best flat benches

Flat Bench: Test & Reviews

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

The flat bench is an indispensable part of the fitness area and serves exercises for almost all muscle areas. In order to be able to include ratings of measurements, weight load and many other functions for our leaderboard, our expert testing team has examined countless tests on the Internet.

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Flat Bench

How does a Flat Bench work?

The flat bench is a training device that serves the body as a base for effective muscle exercises. For this reason, a good weight bench should be adequately padded. When training on your flat bench, start with light weights and gradually increase the number of weights. You should do between eight and 15 repetitions of each exercise. The final repetitions should be so strenuous that you can only do them with the greatest effort.

In this way, your muscles are specifically strengthened and built up. One of the most popular exercises you can do on a flat bench is the bench press. This exercise is possible with both barbells and dumbbells. In addition to the triceps and shoulders, this exercise primarily strengthens the chest muscles. You lie flat on your weight bench with your arms a little more than shoulder width apart. Now push the dumbbells up slowly and in a controlled manner and lower them just as slowly.

You can also specifically strengthen your pectoralis major with the butterfly exercise. A butterfly device is already integrated into a multi-gym; as a variant, this exercise is also possible while lying on the flat bench. You need dumbbells which, unlike the bench press, do not lead you up, but away from your body to the side. If, in addition to your arms, you also train your legs at the same time, you save time during training and you can train your coordination and sense of balance at the same time.

Advantages & areas of application

On a flat bench you can do exercises with your own body weight as well as with dumbbells as additional aids. You can also do sit-ups on a flat bench to strengthen your abdominal muscles. The flat bench can be used by people of all ages and genders. Basically, a weight bench is suitable for young people aged 16 and over. For younger adolescents, specific muscle building exercises are not very recommended because the growth is not yet complete.

Seniors also benefit from training on a flat bench: the targeted building of muscles can prevent age-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

A major advantage of the flat bench compared to the functional weight bench is the low purchase price. Unfortunately, such a weight bench is usually delivered to you without weights, so you have to purchase them additionally. The variety of exercises on the flat bench is also a little limited. However, if you want to set up your own gym at home, the weight bench is the foundation for a variety of exercises. The advantages of muscle building exercises in your own four walls have numerous advantages: You are not dependent on the opening times of a fitness studio and can work out at any time of the day or night. You also save fuel costs because you no longer want to go to the gym. The costs for the monthly membership are usually not exactly cheap either.

If you use a weight bench for your daily muscle building training, you will also protect your back if you do it correctly. The comfortable upholstery makes you lie very comfortably on a flat bench.

What types of Flat Benches are available?

When it comes to a weight bench, a basic distinction is made between the flat bench that cannot be adjusted, an adjustable incline bench and a multifunctional bench. The multifunctional bench is the most extensive, for example with a leg extension. Unfortunately, this requires a certain amount of floor space and is not suitable for the small apartment.

For the beginner who mainly wants to build up his upper body muscles, a flat bench is completely sufficient.

In flat bench tests, inexpensive models were also able to convince; So you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep yourself physically fit. If you pay particular attention to training the abdominal muscles, make sure that the bench is adjustable. Both the flat bench and the incline bench are affordable and can usually be folded up to save space after training. By the way, you can also use a flat bench for other purposes and, for example, use it as a massage bench.

How are Flat Benches tested?

In a flat bench test, special attention was paid to the following test criteria:

Robust workmanship and a safe stand: To avoid accidents or the risk of injury, the flat bench must be absolutely safe. In the flat bench test, models made of sturdy tubular steel as well as those weight benches on which the feet are rubberized and are so firm and secure were convincing.

Height adjustment: In order to make muscle building exercises as varied as possible, it can be useful to adjust the height of the flat bench.

The maximum load capacity: If you weigh 100 kilograms and want to train with around 50 kilograms, a load capacity of 130 kilograms will hardly be enough.

Size of the surface: Especially tall people can quickly run into problems if the lying surface is too narrow or too short. For sufficient comfort, the flat bench should not only be long enough, but also sufficiently wide.

What do I have to look out for when buying a flat bench?

One of the most important purchase criteria when buying a flat bench is the material. Only when this is stable and properly processed will you feel safe doing exercises on the flat bench. A substructure made of a sturdy steel frame is particularly recommended as a material for a flat bench. In the case of very high-quality models, the frame construction consists of three-inch thick tube, which is absolutely stable. A stable substructure is of crucial importance for your safety during training.

The surface, on the other hand, should at best be thickly padded so that you can lie comfortably even after several repetitions. It can still be useful if you can adjust the height of the flat bench. Before buying, you should definitely find out up to what body weight it can be loaded. Depending on the provider, this permissible body weight varies considerably – from 130 kilograms to 300 kilograms, all variants are represented. Remember that you prefer to do exercises with dumbbells on the flat bench. So you not only have to consider your own body weight, but also add the weight of the dumbbells.

