T Nation

Benching on a Low Bench


Hey everyone.

I moved recently, so I also had to switch gym. This new gym where I am has one of those really low benches. I'm used to using a higher bench, where I could make a pretty good arch and firmly plant my feet on the ground, but with this one I just don't have the necessary height to push my feet and arch. Does anyone have good advice on how to bench in a low one? Thanks.


You just have to get used to it. Seems like comp benches are a little lower than most commercial ones. Might not be bad to get used to.


Yeah, I'll probably just have to get used to it... I tried to use my feet in a forward position, but having never tried that, couldn't really feel it... also I felt I was sliding on the bench, pushing my feet like taht.


Most commercial gyms have the low benches and they are all miserable to properly bench on. I don't even know why the equipment manufacturers started making them that way. You could try rolling a dumbbell bench into a power rack. They are usually the right height or high by an inch or two. Or if the bench isn't bolted down, put a 10 or 25lb plate under each support, although this can get dicey.


The benches are all the same height, and the main bench is bolted, so it's a no-no... thanks for the sugestions though. I have thought of maybe putting a low aerobics step on top of the bench, but that probably wouldn't work well, and I would end up winning some kind of darwin award....


Low benches are really f*cked up. We also have a very low one in the gym, hammer strength. Can't get a good position whatever I try. What is the height of a competition bench anyway?


42-45 cm (16.5-@18")seems to be the accepted standard.


I don't understand anything that goes on in the 'fitness industry.'

Who the fuck decided to change the knurling and location of rings on an oly bar? These standards are old as dirt yet most commercial gyms have these shitty bars where the rings are a full hand width narrower than a traditional bar and the knurling starts closer to the center.

I carry a tailor's tape and permanent marker in my gym bag and will measure and mark a bar when I get in this situation.




The hammer strength is only 38-39 cm high I think. What a difference


Could you put a bench in a power rack? Or are the adjustable ones low as well?


The 'loose' benches are the same shit.

Very soon I won't be benching in the gym anymore. I'm building a small bench training gym so I can:
bench on the right height
utilize bands,chains, boards
no one bullshits me about setting up or taking too long to bench.
I won't have to sneak in chalk for benching

For the topic starter
If you feel like the height is really holding your bench down because you can't use your technique right:
look for an alternative gym


Not many gym options around me. I'll probably just think positive, as in "if I can bench X in this shitty bench, then I'll be able to bench X+10 kgs in a real bench." Don't know if it works in practice as well as it seems to work in theory, but I'm still just a "powerlifter wannabe" so no big harm done.


Yeah the hammer strength benches suck ass.

I used to put a bumper plate under each of the legs to build it up to a decent height.


I've thought about doing the aerobic step on the bench too, but it's too wide, you won't be able to descend properly. I've also put 25lb plates on the bench to lay on and I do NOT recommend that!


If the bench isnt bolted down, you can put plates under the bench.