A weight bench is an extremely versatile tool that can help you to sculpt and tone your body by using it to perform a variety of different exercises. As a stand alone piece of equipment an individual can use it as a platform to perform sit ups or crunches and it is also possible to do push ups from an oblique angle.
Still, the weight bench is best utilized as a support structure for those wanting to lift weights in the form of dumbbells and barbells and there are a wide variety of exercises that can be performed. Before you begin any form of exercise routine it is important that you check with your doctor to ensure that you have a clean bill of health.
Other equipment that is hand to use while exercising is a good quality kidney belt to protect your lower back and a set of leather fingerless gloves to provide better grip while exercising. Clothing should be something that you feel comfortable in and should be loose fitting and allow for freedom of movement.
The shoes worn during your workout are important as they need to provide adequate cushioning. The barbell and the dumbbell are the standard type of weights used on a weight bench. The dumbbell is a compact weight meant to be wielded by one hand, while the barbell is a long bar that has weights attached to each end.
The most popular use for the weight bench is to do the bench press exercise. This involves the flat bench being used for support while the athlete places their feet flat on the floor. The barbell is lifted and raised above the persons head in a fluid motion, fully extending, but not locking, the arms.
The weight is lifted and the barbell is raised overhead and lowered to the chest for a series of repetitions to exercise the biceps, shoulders and chest. Adjusting the angle of the bench has the benefit of exercising different muscles. Be wary of creating too high an angle as rather than exercising the chest muscles you will be placing excessive strain on the shoulder joints, which could lead to an injury.
The dumbbell is raised to be in line with the ear, elbows facing towards the floor. The dumbbell is raised up towards the ceiling, to almost touch without locking the elbows. The weight is then lowered slowly to be in line with the ears again. This exercise affects the biceps, shoulders and chest area quite effectively.