Gym Equipment Explained: Benches, Bars, And Racks 101

I previously told you all about free weights. This time, let’s focus on some of the other equipment you’ll see around the gym before talking about the machines.

 

Benches
Flat Bench

The most common piece of equipment in any gym is the bench. There are three types of benches – flat, incline, and decline. Some benches are adjustable (i.e. they can be adjusted to either flat, incline, or decline). Some benches have racks on one end for holding a barbell, while other benches do not. The benches that do not have any racks are generally used for arm exercise using dumbbells.

 

Hyper Extension Bench

Hyper Extension Bench

This bench is used for working the lower back, hamstring, and glute muscles. Too many people focus all their attention on their abdominals and neglect their back muscles. Your body needs to be developed in both muscle groups for proper balance. Some gyms have a hyper extension bench that can also be used for sit ups to work the abdominals.

Preacher Bench

Preacher Bench

You may also hear this called the arm curl bench. It’s designed for working the biceps. It has an angled pad that you you’re your upper arms on. This pad prevents you from swinging the weight so you can isolate the bicep muscles.

Abdominal Bench

Abdominal Bench

This is basically just a decline bench that is used for doing abdominal exercises. It has rollers that you hook your feet into so you do not slide off the bench.

Dipping Bars
Dipping Bar

You may also find this called a dip station. This is a set of parallel bars. Dips are a great exercise for working the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Chin Up Bar

Chin Up Bar

The chin up bar is an iron bar that it either bolted to the wall(like in grade school) or part of an exercise machine(i.e. the power rack, universal multi-station, etc.). Chin ups are great for working the back, biceps, and forearms.

 

 

Racks

Smith Machine

There are racks for doing exercises such as the power tower or squat rack. There is also a special rack/machine called the smith machine, which is a combination of a machine and free weight barbell.

 
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