Top 9 Ways to Exercise With an Adjustable Bench and More

An adjustable bench is one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment you can own. With a quality adjustable bench, you can target almost every major muscle group with a variety of effective exercises. The simple addition of this equipment can take your home workouts to the next level.

In this article, we will explore 9 fantastic exercises you can do mainly with an adjustable bench to build full-body strength and keep your workouts dynamic and challenging. From chest presses to ab leg raises, you may be surprised by how many moves you can perform with this basic bench.

Bench Press Variations

The classic bench press remains one of the most effective chest exercises you can do. With an adjustable bench, you can change up the angle to hit different areas of your chest and shoulders.

Start by lying back on the bench, planting your feet firmly on the floor, and gripping the barbell above your chest. Keep your wrists straight and engaged. Lower the bar in a controlled motion, just below the nipple line. Press back up, engaging your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Adjust the incline up to target your upper chest. A decline press will emphasize the lower chest. You can also perform dumbbell chest presses for a greater range of motion.


Step-ups are a great way to build strength and stamina in your lower body. Simply place the adjustable bench in front of you at a height that allows your knee to bend at 90 degrees when your foot is on the bench.

Step up with one foot, pressing through your heel. Bring your other foot up. Step back down in a controlled motion. To increase the intensity, hold dumbbells in each hand.

Work both legs, engaging your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Step-ups are great for mobility, balance, and core stability. Go slow and focus on proper form.

Triceps Dips

Dips target and strengthen the triceps muscles on the back of your upper arms. Set the adjustable bench to its highest incline. Place your hands behind you, fingers facing forward. Extend your legs out, crossing one ankle over the other to stabilize.

Keeping your elbows tucked close, bend them to lower your body towards the floor. Press back up, fully extending the arms. Increase difficulty by adding weight across your lap.

Go deep on each rep to maximize triceps activation. Dips on the bench hit the arm muscles from a unique angle.

Incline Push-Ups

If you struggle with standard push-ups, an adjustable bench can help you progress to full push-ups. Set the bench to its lowest positive incline by slightly raising one end to create a gentle upward slope. Grip the edges of the bench at shoulder width. Step back with your feet while engaging your core.

Keep your body in a straight line, bend your elbows, and lower your chest towards the bench. Then push back up to the starting position. Begin with an easier incline and gradually decrease the angle of the bench as your strength increases.

Incline push-ups strengthen the upper body with less strain on the wrists and emphasize the upper chest muscles.


Bulgarian Split Squats

The single-leg nature of the Bulgarian split squat provides greater strength benefits. Rest one foot on the bench behind you, knee bent at 90 degrees, other foot forward. Hold dumbbells at your sides.

Lower your body until your back knee nearly touches the floor. Press up through your front foot, squeezing the glutes and quad. Repeat for reps, then switch legs.

The Bulgarian split squat deeply engages the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. The adjustable bench offers an ideal elevated platform for this exercise. Go slow and maintain proper form.

Abdominal Leg Raises

Crunches and sit-ups can strain your back. For a core strengthener that takes pressure off your spine, try ab leg raises on the bench.

Lie back on the bench and grip the edges. Extend your legs with knees slightly bent. Keeping legs straight, raise them until they form a 90 degree angle from your torso. Slowly lower back down.

Adjust the incline up for a greater challenge, targeting the lower abdominals. Control is key — avoid swinging the legs to maintain core tension.

Side Plank Raises

The side plank heavily engages your obliques, the muscles along the sides of your core. Use the adjustable bench to make this exercise more challenging.

Set up in a side plank with one forearm on the bench, legs extended and stacked. Lift your hips up into a straight line with your body and elevate your top leg.

Slowly raise and lower the leg 8-10 inches, keeping hips steady. Complete reps, then switch sides, maintaining tension in your obliques. Use lower bench heights to increase difficulty.

Prone Snow Angels

Here’s an exercise that sounds gentle but will set your back and shoulders on fire. Lie face-down on the bench with arms extended overhead, palms down.

In one continuous motion, raise your arms up and back as you simultaneously lift your chest and legs off the bench just a few inches. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to the start position with control.

Prone snow angels work the upper and lower back along with your rear shoulders. Maintain core stability throughout the movement. Start with sets of 5-8 reps.

Cool Down with Stretches

Be sure to cool down after any workout by stretching the muscles worked. The adjustable bench is perfect for key post-exercise stretches.

Sit on the bench with one leg extended. Bend the other leg, placing the foot flat on the floor. Lean forward, feeling the stretch down the back of your extended leg. Target the hamstrings, chest, lower back, and shoulders.

Proper stretching improves flexibility, speeds muscle recovery and reduces injury risk. Use the adjustable bench to support your body in the optimal positions for maximizing each stretch.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the simple addition of an adjustable bench unlocks a vast range of exercise possibilities. The versatility of this equipment enables you to target every major muscle group and continually introduce new challenges into your workouts.

With a little creativity, you can perform full-body functional training with just an adjustable bench. Use this equipment to enhance your core lifts like presses and split squats. Mix in plyometrics for added intensity.

Investing in a quality adjustable bench is one of the wisest purchases you can make for your home gym. The capabilities of this equipment will keep your conditioning programs dynamic while helping you achieve your greatest fitness goals.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.