From Fitness & Power
Are you looking for a piece of versatile gym equipment that can improve your strength get your heart pumping? It may not be the most obvious solution, but a workout bench can do your body wonders!
You can let your creativity run wild and do everything from HIIT and cardio to the good old bench-press! To start you off, here are five easy yet challenging exercises you can do using a workout bench even if you are a total beginner.
5 BEGINNER EXERCISES USING A WORKOUT BENCH
1) STEP UP STEP DOWN
When you saw a park bench as a kid, what did you do? You probably remember jumping and running around it. Believe it or not, those were and still are one of the best exercises for strengthening your glutes and calves!
For this exercise, you need to stand in front of the bench with your feet apart. Put your right foot on the bench and then your left. When you step down from the bench, put your right foot down first. Make sure that your hands are clasped in front of you (instead of having them flailing around) as this will help you keep your balance.
Once you are comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the number of reps, the speed or even a couple of dumbbells to spice things up.
2) BENCH JACK
I’m sure you have heard of a jumping jack. But, have you heard of a bench jack? Essentially, it’s the same thing but with an extra challenge!
This exercise targets the lower body, especially the glutes. Doing this regularly will firm and tone your bottom.
To do a bench jack, place your feet on either side of the middle of the bench. Then you simply jump onto the bench and jump off it. It’s that simple! You will start feeling the burn in your muscles almost right away.
Choose a workout bench that is relatively low and wide to give you more support. Also, try to have as smooth a landing as possible to avoid hurting your knees. Brace for the impact by landing on the balls of your feet and squatting a little when you land.
3) BENCH PLANKS
The exercises we have shown so far are mainly for the lower body. But, here’s one that will focus on your arms and core to complete your full-body workout.
To begin this exercise, you need to make a ‘T’ with the bench. First, do a planking position with your hands on the floor and your toes on the bench. Use your arms to support your weight.
Now, without moving your feet, get on your elbows down on the floor. Then, get back up and place your palms downward.
That is all there is to this exercise. It works your biceps and triceps along with your pecs and core. Talk about a good upper-body workout!
4) THE ORIGINAL BENCH PRESS
The bench press is the most classic type of workout to do on a workout bench. However, the difficulty in doing a bench press does not lie in actually doing it (although that is a challenge). It lies in doing it safely. Having a spotter while doing a bench press is almost essential to ensure that you’re not going to hurt yourself.
Begin by lying down on your back on the bench. Grip the bar above you at shoulder width or a little outside that. Lift the bar until your arms are straight and then bend your elbows to bring the bar back to you in a slow controlled movement.
5) HOP OVERS
This workout uses both the upper body and the lower body for a killer exercise. It combines cardio with bodyweight-lifting. If you do a few quick reps, take a break and do the reps again, this exercise becomes an alternative to a great HIIT workout!
Start by placing your knees and palms down on the bench. Making sure that you have a good grip, you just hop (with both legs) onto one side of the bench and then to the other side. This way, your entire body weight rests on your arms which will work out those triceps while your core and lower body are engaged.
As you can imagine, that’s a lot of muscles being worked at the same time. This is what makes Hop Overs one of the most effective and intense workouts.
Workout benches may be one of the most underrated gym equipment. But with the right routines, you can maximize and use it to do a full-body workout! These 5 workout bench exercises incorporate both muscle strengthening and cardio, which in combination proves to provide the best results for your body.
Although you may be eager to start these routines, you need to know what workout bench to use first. Using a low-quality one can easily damage your muscles (or worse, your spine). Here is a good article that explains exactly which workout bench is best suited to you.