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The Best Adjustable Bench of 2021or
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An adjustable fitness bench is an essential piece of home gym equipment. Some pieces of different fitness equipment get used when either sitting or lying on an adjustable bench. These include dumbbells, resistance bands, resistance tubes, a set of Olympic weights, and bench press stands.
The flexibility of buying a separately adjustable bench without it being another type, like an Olympic flat weight bench, is that it is used for different kinds of activities without difficulty. When adjusting the ladder, usually made of steel, to create a more upright position, it is possible to sit up when performing dumbbell lifts. The upright position for overhead dumbbell lifts might be preferred by some people who don’t like exercising while laying on their back, possibly due to a prior back injury.
The ladder adjustments usually can modify the amount of incline or decline between approximately negative 20 degrees to an incline up to 80 degrees, depending on the adjustable bench model. The change in angles supports the back at all times.
The benches come with firmly padded support along the length of the apparatus. Usually, they are vinyl covered for durability over time with a padding thickness of 2-inches or greater to help people with different weight profiles.
Often the padded seat can also be adjusted to suit the activity undertaken. Roller pads found at the end of the seat helps to lock the legs into position to help support correct posture during fitness exercises.
Typically, the warranty will cover the bench for multiple years, but the padding being a wearable item will have a much shorter warranty if one at all.
The workout bench includes the steel constructed adjustable bench, a connected ladder to adjust the angled position of the bench, the padded seat, and back support, and covered roller pads to hold the feet in the correct position during exercises.
What to Know
The number of ladder positions, the level of possible inclines and how the seat responds to the adjustments are key considerations when picking out an adjustable workout bench.
For heavier people, the degree of padding on the seating and back makes a big difference to how comfortable it will be to sit or lie on it during a workout.
Look carefully at what is covering the seating area, back support area, and rollers for the feet. These items tend to be the first to wear out, with the steel frame construction outlasting the padded support by years.
Depending on the design of the bench, it will take up a different amount of floor space in a gym or place where the workout equipment is set.
Adjustable benches arrive boxed and mostly assembled. Once the final assembly is complete, it is a good idea to re-tighten all the nuts and bolts on the bench. The reason for this is that they can work loose during transit. A basic tool can be used to make these adjustments, but a socket wrench is ideal. Without taking the extra time to make these minor changes, a bench will feel slightly loose when sitting on it or when changing position during an exercise routine.
The rear of the adjustment ladder may be painted, or it could be bare metal. Bare metal often looks classic and avoids the paint either flaking or chipping off from metal-on-metal contact during positional adjustments.
- CAP has been in business over 25 years with its range of workout benches, free weights and hundreds of other products in 25 fitness-related categories.
- REP Fitness makes fitness equipment, including CrossFit related tough workout tools, benches, dumbbells, bumper plates, Olympic bars, and kettlebells.
- Marcy Pro, operated by Impex Fitness, is their online brand for home gym equipment, cardio, strength training, and fitness accessories.
- PowerBlock, founded in 1991, was the first to release their “selectorized dumbbell.” This new dumbbell alternative removed the need to have a rack of differently weighted dumbbells. The company has since developed a line of other fitness equipment too.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Steel thickness: The steel frame used with the construction of adjustable benches is usually either seven gauge or 14 gauge depending on the brand and quality of the product.
Weight limits: Many benches can hold up to 1,000 pounds. Bear in mind that this is the combined weight of the person exercising and the weight of the equipment that they are holding in their hand at the time, i.e. a dumbbell, a kettlebell, etc.
Welds or bolts: Depending on the manufacturer, a bench will either be welded together or have bolts holding different parts of the apparatus together. Either solution is fine, though welding is often better. With that said, it is easy to tighten or replace bolts that come loose, whereas it is not easy to weld a piece of piece of steel back into position as most people won’t own this equipment.
Padding Stitching: The stitching for the padding needs to be good quality to be durable and long lasting. The more expensive models of the bench will usually have a better quality stitching and use improved fabrics that have been treated for durability.
Tightening bolts: To avoid feeling like the bench is wobbly, it is important to tighten all the bolts before use to prevent a feeling like a bench is unsteady. The uncomfortable feeling coming from instability is entirely removed with reliable benches once the bolts have been re-tightened again.
The underside of the bench: The underside is either painted or bare steel. The steel option is usually better because it avoids paint flaking off the unit when adjusting its angled position.
Roller pads: The thickness of the pads on the foot rollers is critical to making for a comfortable fit when using the foot support to control movement to avoid the back getting out of position and making an injury more likely.