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Free Weight Accessories

Free Weight Accessories
Free Weight Accessories for strength training

Apart from the resistance component of strength training with free weights, many exercises require various benches and racks to support weight lifters and free weights.  Here are some of the common accessories which every fitness lover should be aware of before starting his fitness regime:

Weight Benches

Many types of benches are used along with free weights which are specifically designed for various barbell exercises. These weight benches have supports for barbells to allow the user to easily rack the barbell at the end of the set.

Following are some common types of weight benches available in Indian Gyms:

1. Bench-press bench – A horizontal bench with vertical barbell support.

Flat Bench Press Bench
Bench Press Bench
2. Incline Bench-press bench – A bench that is angled at about 35 to 45 degree from the floor so that when a lifter sits on it the head is higher than hips. The bench has vertical barbell supports and a step platform for a spotter to support during the exercise.

Incline Bench-press bench for strength training
Incline Bench-press bench
3. Decline Bench-press bench – A bench that angles down about 30 to 40 degrees so that the head is lower than the feet. It has vertical barbell support as well.

Decline Bench-press bench for strength training
Decline Bench-press bench
4. Shoulder press bench – A bench that has a padded seat and a vertical back seat so as to provide vertical torso during shoulder press exercise. The bench is welded to a steel structure that has vertical barbell support that sits behind the users head. So users can easily lift the barbell set and rack it back without stressing shoulder joints.

Shoulder press bench for strength training
Shoulder press bench
5. Preacher bench – A bench that has a seat and a padded armrest that is angled at about 45 degrees to the floor and set in front of the lifter. The barbell support is in the front of the armrest. The user sits on the seat with upper arms supported on the armrest and performs biceps curl.

Preacher bench for strength training
Preacher bench

Free-Standing Benches

Some benches do not have barbell support as they are mainly used with dumbbells. These benches just have the padded bench and the leg support and are of following types:

1. Flat Bench – A fixed horizontal bench that us used for seated or lying exercise such as dumbbell press or dumbbell curl.

Flat Bench for strength training
Flat Bench
2. Adjustable-Incline Bench – A bench that allows angle of the bench to be adjusted from horizontal to vertical with various fix points in between.

Adjustable Incline Bench for strength training
Adjustable Incline Bench
3. Adjustable-Decline Bench – A bench that angles down at varying degrees so that the head is lower than the feet.

Adjustable-Decline Bench for strength training
Adjustable-Decline Bench
4. Low-Back bench – A bench that has a short horizontal seat and a low vertical back pad to support the back during various exercises.

Low-Back bench for weight training
Low-Back bench

Weight Rack

A rack that supports a barbell to allow the lifter to grab it from a variety of positions. Here are some of the weight racks commonly found in Gyms across India:

1. Power Rack – This is one of the safest weight racks that made of four vertical steel beams to create a cage that is normally five feet long, five feet wide and about seven feet tall. The vertical beams have holes drilled into them every one to two inches from top to bottom. The holes allow the barbell hooks to be adjusted as per the user’s height. The holes are also fitted with safety bars that can be used to catch the barbell in case a lifter fails to lift the weight.

Power Rack for strength training
Power Rack
2. Squat Rack – It’s a steel structure that has barbell hooks at different heights so lifters of various heights can easily unrack the barbell to perform squat or any other standing exercise. Some squat racks have two horizontal beams that run parallel to each other in front of the squat rack, these parallel beams act as safety bars for the squat rack.

Squat Rack for strength training
Squat Rack