Be Well Workout of the Week: The 30-Minute Muscle-Boosting Bench Workout 

As long as you can find a bench, you've got everything you need to tackle this week's workout.

To complete this workout, you will need a bench (or a very stable surface that you feel comfortable jumping on) and your body weight — that’s it. Put 30 minutes on the clock and see how many rounds of this full-body circuit you can complete in that time. Ready, set, go!

Be Well Workout of the Week: The 30-Minute Muscle-Boosting Bench Workout 

4 burpee-box jumps
6 plank arm push-ups
8 lunge jumps on bench
10 decline push-ups
12 lateral up-and-overs
14 plank hops
16 tricep dips
18 knee drive hops
20 bench abs

Explanations of exercises: 

Burpee box jump: Standing in front of the bench, do a burpee. Then lower into a squat position and jump up, landing on the bench like you would if you were doing a box jump. Step down and repeat.

Plank arm push-ups: In a plank position, with your hands planted on the ground in front of the bench, step your right hand up to the bench, then your left hand so that you are in a push-up position with your hands on the bench. Then step your right hand back down to the floor, then your left hand. Keep your hips square to the floor throughout. Repeat.

Lunge jump on bench: Facing away from a bench, put your right tow on the bench behind and you and lunge on your left leg. When you reach the bottom of your lunge, power through your leg to jump your left leg off the ground, landing back in a lunge. (If you don’t have a bench, just do lunge jumps on the ground.)

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-overs: Facing sideways with your right foot on the bench and left foot on the ground, drive up so that both feet are on the bench then step your right foot down to the other side of the bench. Repeat, moving as quickly as possible.

Plank hop: In a plank position with your hands on the ground and your feet on one end of the bench, jump both feet to either side of the bench and down, like you would jump if you were doing a jumping jack, then jump then back onto the bench.

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.

Knee drive hops: Stand in front of a bench, step, or other stable surface. Place your right foot on the bench and left foot on the floor to start. Swinging your arms for momentum, drive your left knee into your chest as you step and hop with your right. Land with right foot back on the step and left foot on the floor. Repeat, then switch feet to work the other side.

In-and-out abs: Sitting on a bench, grab onto the bench behind you and bring knees to chest. Drive feet out and straighten legs as you lean back, bending your arms. Then drive knees back to chest and sit back up.


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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