But it also carries certain risks. At your local gym, you can be pretty sure that the equipment you work with is solid, secure and fit for purpose.
Not so with home gym equipment.
That’s why you need to do your research when kitting out your home gym.
In this article, we focus on the best home gym weight benches on the market right now.
The best overall home gym bench on the market right now is the Bowflex SelectTech Adjustable Bench.
Bowflex are well known for the quality of their products as well as their after sales service. The SelectTech 5.1 is their latest home bench offering, and it is very impressive, with six easy angle adjustments, including a 17 degree decline. You also get two seat adjustment positions.
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 provides plenty of headroom, offers comfortable padding and is extremely solid. On top of all that, the classic black and red Bowflex color scheme looks great!
Our HOME gym weight bench OVERVIEW
Benefits of a Home Gym Weight Bench
A weight bench is the support structure on which you perform a lot of your exercises. It is vital that you are sitting or lying on a bench that is solid and secure. If it isn’t, you will be risking serious injury. When you’ve got a huge weight hovering above your body, an unstable base can cause you to fall, with the weight coming crashing down on your body. Even if it doesn’t, the very thought that it could happen can rob you of your confidence so that you shy away from lifting to your maximum potential. On the other hand, a solid, rigid bench gives you confidence to be able to handle the heavy weight.
A high quality home gym weight bench will allow you to be more versatile in your home gym. If you’ve got a power rack, you’ll be able to use your bench to perform bench presses safely in the rack without the need of a spotter. A bench with a multi angle back pad will also allow you to work your upper body at a variety of angles. This is especially useful when working your chest, as it permits you to hit the pecs at a flat, incline and decline angle. The angled bench will also allow you to do such biceps exercises as incline dumbbell curls.
What To Look For In A Home Gym Weight Bench
Because it will be forming the stability base for much of your workout, a home gym weight bench is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will purchase. Here are a half dozen things to look out for when shopping for your next bench:
Home weight benches vary markedly in their build quality, from flimsy to commercial gym quality. Look for a bench that is made from solid square steel framing. It should have a weight bearing capacity that will handle not only your body weight but also the weight on the bar you are lifting. If you are going to be using the bench for bench pressing you will want a weight bearing max of at least 500 pounds. Of course, the higher the weight bearing capacity of the bench, the more heavy duty the framing will be.
You will generally find that the fewer moving parts a bench has, the higher its weight rating will be. Moving parts place stress on the bench, which potentially creates points of weakness. You will notice that the highest rated bench on our top 5 on this page is the very simple Rage Fitness flat bench, which provides a max capacity of 1,000 pounds. In contrast, the much more versatile Body Champ BCB5860, with lots of moving parts, only allows for a max weight capacity of 300 pounds!
Padding and Upholstery
When it comes to the padding on a weight bench, you need to get a happy medium to be not too soft and not too heavy. If there is too much padding, you will not have the stable support beneath your body when lifting (think of trying to fire a cannon from a canoe!). On the other hand, too little padding will make it uncomfortable for your upper body when you are lying on the bench.
To see whether the bench has the right amount of padding, press your thumb down on the padding. Your thumb should only be able to go down about halfway to the base of the bench. If it goes all the way, then the padding is too soft! The padding should be about an inch thick.
When it comes to the upholstery that is covering the bench, it should be sweat and slip resistant and sewn in box stitch style to ensure the best durability.
The width of your home gym bench will determine how effectively you can do your free weight bench exercises. Some benches are so wide that the natural movement of your arms, shoulder blades and lats is restricted. The bench should allow you to comfortably lie on it without getting in the way of your natural movement as your arms come down lower than your torso.
When it comes to the height of your home gym bench, you want your knee bend to be at a 90 degree angle when you are lying on the bench. This will position your body in the most stable and secure alignment for your pressing exercises. If the bench is too high, you will not be able to comfortably plant your feet on the floor with a natural right angle knee bend. On the other hand, a bench that is too low will require you to bring your feet too far back with the result that your lower back will not sit naturally on the bench.
Not all benches are adjustable and you may prefer one that is simply flat. However, if you are after an adjustable bench, then you will need one that is reliable. There is nothing worse than lying back on an angled bench only for it to slip out of position and fall back to a flat position. Check the reviews on the reliability of the adjustment mechanism. You also want a quick change adjustment. Having a range of between 5 and 7 angle adjustment options is best.
The best home gym benches will be easy to transport around your training space. They will have wheels on one end and a handle on the other to grab onto.
If you have limited space available in your home gym, you will want a compact bench. However, don’t compromise on functionality. The bench should securely support your head when you are lying on it. If it doesn’t, you will be risking spinal injury when you do heavy exercises like the bench press.
