Building your dream home gym is something a lot of us think about, but never get around to doing, whether because of time, the space we have to build such a thing, or money.
Luckily, however, building a home gym has never been more realistic, affordable, and achievable in small spaces.
One of the most crucial pieces of equipment in a home or garage gym is a weight bench, and a weight bench is sure to do wonders for your workout routine.
Most lifters use a weight bench for simple lifts like bench presses, flies, and shoulder presses, while some will use the bench for body weight training like dips.
When choosing the right workout bench for your home gym, there are a few things to keep in mind. These are the weight capacity (how much weight can the bench handle?
Usually the cheaper the bench, the less weight it can manage), the cost, and, of course, the space.
You’ll need to consider how much room the bench takes up, and if a bench with wheels would be useful, so you can store it neatly when you’re not using it. To that end, do you need a foldable bench?
Below you will find six of the best weight benches for small spaces, as well as a buyer’s guide on what to look for when buying a weight bench for your home gym, the answers to some frequently asked questions, and even some exercises to try at home!
The Flybird adjustable weight bench is one of the popular weight benches on Amazon and for good reason. This bench is pretty much close to perfect, and its durability means you can enjoy it for years to come.
It also has an astounding 700 lbs weight capacity, so this is an incredibly strong weight bench considering it weighs just 26 lbs.
However, we recommend being careful when pushing all the way to 700 lbs. Plus, this weight bench wobbles very little for a rather small adjustable weight bench.
This bench is also easy to adjust, with a simple pin-pulling system which saves you hassle. This is not usually the case with benches that are cheaply made.
The only disadvantage to this bench is the height. At 21 inches, it is a little high for weight benches, so if you’re on the shorter side this weight bench might be a little bit awkward to use.
All that being said, we can’t recommend this bench highly enough. If you are a serious lifter, or this is the first bench you’ve ever bought, Flybird is a great bench.
- It has a high weight capacity of 700lbs.
- This is a super sturdy bench that doesn’t wobble.
- Has a simple, quick adjustment system.
- Easy to assemble.
- Might be too high off the ground for some shorter women.
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If you’re a lifter who wants a small weight bench that will help you save space while having a relatively high weight capacity, then consider this MCNBLK bench.
Although MCNBLK isn’t a well-known brand, its adjustable weight bench is still of a high quality. Firstly, it has a 650 lbs weight capacity, which is considerably high given its foldability and small size.
While we wouldn’t recommend pushing it to its maximum capacity, it is still a secure and stable weight bench.
We particularly love the carrying strap, which is missing from a lot of foldable benches despite making carrying and moving the bench so much easier.
You just need to set the backrest and seat to decline, remove the safety pin and fold it down so you can easily store it away when needed.
Another great feature are the 8 adjustable backrest positions. Most benches have 6 or 7 positions, so this bench has the edge over the average weight bench, and this can be very beneficial for particular exercises.
The biggest drawback of this bench is its size, and this bench actually has the opposite problem to Flybird. If you are over 6 feet tall, it is definitely going to be too small for you.
Another issue is with the resistance bands, as they are extremely lightweight and perhaps not as challenging as you would like them to be.
Overall, most lifters are going to find the MCNBLK valuable because of its foldability, stability, and weight capacity. While it isn’t great for the taller lifters out there, its size does make it ideal for small spaces.
- It’s stable and sturdy
- The carrying strap makes it easily foldable and transportable.
- It has a high weight capacity.
- Has 8 adjustable positions.
- Easy to assemble.
- Not ideal if you’re over 6 feet tall, as it is on the small side.
- Resistance bands are too lightweight.
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If you want a solid adjustable weight bench for light to moderate lifting that isn’t going to break the bank, then the HITOSPORT adjustable weight bench might be for you.
There are many budget benches out there that are of low-quality, but this isn’t one of them.
Considering its low price, the HITOSPORT has a pretty high weight capacity at 550 lbs. However, we would advise pushing it to its maximum limit as it’s not really designed for heavy lifting.
It’s an extremely lightweight bench at 27.5 lbs as well as being simple to fold. You just have to set the bench to decline, remove the safety pins, and fold up.
Simple! A feature we particularly like about HITOSPORT is the ladder adjustment system.
Many adjustable benches use a pin-pulling adjustment knob which can be pretty time-consuming and frustrating to use, especially if the bench is not well-designed.
But with the HITOSPORT, you just need to lift the support bar below the bench and lock it into place.
However, what lets the HITOSPORT down for us is its stability. It’s not completely unstable, but several customers found it to be on the wobblier side, particularly under heavier weight.
We would caution against buying this bench if you are a larger person or want to lift heavy weights. Still, the HITOSPORT bench is a great budget-friendly weight bench for your small home/garage gym.
- The adjustment system couldn’t be simpler.
- Assembly is quick and easy.
- Excellent value for money.