Before you buy a weight bench, you should also consider that it takes up a lot of space. Common weight benches are at least 1.20 meters long, but can usually be folded up to save space after use. The initial setup should of course be as simple as possible; well-illustrated assembly instructions can be helpful here.

Finally, of course, the price also plays an important role. You no longer have to spend a fortune for a good, high-quality flat bench.

Useful accessories

The most important accessories that you need for a flat bench are the dumbbells. Dumbbells and barbells are available in stores, depending on which exercises you want to do. Dumbbells come in different weight ranges; For beginners, one to three kilograms should be sufficient, advanced users can slowly increase to up to five kilograms.

If you no longer require this weight, you can switch to the barbell bar. The advantage of such a rod: It consists of several individual weight plates that can be combined with one another as required. So you can design your training individually and depending on the form of the day.

As an accessory, you can get a stand for your dumbbells on which you can put them neatly.

When buying a barbell bar, make sure that the gripping surfaces are slightly roughened; this way you have a better grip even when doing strenuous activities.

In a flat bench test, special training gloves were also able to convince. Such fitness gloves are specially developed for strength training and protect your hands from unsightly calluses. You also have a much better grip with such models and the risk of accidents decreases rapidly. You may want to opt for a floor mat for your flat bench. This in turn ensures that the bench stands securely and also insulates noises.

Flat Bench Alternatives

One of the most popular alternatives to the flat bench is the multi bench. This differs from the flat bench in that it is already supplied with weights. The barbell bar is a particularly effective way to train your arms. An arm and leg curler, a leg press and a cable pull are further features that a high-quality functional weight bench has.

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Such a functional weight bench is a useful extension of a flat bench, because it also offers you an incline bench that extends the flat bench. You can usually adjust the angle of this incline bench – depending on which exercise you want to perform. When buying, make sure that both benches are adequately padded and offer you optimal comfort during the exercises.

Very ambitious athletes who train five times a week or more should consider buying a multi-gym. A good multi-gym offers more than 40 different exercise variations: In addition to arm curls, bench press and butterfly, the legs can also be specifically trained by the leg curler. A multi-gym is delivered to you with several weights so that you can use more and less weight depending on your daily constitution. However, multi-gyms are quite expensive to buy – good models from Finnlo or Kettler cost well over 1,000 euros.

These training devices also require a lot of space. So it would be ideal if you have a training room in the basement at home in which you can set up your multi-gym. One manufacturer who offers you such multi-gyms at a particularly favorable price / performance ratio is Christopeit. The Christopeit Profi Center de Luxe, for example, not only offers you a separate bench press and butterfly unit, but also a separate stepper – ideal if you also want to train your legs frequently.

If, on the other hand, you only want to train your stomach or back specifically, an abdominal trainer may be the right purchase for you. Such a sit up bench is not unlike a flat bench, but the lying surface is not horizontal, but very steeply inclined. You can of course also adjust this inclination with good models – depending on how well trained your abdominal muscles are. A holder for the feet is also available on a sit up bench. Your body is securely fixed on the bench and you can be sure that your abdominal muscles are actually being trained. Compared to normal sit ups, abdominal training on such a bench is much more intense. Make sure you have high-quality, soft upholstery on a sit up bench. An abdominal belt can also be helpful during abdominal exercises.

However, if you want to strengthen your body specifically, you will find numerous other useful training devices for at home. A pull-up bar, for example, takes up next to no space. This is simply attached to the door frame and enables effective training of the upper arm muscles. The pull-ups primarily work the biceps.

A good alternative to dumbbells, however, are resistance bands. You can also use these to effectively train your upper body muscles. Since these hardly weigh anything, they are a good alternative if you travel frequently and want to do sports.

Think carefully about which devices you really need. After all, the space available at home is usually limited.

Frequently Asked Questions: Flat Benches

Flat bench or multi-bench- which is better?

There is no general answer to this question and it depends primarily on which exercises you prefer. Although significantly more exercise variants are possible at the multi-bench, it also requires a lot more space and is correspondingly more expensive. The flat bench is a good introduction to fitness beginners.

Which muscles are trained on the flat bench?

The muscles of the upper body are primarily trained on a flat bench. The chest and back muscles as well as the triceps and biceps can be shaped with dumbbells. However, since a flat bench is well padded, you can also do classic abdominal exercises such as sit ups on it. The range of exercises for the legs, on the other hand, is not that great on a flat bench. Here you should rather opt for the multi-gym, which has a separate leg press or a leg curler.

From what age can you use a flat bench?

Basically, weight training is only recommended from the age of 16. Teenagers under the age of 16 do not benefit from weight training because the body is still growing. Sports such as swimming, cycling or running are more recommended for young people.

However, a weight bench can also be used by seniors without hesitation. Muscle building is particularly important in old age, as muscle mass continuously decreases with each passing year. The risk of falls and fractures increases, as does the risk of osteoporosis.

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