What you should know before you buy a weight training bench
If you're interested in creating a home gym without having to break the bank, a weight bench might fit the bill. A weight bench is an all-in-one solution to muscle building that consists of a padded platform and a rack for barbells. Unlike the many fitness machines on the market, weight benches are inexpensive and simple to use – and will help you build dense muscle quickly.
Danskin and Powertec Weight Benches
There are a number of weight benches on the market to suit just about everyone. A couple of brands, however, deserve special mention. Danskin weight benches, including the Fold Up Bench, are specially made to suit small spaces. They're also ideal for women (as well as small-framed men) who may wish to lift lighter weights in a compact space.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a professional weight training setup, check out Powertec weight benches such as the Olympic Bench. These simple benches accommodate all weight sizes, can be adjusted for a variety of lifting positions, and are the perfect setup for anyone looking for beefy equipment at a decent price.
Safety Tips for Using Your Weight Training Bench
Before you use your bench, make sure that you have the recommended safety equipment. You could use weight training gloves to help you get a good grip, and a weight lifting belt might come in handy if you're lifting very heavy weights, because it can reduce stress on your back muscles. It's also important to have someone spotting you in case you can't lift any further, and to prevent injury.
When bench pressing, also make sure to follow the principles of good form to get the most out of your workout and reduce the chance of muscle strain. Grasp the barbell with both hands, making sure that your hands are wider than your shoulder span. Lift straight up with your arms fully extended, but don't lock your elbows. Lower the weight slowly without letting it impact your chest. To work the inner pectoral muscles, narrow your grip on the barbell.
Avoid muscle strain by starting with a small number of repetitions and working up to the full amount. Stay attuned to pain and fatigue symptoms so that you stop before you cause injury. Remember that muscle fibers must be overtaxed and slightly injured in order to grow, but that this process needs to happen slowly over a long period of time, to prevent the kinds of acute injuries that can abruptly end a muscle-builder's career.