Have you ever seen a weight bench at the gym and thought: What the heck am I supposed to do with this? The main reason benches are scattered throughout your gym are to help with weight training (like bench presses or dumbbell rows)—but that’s not the only way these elevated surfaces can help give your workout a boost. They can also up the challenge by adding elevation to many moves you’d otherwise do on the floor, like a plank, for instance.
Here, fitness director and author of The Women's Health Fitness Fix, Jen Ator, has created a quick five-minute workout you can do using a weight bench (or really any bench for that matter). The workout doesn't require any weights, but rather includes go-to moves like the hip thrust and split squat, using a weight bench to increase the difficulty .
To try this workout for yourself, go through every move and do as many reps as you can for 50 seconds. Take a 10 second break in between each exercise. Try it out for yourself by watching Jen's demos in the video above, or following the detailed descriptions below.
How to: Sit in front of a bench, knees bent and feet flat on the floor; lean your upper back against the edge of the bench. Raise your hips to form a straight line from your knees to shoulders, with your upper back resting on the bench; pause, then return to start. That's one rep.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
How to: Stand about two feet in front of a bench; extend your right leg back and place your foot on the bench and your hands on your hips. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can, keeping your shoulders back and chest up. Pause, then press through your left heel to return to start. That's one rep.
DECLINE ALTERNATING SHOULDER TAP
How to: Get into a pushup position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and your shins resting on top of the bench. Keeping your hips square to the floor, lift your right hand and tap your left shoulder. Return to start and repeat with the other arm. Continue alternating.
ALTERNATING LATERAL STEP-UP
How to: Stand to the right of a 12 to 18 inch step or bench. Plant your left foot on the step and place your hands on your hips. Press into your left foot, extend right leg, and spring up and over the step, planting the right foot on the step and extending the left leg out into a side lunge. Immediately reverse the move, springing up and over to the right. Think of this move as your feet exchanging places on the step. Continue alternating.
After gaining nearly 100lbs while suffering from PCOS, my journey to lose weight has finally ended and my love and appreciation for healthy but delicious food has just begun. This my story on how I lost nearly 90lbs while still completely indulging in life.