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to convert to different positions while you change your exercises
- Lightweight and easy to move around
- Not so great option for someone of larger size as it may start wobbling
- The padding is on the thinner side
Gymenist Exercise Foldable Workout Bench
If you need a workout bench which is highly portable and can be moved wherever you need just by folding it up and carrying it under your arm, then look no further than this.
This is an adjustable workout bench, with three preset positions to ensure that you are targeting the muscle groups that you want to target.
It would have been a little bit better with more than these three presets, but when you are paying such a low price for a workout bench, there are some things that you can let slide on occasion.
One of my favourite features of this bench is the inclusion of the adjustable cushion on the back. You can move this up and down to ensure that you are always getting the maximum amount of support during your workouts.
Obviously, the downside is that this is a bench which has been built to be lightweight, which means you do need a gym floor with a decent grip if you are going to be using this.
You don’t really want it to slip during one of your exercises, right?
- Sturdy design
- Decent padding for comfort
- Easy to fold and lightweight which make it great for transporting it around
- Comes fully assembled
- The locking pin system for adjusting can get annoying at times
Marcy Exercise Utility Upright Bench
Despite the name ‘upright’, you can easily adjust this workout bench however you see fit. This means that you should have no issues targeting the muscles that you want to target.
One of my favourite features of the Marcy Exercise Bench is the foam rollers that it comes complete with.
These are some of the softest around. Not only do they provide wonderful support and protection when you are using the bench, but you can also be sure that it will help to reduce muscle fatigue.
This means that you can work out for longer periods, and at a far harder rate.
There are very few things wrong with this bench.
I think the only issue that people really highlight with the Marcy Exercise Utility Upright Bench is the fact that it can be a little bit uncomfortable to use if you are over 6 foot in size.
- Sturdy and solid built, great for all the basic exercises
- The padded rollers add comfort when doing sit-ups
- Not such a great option for the ones who use very heavy weights
Bowflex 3.1 Adjustable Bench
Just like the adjustable dumbbells, Bowflex are the way to go when it comes to adjustable benches.
They make the best on the market.
You have more adjustment than any other bench (this has 4 positions, as opposed to your standard 3), you have a higher amount of durability, and you have a greater level of comfort.
Honestly, I don’t think I have seen somebody say a bad word about the Bowflex range of adjustable bench. Obviously, since this is a quality bench from a top brand, you should expect to pay a premium for it.
However, I promise you, this is an adjustable bench which is going to last you years and years. It is worth paying that premium.
- Stable and sturdy frame
- Quite easy to assemble
- Easy to move around as it’s lightweight and can be folded
- Easy to adjust while changing exercises
- The seat is not adjustable
If you have a home gym, then you need to have a decent workout bench in it. Without one, you are really limiting yourself when it comes to exercise.
While I highly recommend that you go for the Bowflex benches if you can afford them, I genuinely feel that any bench on this list is going to be fantastic for any home gym.
How Much do Weight Benches typically cost?
The prices start from $50 and go up to a couple of hundreds. The average price is around $100, but you can get a pretty decent bench also for around $70 to start with.
If you are looking for something more advanced then be ready to pay $150 to $250 for premium quality and features.
What to Look for When Choosing a Weight Bench?
Most of the people out there buy the weight bench as their first piece of equipment in their home gym and later on the rest of the equipment to match the bench. Therefore you should really consider which bench to go for, to not regret your choice later on.
We have put down a couple of things to have in mind when making your decision.
As I wrote in the previous part, there are fixed flat benches and there are adjustable benches. Both of them can be a great option, depending on what you’re looking for so the first thing you need to do is to assess your needs.
Adjustable bench will offer you more versatility in terms of the number of exercises you can perform on it.
Flat bench offers you less options for exercises, but at the same time it comes in at a cheaper price. If you compare the price of a simple adjustable bench with a high-end flat bench, you will notice that the latter comes in at the same or even at a better price.
When it comes to comfort you should check if the back rest is big enough to let you do your exercises comfortably and correctly. Also check if the seat looks decent and comfortable.
If you decide to go for an adjustable bench, make sure that the process of adjusting is comfortable and can be done easily. You don’t want to be wasting time on something else than your exercises when doing you work out.
All in all, flat benches tend to be more durable as they don’t include hinges and other moving components that adjustable benches normally include. More mechanics and moving parts can also mean more need for maintenance.
However, if you opt for one of the more expensive adjustable benches by a decent company, you should have no problems with that.
Is it Compact/Easy to Move Around?
If you have enough space for you equipment to lay there at all times and you are not planning to travel around with your bench, then skip this part.
However, if you do want to be moving your bench around then consider that flat benches weight (a lot) less than the adjustable benches. Think if you actually need to perform so many exercises to opt for the adjustable bench or you’re just fine with a lightweight flat bench to start with.
Another thing to consider is if the bench is foldable. Some of the benches out there can be folded down and stored under your bed or in the trunk of your car. Definitely have it in mind if you are tight on space or want to exercise when you are travelling around.
When making you decision you should also consider if the bench actually matches your strength, weight and height. Check the maximum weight capacity that the bench supports (as well as the maximum load of the bar rest).
Some of the cheaper weight benches only support up to 300lbs which is not a great (nor a safe) option for someone of a higher weight. However, there are options for literally everyone out there as some of the high-end benches have the weight capacity of over 1,500lbs.
How to Use a Weight Bench?
