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What is a Fitness Bench?

By Ken Black
Updated May 23, 2024
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A fitness bench is an accessory that is used by those engaged in weight training, and is sometimes also referred to as a weight bench. Fitness benches usually sit low to the ground, helping encourage proper posture when doing certain exercises. The more functional models also have backs that can be reclined to suit the need.

A number of features are usually present on a fitness bench, but are not required. First, the fitness bench is usually padded and upholstered with a vinyl or leather-like covering. This allows for some comfort and resists sweat soaking into another type of fabric. Second, the bench may have arms extending up vertically from the bench to hold things like weights.

Some fitness bench models can be used for more than just weight lifting. These may include other features, such as a leg supports. For those who want to do sit-ups, reclining the bench all the way down and using the leg support can provide an excellent way to accomplish them without having to find someone hold your feet. Thus, even for those who want to work on their core but don't want much to do with free weights, a fitness bench can be a valuable tool.

A fitness bench can help provide some flexibility and increase the number of exercises that can be done safely. For example, the bench press on a fitness bench gives the person doing the exercise a much more natural range of movement. Those fitness benches having vertical arms provide a natural spot to rest a set of weights once the user is finished with it.

Most fitness benches are located inside a gym, which will likely have a good deal of other fitness equipment. Still, it may be harder to find a more versatile piece of equipment in the entire gym than the exercise bench. These benches can be used with free weights, machine weights and even by themselves. Those who are truly interested in a home gym will often find a fitness bench is one of the first things they invest in. Of course, this bench may be included as a standard part of other pieces of equipment.

The best way to make a decision when purchasing a fitness bench is simply to test the bench out. While most sporting goods stores want customers to keep off the equipment, the reputable ones will allow you test it out with a sales associate standing close by. If the bench does not seem sturdy, then move on. Also, make sure the bench in question has the features you want. Some floor models may be different than what you will find when you take it out of the box at home.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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