The Best Body Weight Only Bench Workout

The Best Body Weight Only Bench Workout

That’s right, all you need is a basic gym bench and your body and you’re set for this workout. Although…if you want, dumbbells would be a stellar addition and really kick up the intensity level.
The 8 Exercise Circuit
24 reps per exercise (for a total of 192 total!) with minimized rest from beginning to end. And by all means, if you breeze through the first circuit then go through it again, or even a third time. Great for conditioning, building core strength and enhancing body control. Enjoy!
Exercise #1: Leg lifts/Reverse Crunches
Lay down on the bench and make sure you’re entire spinal column is supported. Now, either grab the bench at your sides, or behind your head and do 24 leg lifts with your legs straight, or reverse crunches with your legs bench and knees together. Or, you could mix them up.
Exercise #2: Step Ups to Knee-Raise
Alternate legs for 12 each this set. Pick a foot to begin with, step up, find your balance and then bring the other knee up and forward into the air then step down. You can choose to hold the knee there a few second, or just make it one fluid motion.
Exercise #3: One-Leg Get-Ups
Again, alternate legs for 12 reps each this set. Sit down on the bench, pick a foot to stand up on, bring the other foot slightly off the ground, and get up using only that one foot. Then, come back down. This is a great way to condition for free-form one-leg squats.
Exercise #4: Decline Planks
Shooting for at least 24 second here, but feel free to go as long as you can without altogether sacrificing solid form. Get your feet up on the bench, keep them together, then get completely stretched out until your spine is flat and you’re upper body is resting on either your hands or elbows. If you need to modify, you can simply flip around and do an incline plank with your upper body on the bench.
Exercise #5: Knee-Ins
Sit at the end of the bench, or you could face sideways as well, extend your legs and then keeping them in the air begin to do 24 knee-ins.
Exercise #6: Dips
These are also pretty straightforward and effective and putting some strain on the core while focusing on the triceps. Perform dips on the bench with your entire body off to the side and your heels on the ground. Don’t let your butt touch down and maintain the tension throughout the set.
Exercise #7: Oblique Lifts
Do 12 on one side, then 12 on the other to spread out the tension across both obliques. Choose a side to begin with and place either your arm/elbow on the bench, or just your hand. Get into a full side-plank position with the other arm held out laterally and begin letting your body slightly dip up and down.
Exercise #8: Decline Pushups
Finish off with 24 decline bench pushups and you’re golden for this circuit. Make sure to keep your back straight!

Omar J. Nasouri

Omar has been a personal fitness trainer and weight loss consultant since 1997. He is currently certified through the NSCA as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and holds a Bs degree in Kinesiology (emphasizing in fitness, nutrition and health) from SDSU. If you're interested in personal training in the San Diego area, visit Fitness 4 San Diego

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