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The weight bench is a humble item but it is not insignificant.
There are a few things that one might easily take for granted when they spend most of their time working out at a gym facility, and all of those taken-for-granted things become glaringly apparent once you start working out at home. A squat rack, for one. A variety of dumbbells, for another. And one with a ton of significance: the weight bench.
You don’t need a weight bench to get a good workout necessarily, but having regular access to one can complement those workouts you’re already doing, says personal trainer Rachel Sneeden, ACE PT, CFSC. You can use the benches on their own—like with step ups and downs—or use them to pair with weight-lifting exercises, like bench presses. Sneeden also has her clients use weight benches for supported rows, upper body accessory work (like chest flies, tricep extensions, and tricep dips), and exercises that need assistance from a sturdy surface like box squats, assisted one-leg squats, and Bulgarian split squats. If you’ve tried doing one or any of these off a couch or a chair, you’ll know that it works in a pinch, but isn’t the sturdiest for long-term work.
In general, benches are pretty simple, so there’s not really a bad option per se. But for outfitting a home gym, there are ones with details (like built-in storage or foldability) and materials that might make it a better fit for your space. Here are 14 of the best weight benches to shop now.
Bowflex is known for making its stuff multifunctional, so you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck. The bestselling bench has six adjustable settings for all types of workouts. Hence the name, it’s easy to fold-up and stand straight to take up less storage space. It all sounds like a win-win in our book.
This Reebok deck bench is the one Sneeden recommends to her clients who are training at home. The 47-inch length is short enough to stay out of the way when not in use but spacious enough for prone and supine (on your front and on your back) exercises.
A flat weight bench is great for people who want something sturdy, easy to assemble, and don’t care so much about incline or decline work.
If you’re looking for a solid piece of equipment and aesthetics above all else, this bench is it. This Etsy shop makes and sells these luxe pieces of fitness equipment that look more like furniture.
If you want the ease of a flat bench but don’t have a ton of room to work with, this is a great option. It’s got that solid flat base but folds in half for when you need to put it away.
Technogym makes futuristic-like gym equipment, and its bench is right up there with the high-tech treadmills and bikes. This bench is really an entire workout system in itself with storage for dumbbells, cables, and more.
This is another flat bench that folds, only its legs fold in rather than the bench itself folding. This means it’ll take up a little more room, but it also won’t have that cut out space in the middle, if that’s something you want to avoid.
If you like the seat of your bench to feel more supportive, this bench has a bit of a roomier pad for when you’re sitting on an incline.
If you don’t have room or desire for a hefty weight bench, those utility ones are not your only option. This high-density padding bench is not so industrial but still offers solid support and multipurpose details, like cables and storage.
Not sure if you should have option for incline? Sneeden recommends you do. “Having the option to move the bench on an angle is a nice touch when working things like an incline bench press or seated shoulder press,” she says. This is especially great for people who have limited shoulder mobility, which is to say, most of us.
Bench decks are great for home workouts because they are super light and don’t take up the kind of room or time to construct that a utility bench does. This one is adjustable and has built-in storage.
If you want one item that does a whole bunch of things, this weight bench is not only adjustable in its back but also has options for quad and back extension work.
Remember learning how triangles are more stable shapes than squares or rectangles? No? Doesn’t matter. It’s true. This three-foot base is as stable of a construction as you can find in a flat bench.
If you want to get an adjustable bench that you buy once, and then never again, you can’t beat the classic one from Rogue. It’s well-made and incredibly sturdy. It’s pretty heavy though, so it’s better for spaces where you won’t need to move it.