Weight Bench Exercises for Core
We’ve all aspired to have a jaw-dropping core at some point in our lives.
For some, it’s the compliments you’ll receive, while for others it’s been a long held goal.
Well, by the end of this article you’ll know how to get started to turn that aspiration into reality. It’s hard work but there is a huge payoff – and you’ll find yourself much better equipped to handle everyday tasks (not to mention you’ll do them with relative ease).
Weight Bench Exercises for Core- What’s In a Core?
Your core is one of the most useful muscles in your body – it helps keep you upright, helps you lift objects, and even helps you tie your shoes! In fact, in an article published by the Harvard Medical School titled “The real-world benefits of strengthening your core”, they mention that a strong core can really help out with on-the-job tasks that involve lifting, twisting and standing.
And if you’re sitting for hours on end then don’t think that your back is taking all the workload!
Oh, and if you’re going to be playing any kind of sports soon (like basketball, tennis, baseball or swimming) with your friends or family then you can train your core and gain an edge (don’t worry, your secret is safe with us!).
Let’s now take a look at what exercises you can perform to gain (and maintain) that edge.
Weight Bench Exercises for Core – Exercises
1. Straight Leg Raises
Alright, let’s get started with the first of our weight bench exercises for core – Straight Leg Raises. You don’t need any fancy equipment – just your weight bench and your own body!
You’ll want to start lying flat on your back with your bottom just touching the end of the weight bench. Then, extend your arms backwards so as to grip the bench in a reverse-grip like fashion. Now, extend your legs in a straight fashion while elevating them all the way up so that you engage your core.
Make sure that your legs don’t go down all the way to the floor after the first “lift-up”. Keep the 90 degree angle of motion in the air entirely!
2. Hip Lift
The hip lift changes your starting and ending position but still keeps you on your back.
The first step involves lying on your back, with your hands planted firmly on the bench – remember you’re not going to be gripping anything here so palms down folks!
Next, you want to start off with your legs in an upright position. Now, use your core to extend those legs back to a 30 or 45 degree angle (what you’re comfortable with). You’ll notice that your lower back might lift off the ground a bit – that’s completely normal. Since you’re extending those legs backwards, your posterior is bound to rise as well!
3. Seated Ab Crunch
The Seated Ab Crunch is a twist on the crunches that you do lying down. Note that it can pack a mean punch, so don’t underestimate it!
To get started, you’ll want to make a 45 degree angle with your body and extend your legs in the position to the floor (so that they are just above the floor). Now, with your arms slightly gripping the bench for balance – do some good ol’ crunches!
You should feel your core tightening up as you go from one rep to the next. That means it’s working (haha)! Just ensure that you don’t extend your posture to far back as that could mean you’ll rely more on your arms and back – and even then it can be unnecessarily strenuous.
4. Bench Walk-Ups
This is a pretty simple exercise that you can actually do anywhere, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll consider you’re doing it on a weight bench.
You want to start off in a push-up ready position while ensuring that you’re facing the wider side of your weight bench. Then, instead of going up, you’ll want to go upwards and place your hands on the weight bench (think of it like you’re doing half-burpees).
If this sounds easy to you then I urge you to do some reps continuously. Simplicity can be just as daunting as complexity sometimes!
5. Bench Wipers
You’ll be washing off some fat with the help of the bench wipers and getting in good shape in no time.
To get started, lie down with your back against the weight bench.
Now, you have two options depending on the type of bench you have. If your bench has a vertical structure for barbells, then you’ll want to grip the sides of that. If not, then simply grip the sides of the bench.
With the grip out of the way, you can now focus on your core. Raise your legs till they are a good 45 to 60 degrees above your core. Once they are you want to rotate from side to side – like a car wiper. It’s due to this rotational motion that you’ll need the grip.
It’s a great exercise to end your core workout with as it can help bring some motion into that area instead of the usual compress and decompress actions.
6. Bonus: Oblique Bench Side Plank Crunch
We’ll be combining two weight bench exercises for core in this one: planks and crunches, so get ready! Start off with your body angled at a 45 degree angle against the weight bench so that only one arm is balancing your entire body while your legs are planted firmly at a 45 degree angle (the arm’s position is like when you’re doing a plank).
Now, do some crunches in mid-air and be sure to bring in (and out) your neck as well. Since you’re straining your body at an angle you really want to take care of your neck and spine. Have a buddy make sure you’re practicing the right posture if you’re feeling unsure.
Okay, we’ve actually gone through a good selection of the best weight bench exercises for core that should improve your strength while keeping ensuring that the program doesn’t get repetitive.
What are you waiting for? Go dunk on some folks and score points for the home team!
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Hey I’m Patrick!
I built my first home gym in 2012, when I decided I was tired of waiting in line for the squat rack and I started GGC in 2020 to help people find the info they need to improve their fitness and their lives.
I’m passionate about fitness, especially when it comes to working out at home. I’ve learned a lot over the years about what to do and what not to do, and my mission is to share that knowledge with the world!