Some benches are foldable for storage. Be aware, however, that foldable benches are usually not as strong as those that do not fold.
Different Types Of Home Gym Weight Benches
A flat bench is the most simple and the least expensive. It consists of a flat bench that does not have any uprights and is not adjustable. Because they do not have any moving parts, these benches are usually pretty solid, but many cheaper ones will not support a decent amount of weight.
A racked bench is a flat bench that has the addition of a support rack for you to place a barbell when you are bench pressing. Check that the position of the rack supports does not impede your natural hand positioning when benching. Some benches have an adjustable back support but most of them will be fixed flat.
An adjustable bench provides you with the ability to adjust the angle of the back support. This will allow you to work your muscles from a variety of angles. A good bench will allow you to incline the angle as well as declining it.
An Olympic bench is created specifically for the Olympic bar user. As a result, it is larger than a standard bench. It is also more solid. Olympic benches have a max weight bearing capacity of 1,000 pounds or more.
A specialty bench is a flat bench that has attachments that allow for extra exercises. These may include a preacher bench attachment for working the biceps, a core attachment to work the midsection or a leg developer to target the quads and hamstrings.
Which is Best?
As can be seen from the above, each bench type is designed for a specific purpose. However, if you were to buy just one bench, the one that we recommend would be an adjustable bench, otherwise known as a utility bench. This bench will provide you with the rigidity of a flat bench but also give you the option of incline and decline angles. You are also able to bring the back support all the way up to 90 degrees to provide the support you need when shoulder pressing.
An adjustable bench is compact enough to be easily moved around your home gym (look for one with wheels). This allows you to position it on your power rack for bench pressing work.
One of the downsides of an adjustable bench is that it is often higher from the floor than a flat bench as it needs to provide room for the adjustment arm. Be sure to check the height before buying - in general around 16 inches is ideal. They are also not as solid as a flat bench because of the number of moving parts that are included.
Top 5 Home Gym Weight Benches Reviewed
Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 Adjustable Bench
The SelectTech 5.1 is the latest version of the extremely popular Bowflex SelectTech range of adjustable benches. This version is a step up from the SelectTech 3.1, providing you with more stability and more angle adjustment options. You get six angle adjustments on this bench at the following angles:
- -17 degrees (decline)
- 30 degrees
- 45 degrees
- 60 degrees
- 90 degrees
In addition to being able to adjust the back support, this bench also allows you to adjust the seat to two positions. This allows you to get the ideal ergonomic body alignment on whatever exercise you are working.
The solid steel frame design of this bench is impressive. The heavy duty steel is supported by a raised frame design to provide the most secure base you are likely to find in a home gym. The classic Bowflex bench design of red and black upholstery not only looks great but is very functional. The covering is both slip and sweat resistant and the level of padding is ideal at about one inch of thickness. Contoured padding around the knee bend provides extra comfort and biomechanical efficiency.
This bench provides you with separate head and shoulder support areas. This provides a greater level of support around your head and shoulders, which makes you far more stable when pressing. You will also find that the separation of head and back support makes the bench longer than most competitors. This makes it ideal for taller users.
The Bowflex SelectTech 5.1 comes with a built in leg developer to allow you to perform leg extensions and leg curls. It also comes with a set of transportation wheels to make it easy to move the bench around your home gym. This is a pretty large bench, with dimensions of 56″x 26″x 20″. The weight of the bench is 66 pounds. As a result, it will take up a decent amount of space in your gym.
The maximum weight capacity of the bench is 400 pounds.
- 6 angle adjustment
- Very solidly built
- Well padded
- Decline angle potion
- 2-position seat adjustment
- Leg developer
- Limited range of motion of leg extensions / curls
Rage Fitness Flat Bench
The Rage Fitness flat bench is the most impressive budget flat bench that we have come across in a long while. For less than a hundred and thirty dollars, you get an extremely stable bench that boasts a maximum workload capacity of a thousand pounds! That makes this the ideal base from which to do your heavy lifting. It also makes the bench great for such plyometric moves as step ups and box jumps.
The heavy duty 2-inch steel framing of this bench is powder coated for greater durability. The two inch padding is neither too soft or too heavy, providing you with a solid base to press from. The sweat resistant, non slip black vinyl upholstery of the bench is reinforced with double stitch seams.
The dimensions of this bench are 19 inches high, 4 inches wide and 16 inches long. Some people may find that the bench is a little too high to allow for a natural right angle bend at the knee when lying prone. In this case, they may have to place blocks under their feet to get the best body alignment.
