Working out from home has been trending the past few years with the increased availability of workout programs on the web and social media, along with products like Peleton, virtual workouts, workout on-demand (vs having to tune in to some obscure cable tv channel at 6am) and easy availability of workout equipment.
Even still, it’s hard to beat joining a quality gym. However, the recent COVID-19 situation has made the need to maximize your home workouts pressing, since gyms aren’t an option at the time of this writing. Even as the coronavirus risks eventually subside, we can definitely imagine a world where we’ve all gotten used to the convenience of working out from home.
Cardio solutions for home have always been relatively easy to figure out–however, the weights have been a bigger challenge for many at-home workout enthusiasts to figure out. Besides the logistics of storing heavier weights and safety measures (both for yourself and your home!), not many good workouts can be done without a bench. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable, easy to setup benches you can use in your very own home. Here are our favorites.
Our top pick for those who want a great blend of comfort, utility and durability–the 2020 Version FLYBIRD adjustable weight bench features 7 top and 3 bottom adjustable positions for a total of 21 combinations–more than many of the other adjustable weight bench options on the market. With these options, it’s easy to find a setting that works for most exercises–shoulder press, incline bench, flat bench, and even decline bench is doable. It’s rated for 620lbs of maximum weight which should be enough for anything you should be doing at home safely and the 2″ thick padding is one of the most comfortable out there.
Assembly and storage are also a plus–no tools required to put it together, something we know is super annoying, and it folds up into a pretty small space and only weighs 32lbs, so if you’re working out, you are probably strong enough to move it around.
- Many adjustable positions
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to store
- A bit more costly than other options
- Not as suited for people over 6’2″
Our runner up for those of you who are trying to be a little more budget conscious but still get a high quality, sturdy, and durable product, is the Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench. Another comfortable durable option, this bench supports 800 lbs max weight, even more than our Top Pick the FLYBIRD adjustable weight bench and it’s typically available at a lower cost.
The bench is comfortable, super fast and easy to assemble, plus it’s exceptionally sturdy. We found that even on uneven carpet we felt safe (though we do not recommend any weight bench on un-even flooring). It also has 5 adjustable options for the back rest; however, the seat angle is not adjustable like the FLYBIRD. It’s this relative lack of adjust-ability that keeps the Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench from taking over the number one spot.
- Easy to assemble
- Only the back is adjustable
- Gap between seat and back when flat larger than desirable
Typically, for a home gym, space is of the essence. Hence our top choices are both adjustable benches. However, if you are very budget constrained and don’t see yourself needing say, the ability to do incline bench press, a simple flat bench like the AmazonBasics one is a solid choice.
The AmazonBasics weight bench is a truly basic option. No special features or frills, it just gets the job done. Assembly is a little more tedious than competitors offerings when you factor in that it’s just a flat bench. However, you’d be surprised how many workouts you can do on a simple flat bench, and this one is as cheap as they come while still being comfortable enough for extended workouts.
- Gets the job done
- Not adjustable
- Bench length not great for very tall people
If you want a true gym style bench at home, look into the Steelbody Deluxe 6 Position Utility Weight Bench. With 6 adjustable positions for the back and all important seat positions (5 total), you get 30 options which makes it easy to find your favorite sweet spot for exercises like incline bench. It’s also a seriously heavy duty piece of equipment that thankfully has wheels to help you move it around. The benefits of that however, is a wider seat that you might find more comfortable than other options.
The bottom is that the Steelbody Deluxe 6 Position Utility Weight Bench is probably the best option in terms of flexibility, durability, and comfort for your home–I mean how are you going to beat a true “gym style” bench at home? However, it is significantly more costly than the other options on this list, and at over 50lbs, a much heftier option that, despite it’s wheels, you probably aren’t going to want to haul around your house often.
- Heavy duty
- Wide cushion = comfort
- 30 total adjustment options
- Heavier than competitors
Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Benches
Not sure what matters to you? Here are a few common questions (and their answers) we’ve encountered.
What’s the right incline for incline bench?
The right angle for incline bench is a matter of preference. The closer to a full seated position, the more the exercise will work the shoulders and other stabilizer muscles, the closer to flat the position, the more the bench will isolate the pecs.
Are weight benches easy to assemble?
It’s easy to assume that assembling a weight bench might be difficult given its heavy duty appearance and its need to support several hundred pounds of weight. However, most weight benches are extremely easy to assemble in part due to large parts (including screws and washers if applicable).
What are exercises I can do on a weight bench?
The list of exercises you can do on a weight bench is nearly endless! From various forms of bench presses, to leg raises, to ab workouts, to dumbbell rows, tricep extensions, shoulder presses, dumbbell flies, and more.
How much does a weight bench typically cost?
A quality weight bench will usually go for at least $100 and can extend to significantly more, even thousands. There are some good options that go for under $100 but they may be lacking the full features of a high end adjustable weight bench.
Will a weight bench ruin my carpet?
Given the weight that a bench will have to support, along with its weight, it will likely leave some indentations in the carpet. However, unlike most furniture, weight benches need added stability which means that the weight is distributed across a larger area, which may actually lead to not as severe case of “carpet dent”. Note, your individual results may vary.