Do You Need A Flat Or Adjustable Weight Bench?

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Do You Need A Flat Or Adjustable Weight Bench?
31 October 2022 4 min read
Do You Need A Flat Or Adjustable Weight Bench?
Although many gym benches may seem similar, different types of designs available may or may not suit your training needs. The weight benches generally fall into four key categories, flat, incline,  FID (flat, incline, decline), adjustable and folding. Therefore, it's essential to understand the differences between the different types of weight bench to choose the right one for your training needs. As well as the different features available on weight benches, they can vary greatly in terms of price and quality.
Flat Weight Bench Example

Should I buy a flat bench or incline bench?

Flat Gym Benches

Flat benches are the most basic amongst the weight bench designs, often meaning they are the lowest cost but are usually very robust and require minimal assembly. Traditional flat benches can be delivered with the frame in one piece, meaning very little parts maintenance, or have a bolt-together design. They will follow a simplistic design, with a horizontal benching pad platform resting on supportive legs beneath that cannot be adjusted. However, more advanced flat benches available will include additional features like handles and wheels to enable transportation, as these benches may be much heavier.
Another critical consideration is the benches' design; the average flat bench will have a traditional four-post design, whereas competition powerlifting flat benches utilise the three post design for clearance around the feet positioning area. In addition, some manufacturers will offer wider and thicker pad upgrades for flat benches, which can provide additional comfort, reduce injury and optimise positioning for the user. 
If you want to perform the basic strength exercise and don't want to commit a huge budget, a flat bench will allow you to stand, sit or lie in position to perform key movements such as the bench press, weight fly or shoulder press. Overall a flat bench will provide the minimum that you need for strength training.
Adjustable Weight Bench Example

Adjustable Weight Benches

Adjustable weight benches offer much more versatility than flat benches, making better training space and offering a fantastic workout variety. Some adjustable bench designs offer only flat and incline positions, and others can fully adjust to FID (flat, incline, decline) positions. As the name suggests, these benches can be used as flat benches and offer incline and decline positioning settings. There are also FI (flat, incline) benches available; however, you'll need an FID bench if you are looking for the full range of motion.
Weight Bench Leg Extension Example

FID Weight Bench

Essentially the incline settings move the rear pad upwards away from the flat setting around 80/90 degrees, and the decline lowers the bench pad towards the floor to around -15/-20 degrees. In addition, the rear base frame of the adjustable bench will have a step mechanism that will allow you to adjust the height and angle of the pad before training. Decline settings are most often found on commercial weight benches and may have a leg extension add-on.
There are clear advantages of having a bench that can position into an incline and decline, but mainly it gives you many more options when working out. By adjusting the body position on the bench, you can target different muscle groups in multiple ways. Training from different angles means you can alter the direction of the movement of the weight, which will activate and target various muscle areas.

Folding Weight Benches

One of the most popular choices for a smaller home gym, folding weight benches are the best for storage and take up the least training space when not in use. These benches can be folded down into a compact form and stored in cupboards, under sofas or hung on the wall, ideal for people without extra space to spare.
Folding benches are usually lighter in weight than traditional benches and can be more around easily. However, this can mean that they aren't as structurally solid, so it's important to note any weight restrictions there might be. They can also vary in their level of adjustability and comfort, so it's well worth buying one with a good design.  
Shop our range of flat and adjustable weight benches here!
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