BeWOW: Space-Saving, Butt-Kicking, Super-Fast Bench Workout

Find a bench and you're ready to rock with this week's Be Well Workout.

The good news about this week’s workout is that the main piece of equipment you’ll need is a stable bench or surface you can jump on to safely. A plyo-box would work. Or a step. You could even use a bench in a park, or a marble surround of one of Philly’s many (many!) fountains. You get the picture.

The workout will include circuits of the six exercises below, with a set of 50 mountain climbers in between. (Hello, cardio!) You’ll do 20 reps of each exercise for the first circuit, followed by mountain climbers; then you’ll do a round of 16 of everything, followed by mountain climbers; then 12, eight, and finally four of each exercise, always doing 50 mountain climbers between each round. Each exercise utilizes the bench in some way. Meaning? This is a space saving, quick, kick-butt workout. Good luck!

BeWOW: Space-Saving, Butt-Kicking, Super-Fast Bench Workout

Complete the following six-exercise circuit six times, following this pattern for your reps: 20-16-12-8-6-4. So you’ll to 20 reps of each the first time through, 16 the second time, 12 the third time, and so on. Between each round, do 50 mountain climbers. Remember, each exercise uses a bench.

Box jumps
Decline push-ups
Knee drives
Plank rows
Tricep dips
Bench leg raises

50 mountain climbers

Explanation of exercises
*Click each link below for a video how-to for each exercise.

Box jumps: Jump onto the bench, land in a squat, stand up, step down.

Decline push-ups: Perform push-ups with your toes on the bench and hands on the floor, or try putting your hands on the bench and feet on the floor for beginners.

Knee drives: Start with your right foot on the bench. Press into your right foot and as you stand up, drive your left knee up towards your chest. Return your left foot to the floor in one fluid motion. Do all reps on the right, then on the left.

Plank rows on a bench: Put your right hand on the bench, feet back in a plank position. Holding a dumbbell in your left hand, row the weight back (the motion looks like you’re starting a lawn mower), keeping your hips and shoulders square to the bench. Do all on the left, then move to the right.

Tricep dips: Sit on a bench with your hands gripping the edge, fingers forward. Scoot your butt off the edge and walk your feet out a few steps. Drop your body and bend your elbows until they’re at 90 degrees. Push yourself back up until your arms are extended all the way.

Bench leg raises: Sit on the bench and grip it behind you. Leaning back slightly, pull your knees into your chest then extend your legs and repeat, never letting your feet touch the ground. Keep your legs straight (as in the video) for more of a challenge.

>> Did you complete this week’s BeWOW? Tell us how you did in the comments! Or, feel free to tweet at us about it using the hashtag #BeWOW. Check out all the BeWOW workouts here.


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

Photo: Shutterstock