Choose Your Exercises
Depending on the bench you have chosen you will be able to perform certain exercises. Make sure you choose the right exercises for each muscle group and consider the features of the bench.
Bear in mind that you will be able to perform less exercises on a fixed flat bench than on an adjustable bench.
Set Up The Bench
If you’re dealing with an adjustable bench, then adjust the bench accordingly for each exercise. First adjust the incline to match your exercises. If you have that, then move on to adjusting the seat to fit the incline and make sure you feel comfortable to perform the exercise correctly.
Choose Your Weights
You have to choose weights for each exercise. Firstly decide if you will use the barbells or dumbbells and then move on to assessing the correct weight for a particular exercise. You may want to use dumbbells for some exercises and barbless for other exercises.
We encourage you to use dumbbells especially for training your arms. The benefit of using dumbbells is that you will make sure that you are giving both of your arms a decent and equal workout.
Most of the people out there have a dominant arm and if you use a barbell then the dominant arm will be taking a lot of that weight which will result in your weaker arm working out less which in return will continue to make that arm less strong.
Other Important Tips
Make sure you keep your feet flat on the floor while you perform the exercises. This important to make sure you are safe and don’t slide off the bench.
Make sure you keep your head in contact with the bench to avoid injuries and pain in your neck.
Your hips should be touching the back of the bench.
Following the tips above should create a natural arch in your back which in turn helps you the engage all the core muscles while performing the exercises.
What do Other Reviewers Recommend?
Review Tube has favorited CAP Strength Standard Combo Bench with Weight Set bringing out its compact frame design, angled 4-position back pad and solid padded backrest and seat.
They think it’s a perfect fit for beginners as well as more experienced gym sharks. Another great advantage is that it comes in with a weight bundle set that consists of 4 20-pound plates, 2 10-pound plates, 2 spring collars and a standard 1-piece barbell.
Review Madness loves Fitness Reality 2000 the most. The reasons lie in the great features of the bench like 2” thick foam seat and backrest, 37” extended backrest support and its great adjustability.
The angle can be adjusted at 0, 8 and 15 degrees and the backrest can be adjusted to a whopping 7 different angles which makes it a great bench for a variety of exercises.
It is also quite compact when you fold it so you can store it easily in your home.
Ezvid Wiki have also reviewed a bunch of weight benches and recommend XMark Commercial 9022 as the best option. They love that it is able to support a whopping 1500 pounds of weight. They were also amazed by the 7 ladder positions that the bench boasts with.
Another great feature that they brought out in their review was that the bench has built-in wheels for moving it around under a power cage or for storage.
The Beast Reviews consider GYMENIST Exercise Bench as the best weight bench. What they loved the most about the bench were its powder-coated steel frame and foldable design making it easy to store or why not travel around with.
They also liked the fact that it comes pre-assembled making it easy to use for literally anyone. The adjustable padded seat and backrest make it a perfect fit for most exercises.
The New York Magazine has favorited Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench for its sturdiness and stability. They have collected opinions of some gym sharks saying that the built and engineering of the bench are of premium quality and the looks of it add a wow factor.
The Fitness Rocks have chosen Rep Fitness Adjustable Bench – AB-3000 FID as their favorite bench. What they loved most about this model was the solid frame and sturdiness. They were also pleasantely surprised about the adjustment options that the bench offers (7 different adjustments).
The downsides of the bench were the higher than average price and the fact that it’s not foldable which make it not so great option for the ones tight on money or space.
As I mentioned before, most people out there will buy a weight bench as their first piece of equipment to build their home gym.
But what comes after that you may be asking? A floor mat and a set of dumbbells, of course!
When it comes to buying a decent floor mat, I would either go for rubber tiles or rubber roll. Both of them may be a bit pricier than the alternatives like foam tiles and carpet tiles, but if you are really after protecting your floor then these are the way to go.
Rubber tiles are actually one of the most popular option when it comes to home gym flooring. If you are tight on space at home, they are the best option as you can just unclip them once you are done with your exercises.
Another thing that I personally love about the rubber tiles is that the shock absorption is just incredible. I am used to work out with quite heavy weights so I need something really durable and the rubber tiles never fail to protect my floor.
I have used and have been really happy with the Sivan Fitness Exercise Rubber Tiles.
If the rubber tiles price goes over your budget then you have a little bit cheaper option which is rubber rolls. The shock absorption that the rubber rolls offer is almost the same as the one of rubber tiles. They are also durable which means that this investment is for a longer time, however there is one downside.
They are quite heavy and harder to install than rubber tiles, so you may go for this option if you have a designated place for your home gym with all the equipment staying there at all times.
If you need to clear up the space every time after you’re done with the exercises, then you are probably going to regret buying them. If that’s the case, then try to save some cash and go for the rubber tiles.
However, if you have that nice room just for your home gym and you want to opt for the rubber rolls, then I’d recommend you go for the IncStores rubber flooring. As a bonus you can say that you are environmentally conscious when buying this flooring as it’s made of recycled rubber.
Now as you have your bench and your floor it’s time to get the best set of dumbbells to level up your fitness game. All you need to do is to get a set of these BowFlex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells and you’re good to go.
The reason why I love them is that they can replace a total of 15 dumbbells in your home gym. How come? It’s easy. You can adjust them from 5 to 52.lbs. That means you are going to save a ton of space in your home gym.
They might seem a bit pricy when you see them at first, but when you consider what you actually get, you’ll soon realise they’re worth every penny. It is a one-time investment for something that is durable and is going to last you years and years.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.