The Bench Workout

The Bench Workout

 

After getting a few emails from readers stating their limited home fitness equipment, I decided to continue to post effective home workouts with the bare necessities. One reader comments, "My husband has a bench and I have a couple of 5 and 8lb hand weights. What can I do with that if I am not in a big fully equipped gym?" Take a look at this full body home bench workout.

Incline Bench Shoulder Sweep Raise 

This targets the anterior deltoid (front), posterior deltoid (back) but also indirectly works the upper back. The bench should be set in about a 45-60 degree incline. You should be face down straddling the bench with weights in both hands hanging straight down to the floor with palms facing each other. Lift straight arms out to your sides until parallel to floor. Next sweep arms forward until ends of weights nearly touch each other in front of you. Then slowly lower arms back down until hanging straight down to floor. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

Incline Bench Bicep Curls 

This targets the biceps and indirectly works the forearms. The bench should be set at about a 45 degree incline. Lie back on the bench with weights in both hands. Arms should be hanging straight down to the floor and palms facing forward. While keeping your arms stationary, curl up the weights until in front of shoulders. Next slowly lower the weights while arms remain stationary until they are hanging straight down to the floor. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

Incline Bench Press 

This targets the upper chest, shoulders and triceps. The bench should be set at about a 45 degree incline. Lie back on the bench with weights in each hand. Raise each weight to the side of the chest and palms facing forward. Slowly press the weights straight up above the chest and weights are nearly touching. Slowly lower weights back to side of chest. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

Flat Bench Tricep Extensions 

This targets the triceps. The bench should be flat and parallel to the floor. Lie back on the bench with weights in each hand. Raise the weights directly above the shoulders and palms facing each other. Slowly bend the elbows and lower the weights to the side of the head. Slowly lift weights back to starting position. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

 

Incline Bench Dumbbell Row 

This targets the upper and middle back. The bench should be at a 45 degree angle. Straddle the bench, lie face down on bench with weights in each hand. Arms should be hanging towards the floor with palms facing backwards. Raise the arms while keeping the elbows bent as high as you can. Next slowly lower back to starting position. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

Flat bench Split Squat 

This targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Start with feet should-width apart and extend one leg behind on the bench. Place the top of the foot of the extended leg onto the bench. Slowly lower your body into a lunge with the back straight, shoulders back, core tight and knee of extended leg nearly touching the floor. It is important that the knee of the lunged leg be above the ankle and not the toes in order to avoid injury. Repeat 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. Rest 30-45 seconds between sets.

Bench Knee Raise and Pulse 

This targets the rectus abdominus and transverse abdominis. The bench should be set in a 45 degree incline. Lie with your back on the bench. Use abs to to bend legs and draw knees towards the chest. Pulse at the top of move by quickly lowering and raising knees to chest. Then lower legs back down to starting position. Repeat 3-5 sets with as many pulses as possible.

This completes a full body bench workout. You can turn this into an interval workout by adding 30 - 60 seconds of jump rope, jumping jacks and/or running in place between each set.