- Some customers have found the bench slightly wobbly.
- Not perfect for larger people or those who like heavy lifting.
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If you want a bench that is solid, budget-friendly, and saves space, then we recommend the BangTong&Li Flat Foldable Weight Bench.
While BangTong&Li isn’t a household name, customers have a lot of praise for this product, and we believe it is a high-quality weight bench for your home/garage gym.
While it doesn’t have the highest weight capacity on our list at 650 lbs, it’s still plenty for the average lifter.
One feature we really appreciated was the padding that is completely comfortable while still being firm. As structure and support goes, this bench is surprisingly sturdy and stable for such a low-cost bench.
You won’t have to sacrifice stability with this budget-friendly bench! It’s also quick and easy to fold, and saves you space by ten inches.
The one drawback of this bench is that it’s not great for heavy lifting, and while customers have praised it for its high quality despite its low price, some customers also believed the durability and quality of this bench was reflected in the low price.
Still, if you want to take a chance on a less-known brand and are on a budget, we don’t think you’ll go wrong with the BangTong&Li Flat Foldable Weight Bench.
- Foldable legs make storage easier.
- Comfortable yet form padding.
- Has non-slip rubber end caps.
- Easy to assemble.
- Isn’t great for heavy lifting.
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Bowflex’s SelectTech 5.1s is one of the heaviest workout benches on our list, and a lot of its 70 lbs weight is thanks to the commercial-grade steel it’s constructed with. This also makes it one of the most durable foldable benches.
When you’re not using this bench, it’s easy to fold up and is designed to be stored upright. So if you only have room to store this bench under your bed, then we wouldn’t recommend this bench for you.
In fact, we would recommend storing this bench behind a door or in a closet.
The Bowflex 5.1s workout bench has a versatile and comfortable leg holder, and the leg piece folds upwards for easy storage, and you can get rid of it completely if you would like additional front space to curl dumbbells.
It also has a maximum weight capacity of 650 lbs, and this is what sets it apart from the original 5.1. The 5.1 model can only sustain 480 lbs, which is 170 lbs less than this model.
It also folds up unlike the original 5.1, so if a folding bench is what you’re looking for, we would recommend the Bowflex 5.1s.
When it’s unfolded, the length of the Bowflex 5.1s is 28.1 inches by 49.5 inches when laid flat on the floor. When it’s folded flat, the bench is 24 inches off the ground.
At its widest, the backrest is 12 inches wide, and the is 15 inches across, making it a pretty wide seat!
The backrest has six adjustable angles, which is pretty normal for a weight bench. The particular angles are -20°, flat, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 90°.
You can also adjust the seat from totally flat to a slightly upward angle. This provides you with more stability for the steepest upright back positions.
If you don’t have a completely flat floor, don’t worry! As the 5.1s has adjustable feet, and each foot has its own gear that you can twist in or out to achieve a more level bench surface.
The transport wheels make transporting this bench around simple, despite being a heavy weight.
We also love how sturdy this bench’s frame is. While it is on the expensive side, the quality of this bench makes it very sturdy, particularly as it’s so durable. It’s also a pretty comfortable bench, with lots of padding where you need it.
There isn’t much to complain about with this bench, but there is a small gap between the backrest and the seat. When it’s at a 90° incline, the back is flush to the seat.
However, there are a couple of inches of space in the decline and flat positions.
The seat is also rather high off the ground, even when it’s flat. If your legs are on the shorter side, your feet may not quite touch the ground, although you may be able to find a step to rest your feet on.
- Sturdy, durable construction.
- Comfortable, wide seat.
- Adjustable feet make it perfect for those with an uneven floor.
- Comfortable and versatile leg holder.
- Transport wheels make it easy to move around.
- There is a small gap between the backrest and the seat.
- Even when the bench is flat the seat is rather high.
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Gymenist’s foldable exercise bench comes completely assembled! Yes, really! This is perfect for those of you who shudder at the thought of having to assemble this piece of equipment yourself.
The Gymenist is also a totally compact weight bench, and is able to fold up to half of its original volume.
When you’re not using it, it’s about the size of an acoustic guitar and has a durable carrying strap. You can store this bench either horizontally or vertically.
One of the best features of the Gymenist Exercise Bench is the additional back cushion. It attaches to the backrest with an elastic band that you can move up and down, or take off altogether.
The front of the cushion has a good arc for extra back support, so if you experience back pain you can place this cushion wherever it’s comfortable for you to take some pressure off your back.
The back cushion also gives you more control over the precise back angle. If you’re a fan of shoulder presses, it can give you extra bracing when the bench is in the upright position.
The open floor footprint is 54 by 17 inches, and the seat is 16 inches above the ground. When folded, it measures 34 by 17 inches and is 10 inches thick. The backrest is also 12 inches wide, and the seat is 14 inches across.
