A weight bench is a padded board suspended off the ground by legs used for weightlifting exercises with barbells and dumbbells. Sturdiness and support are important attributes to consider. Weight benches can have different angles for specific muscle groups and additional equipment can be added for more exercises.
A weight bench is the central piece of equipment in almost any weight lifting set. A basic weight bench is simple: A board about a foot wide and three feet long is suspended off the ground by legs. This board is usually padded for comfort. The weightlifter sits down, lies on his stomach or leans his back against the bench and does various exercises. The exercises performed usually involve barbells and dumbbells, which is why the bench is called a “weight” bench. Additional equipment can be added or placed around the bench so that more exercises can be performed.
Two primary attributes to consider when evaluating a weight bench are its sturdiness and support. To support the weight of the lifter, dumbbells and barbells during use, the bench must be sturdy. The main pieces of the bench should be metal and should be thick enough not to bend. The bench should also be balanced and supported so that it does not tip over when in use. Because many exercises take place at one end of the weight bench, the bench should have enough support so that it doesn’t fall over and injure the user when the weight isn’t evenly distributed on it.
Weight benches are not necessarily parallel to the ground; some have benches set up at sharp angles, while others have benches that drop down. These angles are used in various exercises and promote the use of specific muscle groups. When a person is lying on a bench and his head is raised, he is doing incline exercises. When a person’s head is down, he is doing decline exercises. Incline and decline exercises tend to be more difficult to perform than their traditional counterparts.
Weight benches usually have other equipment around or attached to them that allow you to perform additional exercises. Large barbells can be placed on one end of a weight bench to help bench press; equipment that holds weights above the bench is called a stand, although it can also be referred to as a rack. Leg attachments can be added to one end of a weight bench so that exercises called leg curls and leg extensions can be performed. Bench extensions can also be added to hold a person in different positions when performing crunches and sit-ups on the bench, thereby working different muscle groups.