This impressive bench ships flat and can be put together in a matter of minutes. If you are after a well priced, solid and secure flat bench on which to perform all of your prone and seated dumbbell work, then you can’t do much better than the Rage Fitness flat bench.
- 1000 pound max weight capacity
- Great price
- Very solid with 2 inch steel framing
- Double stitch upholstery seams
- May be a little too tall for some users
FLYBIRD Adjustable Bench
The Flybird adjustable bench is a relative newcomer to the home gym market. With 7 angle and 4 seat adjustments, it provides you with more adjustment options than our top rated bench. This includes both incline and decline options. Angle adjustment is fast and reliable. This is an impressively solid bench, made from commercial quality thick steel that has been rigorously tested to meet all training applications.
The Flybird adjustable bench features a rather unique triangle base design that allows for a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. The soft foam padding of the back and seat rest measures to a thickness of 1.8 inches. This provides the comfort level you would expect without compromising your exercise stability.
This bench is designed to be used by people who are up to 5’9” in height. If you are taller than that, you might find that your head is slightly off the bench, which is less than ideal. This is a foldable bench with folded dimensions of 31.5" L x 12.6" W x 11.8" H. That makes it an ideal purchase for people with limited home gym space. The working dimensions of the bench are 47 inch L×16 inch W×47.5 inch H. Total weight of the bench is 32 pounds.
The bench is fitted with non slip foot covers to ensure stability while also preventing floor scuffing.
- 7 angle adjustment
- 4 seat adjustment
- Commercial thickness steel framing
- Non slip foot covers
- Only suitable for people up to 5’9”
Gold's Gym XR 5.9
The Gold’s Gym XR 5.9 weight bench is one of the most popular home gym benches on Amazon. It provides you with three levels of adjustment for incline, flat or decline work. This provides fewer options than some of the other benches on this list, yet the budget price and rigid, compact design of the bench make it a good purchase regardless.
The sewn leather upholstery of this bench is sweat and slip resistant. It also doesn’t carry the risk of allergies that you get with the vinyl covering that you find on most benches. The back and seat are well padded with foam adding to a depth of 1.5 inches
A feature we really like on the XR 5.9 is the addition of foam rollers at the knee bend and also at the mid calf level. This adds comfort to your workout and is especially useful to support your body when you are performing decline exercises.
The maximum weight capacity on this bench is 300 pounds. That makes it a good choice for beginner and intermediate weight lifters. However, more advanced lifters will want to step up to a higher capacity bench.
- 3 levels of angle adjustment
- Leather upholstery
- Foam leg rollers
- Well padded
- Maximum user capacity only 300 lbs
Body Champ BCB5860 Olympic Weight Bench
Over the last few years, Body Champ have positioned itself as a very solid play in the home gym market. Their range of benches and other gym equipment have a reputation for solid design, functionality and cost effectiveness. The Body Champ BCB5860 continues in that mold. It provides you with adjustable back pad positions, including a decline position. This bench is also compatible with both 6” and 7 “ Olympic bars. Plus, it comes with a number of accessories to allow for a more varied workout experience.
This is an extremely solid bench that makes use of commercial grade steel framing. The no pinch design ensures that the bench is completely wobble free with its U shaped stabilizers and extra safety hooks. However, the maximum user weight capacity of this bench is 300 pounds, which is a little lower than desirable. That is, in fact, the only reason that we have rated this bench at the bottom of our top 5 list!
Unlike many companies, Body Champ do not expect you to pay extra for accessories. This bench comes with the following:
- Preacher bench attachment
- Arm Curl Bar
- Olympic Plate Adapter
- Spring Clip for Leg Developer
- Ab Crunch with Foam Grip Handle Attachment
The Body Champ BCB5860 Olympic bench has dimensions of 76 x 56 x 55 inches and weighs in at 78.5 lbs.
- 7 position angle adjustment
- Compatible with 6” and 7” Olympic bars
- Lots of attachments included
- Very solid
- Max weight capacity is just 300 lbs
The best home gym weight bench that you can buy today is the Bowflex SelectTech 5.1. This is an adjustable bench that provides you with what we consider to be the best combination of functionality, aesthetics and price. If you are after a flat bench, you can’t do much better than the Rage Fitness Flat Bench, with its massive 1,000 pound maximum weight capacity. The best Olympic bench on the market right now is the Body Champ BCB5860 Olympic Bench, with its range of accessories and 7 position angle adjustment.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully by now you’ve got a good idea which is the best of the Home Gym Weight Benches.
If you have any questions regarding anything we’ve discussed in this article, or even have any you’d like to suggest, please feel free to get in touch in the comment section below.
Thanks for stopping by.