A weight bench is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that you can find in a gym or at home, aside from the weights themselves. They do amazing things for every single muscle group in your body if you know how to make the most of them, and they give your workouts the edge that they desperately need to make sure that they are the best possible performers in your exercise list, and these are the ten best weight bench exercises you need to be using.

Benches are variable most of the time too, which means not only can they support you through the standard flat or seated exercises, but they can also offer you an incline or decline so that you can hit muscles in ways they have never been hit before to skyrocket your progress and maximise your results.

These ten exercises are all huge contenders for massive muscle growth. Make sure that you master your form and get your weights right, and they will not let you down!

Bench Press

Man bench pressing a barbell

First on the list is the classic bench press. The bench press is the best possible chest exercise that you can do. It applies a massive force, and it hits your chest, shoulders and arms at the same time. What more could you ask for? It also offers you a range of equipment to use, and especially with dumbbells, you will see huge improvements to your overall strength!

Single Arm Row

Moving to the other side of your body, you have rows. Single arms rows are an incredible way to hit your lats individually, which is something that most back exercises can't really offer you. This removes weaknesses and helps you to be able to target imbalances, giving your specific and isolated training.

Pullover

Woman performing a dumbbell pullover

Pullovers are one of the more interesting weight bench exercises as they change the game a little, and they're controversial. If you have straight or bent arms, you’re hitting different muscle groups. Your chest (if your arms are straight) and your back (if your arms are bent) can both benefit from the huge exercise, and it’s arguably one of the best exercises that you can be doing for yourself in the long run. Your lats especially will thank you.

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is another king of the compound exercise. It is the best deltoid building exercise there is, hitting all three heads of the shoulders (front, side and rear) and with the addition of the back support that the bench offers, you can really focus on overloading your shoulders for maximum growth. Make sure that you don’t rely on the bench support too much though!

Reverse Flyes

Woman doing reverse flyes

Keeping with shoulders, it's important that you're giving your rear deltoids the attention that they need so that you can stay functionally strong and don't develop any weaknesses. Make sure that you are at a suitable incline on the bench and that you have a weight that you aren't going to be swinging to be able to get high enough; otherwise, you aren't doing the work.

Incline Front Raises

Incline front raises smash the front of your shoulders. The motion range is dramatically increased, and your contractions should be a lot more intense. This is what's going to give you the progress boost you need and help you develop your shoulders as a whole.

Skull Crusher

Man doing skull crushers with an EZ bar

Skull crushers are another awesome and often forgotten about exercise that can-do awesome things for your arms. They’re tricep specific and challenging, but still, they're brilliant. You need a barbell and probably a spotter to make sure that you’re keeping things safe and that you won’t hurt yourself if you fatigue too!

Incline Bicep curl

The bicep curl is always a great exercise to include in your arm workout, and the incline makes things even better. It shares the same benefits as the front raise in the sense that your contraction is going to be much greater, and therefore so will the progress that comes from it if you hold your form correctly. Make sure that you are releasing the lift properly as well. Too much momentum will injure your elbows.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Man performing Bulgarian split squats

One of the most effective and athletic exercises you can ever do! The addition of one leg suspended on the bench here means that your stability and core strength will have to come into play to keep you balanced while you squat. This is the key difference and just one of the weight bench exercises that can change the game. The greater load on your quadriceps means more of a contraction there too due to the higher weight, so enjoy!

Reverse Crunches

Abs aren’t always the first choice when you’re thinking about weight bench exercises, but they’re more than doable and can really up your ab game. Reverse crunches are a little tricky to master at first, but they’re incredibly effective lower abdominal builders. Make sure you have enough space to do them safely though!

Overall, weight benches are incredibly diverse and versatile at what they can offer you. Every single muscle group has some sort of application for a weight bench. They can really help you to get a full body workout, and they work with so many different pieces of equipment, they are one of the best all-rounders in your exercise arsenal. Take a look at this before you get one for yourself!

Exercise.co.uk Weight Benches


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.