How A Weight Bench Can Help Improve Your Core Strength

A weight bench can help you improve your core strength more than you would think it could. The weight bench is versatile. It can be used in many ways for a variety of muscle groups and that includes the core.

The core does not just refer to your abdominals. It is a collective term referring to your entire torso including your abdominals, oblique’s, lower back (erector spinae) and gluteal. These muscles work to stabilize and protect your spine during movement. There are muscles of the inner core and outer core.

The inner core is comprised of the diaphragm, pelvic floor, multifidi, deep cerviacal flexors and transverse Abdominis. The outer core is responsible for movement more so than the inner core. It is comprised of the Latissimus dorsi (lats), spinal erectors (erector spinae), gluteal complex, quadratus lumborum and hip flexors.

You can utilise the weight bench to improve the strength, size and endurance of these core-based muscles, and improve your core overall. Improving your core strength and stability will show results in many different sports and activities, as well as in everyday life.

There are many different types of weight benches that you can use to your benefit when training your core. This includes the standard flat weight bench, adjustable weight bench, 90-degree weight bench and the weight bench with leg rollers. All of these weight benches can be used in different ways to supplement your core training routine.

This article will run through how each type of weight bench can be used to improve your core strength.

Standard flat weight bench:​

The standard flat weight bench can be utilized for the following exercises and their respective core musculature:

1. Straight leg raises

This exercise works your lower abdominals comprised of the rectus Abdominis, internal abdominal obliques and the transverse Abdominis.

2. Gluteal bridges (Feet on bench)

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis, erector spinae, hamstrings, adductors and the all important and main muscle the gluteal.

3. Single leg step up


This exercise works your gluteus maximus and minimus and core stabilizers erector spinae rectus Abdominis and oblique’s.

4. Hip raises (Back on bench)


This exercise works your gluteus maximus and the abdominal muscles rectus Abdominis, oblique’s and erector spinae.

5. Superman kicks.

This exercise works your gluteal and erector spinae of the lower back.

6. Incline plank

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis, erector spinae, oblique’s and gluteal.

7. Incline side plank


This exercise works primarily your Oblique’s and rectus Abdominis.

8. Seated Russian twist with weight plate

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis and your external and internal obliques.

9. V-sit with knee tucks

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis and the oblique’s.

10. Elevated mountain climbers



This exercise works your transverse Abdominis, rectus Abdominis, oblique’s as well as your gluteus maximus, medius and minimus.

​Adjustable weight bench:

The adjustable weight bench can be utilized for the following exercises and their respective core musculature.

1. Decline abdominal crunches

This exercise primarily works your rectus Abdominis.

2. Decline oblique crunches

This exercise predominantly works your oblique’s as well as your rectus Abdominis.

90-degree weight bench:​

The 90-degree weight bench can be utilized for the following exercises and their respective core musculature.

1. Dumbbell side bends

This exercise works your external oblique’s.

2. 90-degree L sit hold

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis, erector spinae and hip flexors.

Weight bench with leg rollers:​

The weight bench with leg rollers can be utilized for the following exercises and their respective core musculature.

1. Crunches

This exercise works your rectus Abdominis, transverse Abdominis and oblique muscles.

2. Oblique crunches

This exercise works the oblique’s and hip flexors predominantly as well as your rectus Abdominis.

3. Back extension

This exercise works the erector spinae and the multifidis.

Try adding these exercises to the end of your usual workout or a selection of these exercises that work your entire core. By doing so, you will be able to improve the strength of your core musculature. To improve the strength of your core as much as possible via these exercises, try to do 3 – 5 sets of 8 – 10 repetitions of each exercise. Now your have an idea of what exercises can be done on what type of weight bench, put them together and try it for yourself and improve your core strength!

How To Use An Adjustable Weight Bench

CAP Barbell Deluxe Utility Weight Bench

The adjustable weight bench!! Maybe you have never been to the gym, completed weight training or never ventured into the weights area? Perhaps you cant get past the cardio area without spending your whole hour session in there? If so, you are probably unsure of how to use an adjustable weight bench. You may have been lifting weights at your local gym but because you are unsure, never stopped to work out how that bench that people use for other exercises works, for fear of looking stupid trying to adjust the thing. Some who have seen an adjustable weight bench may not even have the slightest idea that it actually adjusts!

Weight benches are not just there to fill the gym floor. They are actually a useful piece of equipment to complete a variety of different exercises to train your arms, core and legs! There are 2 main types of workbench:

  • Non-adjustable weight benches made to be flat or set in a 90-degree chair based position
  • Adjustable weight benches created to give variation to training position

This article is here to educate you on how to use the adjustable weight bench to your benefit.

So if you are wondering how to adjust the weight bench before you walk in and give it a go yourself, then here it is!

There a variety of different models of adjustable weight benches. Overall they all work to do the same thing - change the position to increase or decrease the angle of the back. There are a hand full to almost a dozen positions you can utilize on an adjustable weight bench.

How to work a simple adjustable weight bench:

1. Step up to the long side of the adjustable weight bench

2. Find the adjustable knob located under the flattened back rest and place your hand at the top of the short end of the bench

3. Pull out the adjustable knob and pull the shirt edge of the bench up lightly

4. There should be slots for you to place the adjustable knob back into at points such as 30, 45, 90 degrees to create an incline or decline position.

