7 BENCH EXERCISES FROM HEAD TO TOE: Minimum equipment with BIG results!
Back in July, we released our Synergee Benches and wrote an awesome article about how to choose between a flat or adjustable bench for your stellar gym. Now that you’ve chosen your Bench, you’ve set it up, and it’s sitting pretty, maybe you’re thinking:
“Ok. Cool. Um… now what?”
DON’T WORRY! We’ve got you! 😊
We have 7 GREAT Exercises you can do on your bench. The only other equipment you need is a dumbbell… or any other piece of weight equipment! You do you! Use what you’ve got!
Do 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise to get an awesome workout for your legs, core, arms, and every muscle in between!
Movement #1: Hammer Bench Press
Grab a your Synergee Dumbbells and sit back on your Synergee Weight Bench with your feet flat on the floor. Tuck your pelvis and keep your lower back pressed into the bench.
Position your hands/the dumbbells by your shoulders. Have your hands facing each other in the hammer position.
Push the dumbbells straight up, straightening your arms as you lift the weights over your chest. As you do this, drive your feet into the ground.*
Lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner and maintaining tension. Lower them until they nearly touch your chest, then press back up to move into the next rep. Maintain the hammer position throughout.
TIP: Your legs are tree trunks
While this is an upper body-focused movement, use your legs for support and as the source of your power generation. Picture them as strong tree trunks that are keeping your grounded and that allow you to push up against the weights.
Movement #2: Single Arm Row
Stand beside your bench with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your right knee on a bench, hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
Hinge forward at the hips, maintaining a flat back. Place your right hand on the bench for support.
Pull the dumbbell up to the left side of your chest, bending your elbow and driving it up and back.
Pause at the top, then slowly lower back to start.
TIP: THINK ABOUT YOUR CORE
Avoid letting your lower back sag during this movement by focusing on your core. Think about pulling your shoulder blades together and your belly button towards your spine.
Movement #3: Tricep Dips
Sit on the edge of your bench & perpendicular to it. Place your palms on the bench on either side of your hips with your fingers gripping the edge.
Extend your legs forward and place your feet or heels on the floor in front of you. Fully extended legs with your heels on the ground is the hardest move, and you can put your feet on the ground and bend your knees if you need some extra assistance.
Push into the bench and extend your arms to lift your body off the bench. Scoot forward until your hips and butt are in front of the seat.
Lower your body, allowing your elbows to bend and lowering your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
Push back to start.
TIP: Stay close to the bench
To avoid putting strain on your shoulders, ensure your back remains close to the bench. If you aren’t feeling this movement in your triceps, adjust your position: you probably need to be closer!
Movement #4: Leg lowers
Lie down on the bench with your legs straight. Your butt should be three quarters of the way down the bench, so your legs hang over the end. Reach behind your head with your hands to hold the bench. Place your palms on the bench and wrap your fingers around the top edge.
Lift your legs into the air in an arch towards your body (while still keeping them straight). Lift until they form a 90-degree angle with your body. Your hips will also lift off the bench slightly.
Lower legs until they return to starting position, parallel with the ground.
TIP: MOVE SLOW!
Sloooooooow it right doooooown. Move in controlled movements. The slower you go, the more challenging (and beneficial!) this movement is!
Movement #5: Lateral Bench hops
Start with both your feet on one side of the bench and standing close to its side and towards the top of the bench. Place both hands on the edges of the bench and grip it.
Jump up, propelling your body up and over to the opposite side of the bench. You can hold onto the bench for support and extra help.
Land on the other side with a slight bend in your knees.
TIP: No cutting corners
Propel your body and legs over the middle of the bench, rather than behind it. If you are too far down the bench, your legs can go behind it and you won’t have to jump as high.
Movement #6: Step up
Stand beside the bench and facing forward (not towards or away from the bench). You can choose to hold a dumbbell in each hand or do this unweighted.
Place your foot closest to the bench firmly on the bench. Press down into the bench and stand up. As you do this, extend your opposite leg so it hangs over the bench as you step up but remains under tension.
Slowly lower back to the starting position. Do all your reps on one leg before switching.
Movement #7: Decline push ups
Get into plank position, with your hands underneath your shoulders, and place your feet on the bench behind you.
Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible.
TIP: Modify if you need to
If a regular pushup – let along a decline pushup - is too advanced, switch it around and do an incline pushup instead! Place your feet on the floor and your hands on the bench to take some of your bodyweight out of the movement.
Until next time, Synergee Fam-letes!