The entire bench weighs 27 lbs and has a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs. It also has the typical 6 back angles and an additional decline option.
It also has a removable leg holder and rotating end caps on the feet that can adjust the balance of the weight bench.
- Comes totally assembled.
- Great for lifters who suffer with back pain.
- Back cushion gives you extra control over the back angle.
- A very compact bench.
- This isn’t the most stable bench when doing exercises with a lot of weight.
- The upholstery of the bench can look a little cheap.
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You should always keep your fitness goals in mind when looking for a weight bench for your home gym. If you are lifting heavy weights, you may need a bench that has a higher weight capacity.
If your main goal is to save space, you will probably need a smaller, lighter bench. Let’s take a look at some of the key features you should keep an eye out for when shopping for a weight bench.
- Length: When your home/garage gym is small, obviously the shorter your bench is, the better.
- Width: When the bench is too narrow, lifting on it might be awkward.
- Foldable: These benches naturally save space.
- Warranty: Accidents can happen, and benches can even arrive damaged or defected, so having a good warranty gives you peace of mind that you can get a refund.
- Weight capacity: The higher the weight capacity, it’s likely more durable and sturdy.
We recommend avoiding benches that are too big, too heavy, are too short or too tall depending on your height, have foot pads that are too large or bases that get in the way of your feet, or have a weight capacity that is under 400 lbs.
Before you buy a weight bench for your home/garage gym, it’s important to do some research. The two key questions to ask yourself are:
What Do I Want To Use This Bench For?
It’s important to buy a bench with features that help you achieve your exercise goals. So if you want perfectly round pecs, you should buy a bench that has plenty of incline angles so you can work on your chest from a variety of positions.
If you would like to do sit-ups, you should go for a bench with a decline position and a leg holder. If you would like to use dumbbells, you should go for a bench that has a removable leg holder.
You should also consider whether you want to gain muscle mass or define your muscles. If you would like to focus on toning your body, a bench that has a lot of configurations and a low maximum weight capacity would be suitable.
However, if you want to bulk up, look for a bench with a high weight capacity and good stability.
Where Is It Going In My Home?
As well as fitting the available floor space, you should also make sure you have enough side room for chest flies.
If you have a barbell, the worst thing that can happen is your rep flow being disrupted by hitting a bed or a desk. Measure it out horizontally to the bench’s floor footprint to make sure everything fits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Build A Home Gym In Your Apartment?
Yes, you can! However, not all home gyms are going to be compact enough to fit in a small apartment.
After all, the last thing you want to do is order something online, only for it to arrive and realize it’s not going to fit, and you’ll have to get rid of your couch or your bed!
Although some benches might be comfortable to sleep on, we would advise against encountering this possible dilemma altogether by making sure the gym you’re planning is going to fit as comfortably as possible in your apartment.
How Long Should Your Weight Bench Be?
The average length of a weight bench is between 43 and 49 inches. If you are taller, we would recommend going for the longer weight benches.
To make sure the bench isn’t going to be too small for you, you can measure your torso and compare it to the length of the bench you want.
You also need to consider the dimensions of your apartment. While most of the benches on our list are made to be compact, you should still measure the space you’re putting your home gym in, just to be on the safe side.
Which Is Better For An Apartment? A Folding, Adjustable Weight Bench Or A Flat Bench?
If your home gym is in an apartment, we would recommend a folding and adjustable bench. An adjustable bench is more flexible, but a folding bench is easier to store when you’re not using it, so you can get the most out of the compact space.
Can You Get A Squat Rack In A Small Apartment?
Yes, you can get a squat rack in a small apartment but it’s important to get a squat rack that is designed to be compact enough to fit in an apartment (see also ‘How To Use A Squat Rack‘).
What Are The Best Weight Bench Exercises To Do At Home?
A good set of dumbbells and a weight bench is a match made in heaven! However, if you don’t want a lot of weight, you can also swap out dumbbells for DIY weights like water bottles filled with sand.
Why Should You Own An Adjustable Weight Bench?
- You can exercise on a variety of angles: Adjustable benches give you a wide variety of workout angles so you can properly train different muscles. A lot of workouts require positions that are not possible without a bench.
- Provides support: A weight bench provides stability and helps you maintain a straight posture, strengthening your lower back muscles and your core. This decreases the chances of injury while working out significantly, and helps you focus on certain muscles you’re trying to develop.
- Benches are multifunctional: An adjustable weight bench isn’t just for weight lifting! You can use a bench for calisthenics, core-strengthening, push-ups, and much more. Getting an adjustable weight bench for your home gym just opens up so many more workouts for you.
- Excellent for beginners: If you’re just starting out on your exercise journey, then you may be overwhelmed by how much you have to focus on at once to get a good workout. Adjustable weight benches allow beginners to focus their energy on learning and experimenting with new exercises without having to worry too much about maintaining the correct posture.