5. Once you have found the right angle for you to work from let go of the adjustable knob to secure the position

6. Sit on the bench with your dumbbells or barbell in hand or on the ground next to you in the position you intend to begin your weighted exercise

7. Once you have completed your exercise, return the adjustable weight bench back to the flattened position ready for the next user

Tips on executing exercises on a weight bench:

Experiment

​Try placing the adjustable weight bench in a variety of different positions.  This will help you target different parts of a certain muscle or a different muscle all-together. For example, in the dumbbell chest press, placing the bench at an incline by a few degrees allows you to target your upper chest muscle fiber. Do not increase the angle to much as this can increase shoulder joint injury. Placing the bench at a decline will emphasize targeting the muscle fibers of your lower chest. So, experiment with the bench angles!

​Support

​Use the adjustable bench as a method of support if you are completing heavy overhead lifts. Adjust the bench so that the back rest is up right like a chair and you are able to sit comfortably against it. By placing yourself in this position you will support your back. This prevents you from rocking back and forth using momentum to lift the dumbbell. You will have to rely on the strength and power of the muscle you are actually trying to train! Just ensure you brace your core muscles. Don't arch your back as you life of the bench, as this can cause injury.

Feet​

​Keep your feet flat on the floor or on the flat surface of the adjustable bench (choose which is more comfortable for you), do not lift them up and wiggle them in the air, particularly if you are a beginner. By lifting your feet off the floor or bench you place yourself in an unstable position where you place yourself at a risk of injury. Plus, you look like a silly cat wanting a belly rub so keep them down.

Now you know how to use the adjustable weight bench, get out there into the weights room and test it out for yourself and reap the benefits an adjustable weight bench can offer you!

10 Reasons You Need A Weight Bench

There are numerous reasons why you need a weight bench for your workouts to improve various different goals. A weight bench can be used in a number of ways to influence your training goals in a positive manner. Read ahead for ten reasons why you need a weight bench in your health club or home gym!

​1. Versatile

​First of all, the weight bench can be used for so many different muscle groups and exercises. It is very beneficial in aiding you to change up your workout routine to give your muscles something more and get rid of those plateaus by adding variety.

2. Plyometrics

​Standard flat weight benches can be used for a variety of different plyometric exercises. This includes plyometric push ups, box jumps, depth jumps and single leg jumps.

3. HITT

​Utilise your weight benches for a number of different exercises in a HIIT work out. Including a weight bench in your High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can change things up a little. Use it for step up intervals with 20 seconds on and 40 seconds off for 15 minutes. You will really feel the burn, and as a result, have an effective and efficient calorie-burning workout.

​4. Strength Training

​This is a bit of an obvious one but yes, strength training can be completed for so many parts of the body on a weight bench! You can use it for body weight exercises as well as those that utilise dumbbells, weight plates, barbells and thera-bands. There are so many options for you to change up your program and add in something new and challenge your body. Train your chest, back, bi’s, tri’s, quads, hammy s and even your calves. They are great for getting strength into all areas of your body.

​5. Muscle Building

​Again, it is the same as for strength training a weight bench is an essential component at some stages in a muscle building program It is for the same reason as strength training that it encourages the use of all parts of your body. Try adding some bench based exercises today as an extra exercise for your superset to get the metabolic stress into your muscles to allow them to hypertrophy.

​6. Core Training

​Core training does not have to be limited to the floor, your body weight or just plain old dumbbells, weight plates and barbells. You can use a weight bench in so many ways to activate and strengthen your core muscles. There are a number of different bench types that can be used for even more types of exercise to activate a multitude of different muscles in your core. Make your plank, crunches, gluteal bridges and hip thrusts harder by utilizing a bench!

7. ​Muscular Endurance

​Use the weight bench to increase your muscular endurance. Choose an area of your body that needs more endurance for whatever it may be that you are training for triathlon, cycling and even falls prevention to make those muscles and strong over long periods of time. Low to moderate weight with high repetitions will get you there with weight bench based exercises.

8. Cardio

​Get your heart rate up by utilizing a bench for specific exercises in a cardio circuit. You can incorporate step ups, side step ups, single leg step ups, hop-overs, box jumps and many more. Utilise them in a speed intervals to up the challenge.

​9. Rehabilitation

​Rehabilitation is important post surgery or injury. Incorporating a bench in your rehabilitation program can be a great idea under the guidance of your physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, rehabilitation therapist or personal trainer. A weight bench can be used for certain exercises prescribed by your particular health professional to rehabilitate the back, knee, hip, ankle, wrist and/or shoulder. Rehabilitation programs for post cardiac surgery and post pregnancy can also positively implement the use of a weight bench. It can also be a useful tool in your pre-habilitation prior to certain surgeries as well to ensure you are string throughout the process and better able to heal post surgery.

​10. Home Gym

​If you buy one piece of equipment for your home gym, make it a weight bench. As per the previous nine points, there are so many ways you can use a weight bench to achieve the goals you want. Making use of one as a home gym is the perfect solution. Save money in the long run by buying your own weight bench to create your own home gym rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a gym itself.

Conclusion

​As you can see there are quite a few reasons as to why you need a weight bench. With so many possibilities to incorporate one into your workout routine, why not start on your next visit to the gym. If you aren’t attending the gym, why not buy one for home. With all the possibilities you are able to utilise a weight bench for, a weight bench would be a perfect addition to your home gym. If you are stuck with what types of exercises to do, consult your local gym's personal trainer or an exercise physiologist; they are there to help you exercise appropriately and efficiently!