BeWOW: 8 Tough Exercises Using a Bench



You only need two pieces of equipment for this week’s workout, guys: A bench and a weight. You’ll be using this bench for each exercise, so pick one that’s nice and sturdy, that you can lie down on, jump up on and sweat on, problem-free. You’re going to do five rounds of the eight exercises listed below. Get ready to sweat!

BeWOW: The Ultimate Bench Workout

Bench circuit
Repeat five times

15 bench jumps
15 tricep dips
10 decline push-ups
10 lateral up-and-over bench jumps
10 plank up-downs on a bench
10 lunge knee-drives on each side
10 plank rows on each side
15 chest flies

Explanation of exercises

Box jumps: Pick a stable surface that you can jump onto and land safely (use a step, bench in the gym, low wall outside, etc).  Start in a squat and jump from both feet to land on both feet in a squat on top of the surface.  Stand up from your squat and step back down.

Tricep dips: Using a bench or a chair, step your legs out a few feet in front of your body. Steady your hands on the bench or chair and, with your back just a few inches from your fingertips, lower your body to the ground. Then raise your body back to the starting position by pushing into the bench or chair. Repeat.

Decline push-ups: Put your feet on a bench or step, and put your hands on the ground. Do your push-ups in that position.

Lateral up-and-over bench jump: Standing next to the bench, jump up onto the bench, then jump down to the opposite side. Repeat.

10 plank up-down on a bench: Start in a plank position, with your hands on the bench bench and your feet on the floor. Put your right hand on the floor, then your left hand on the floor. Then lift your right hand back up onto the bench, and then your left hand back up onto the bench. Do five leading with the right, five leading with the left.

Knee drive with reverse lunge at bench: Stand facing away from the bench, with feet hip width apart. Step back onto the bench with your left foot, and drop to a lunge. As you stand, drive your left knee up to your chest, using your arms for momentum. Land with your leg on the bench. Repeat.

Plank row on a bench: With hands on a bench and toes on the floor, put your body in plank position with a weight on the bench in front of you. Holding your body steady with your left arm, pick up the weight with your right hand, let your right arm fully extend (hang), then pull it back, elbow reaching to the ceiling, for a row. Return it to the starting position and repeat.

Chest fly: Lying on your back on a bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms out from your body so you form a T; palms should be facing up toward the ceiling. This is your starting position. Without locking elbows, raise your arms so they meet together in front of you, knuckles touching, squeezing your chest as you do so. Lower and return to the starting position.


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.

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