Bench (weight training)

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Typical consumer-level weight bench with leg exercise attachment
Two weight training benches in a fitness center in Nürnberg, Germany

A weight training bench is a piece of equipment that has a resemblance to a normal (e.g. park) bench, but is designed for use in weight training.

Weight training benches may be of various designs: fixed horizontal, fixed inclined, fixed in a folded position, with one adjustable portion, with two or more adjustable portions, with racks to hold bars, etc. In the limit, the definition of a bench blurs into that of combinations that mix a bench and associated equipment.

Benches are manufactured by many different vendors, in an array of qualities, features, and prices.

Alternatives[edit]

Though the weight bench seems to define weight training for modern audiences, benches are not strictly necessary for many, if not most, exercises that typically use them. For example, seated presses may be done while standing. In recent years, many home fitness enthusiasts have begun incorporating a swiss ball into their workouts in place of a traditional bench, since it is both more space-efficient and requires engagement of the core abdominal muscles. This substitution is not without criticism, since it can be difficult to maintain form and balance when lifting more than one's own body weight.

Before the invention of the weight bench the common way to work the chest was to lie on the floor and do what was known as the floor or supine press.[citation needed]