How Much Space Do You Need for a Weight Bench?

A simple workout bench allows you to perform dumbbell presses.

A simple workout bench allows you to perform dumbbell presses.

A weight bench at home provides you with a convenient way to work out -- but without ample room, you may not get the most out of your equipment. Ideally you have a dedicated exercise room in your Nest, or at least an open area in a garage, basement or bonus room. Sometimes blocking off your workout area isn’t an option, so getting the right equipment and setting aside the necessary area becomes paramount.

Bench Options

A multi-adjustable bench provides a solid choice for your at-home workout room because of its ability to go from a standard flat bench to an incline position or an upright sitting position. These benches supply two separate pads which allow for multiple exercises from the standard dumbbell chest press at 0 degrees -- flat -- to the 90-degree dumbbell shoulder press. The handle adjustments allow you to quickly adjust the bench to the appropriate position for your next set. A large version of this bench is 52 inches long by 22 inches tall and 19 inches wide. A non-adjustable bench is also an adequate choice. This bench lies flat and provides a sturdy surface for exercising, no adjustments can be made. These benches -- at 50 inches long-- take up slightly less room than adjustable benches. The Olympic flat bench is also an option but requires a barbell and weight plates. This flat bench does not offer adjustments but has a barbell rack for easy loading and unloading of plates. This bench takes up the most room at 52 inches long by 50 inches tall and 50 inches wide.

Bench Space

Aside from the physical bench taking up space, you need room to move to perform the exercises on the bench. Since the wingspan of your arms is very close to your height, an average female at 5 foot 4 will require 5 feet and 4 inches width on a weight bench. Simply based on the average female using an adjustable or non-adjustable bench, the minimum amount of space you need is an area 6 feet square. For an Olympic flat bench, the minimum amount of space you need is 6 feet long by 10 feet wide -- given that your barbell is 9 feet long.

Accessories

Any good weight bench requires dumbbells. The average dumbbell rack is horizontal and arranged from lowest weight to heaviest. Retailers also offer dumbbell racks arranged vertically that require less space than the horizontal version. These vertical racks normally hold dumbbell sets weighing between 6 and 30 pounds, while tiered horizontal racks can hold dumbbells sets weighing 5 to 100 pounds or more. One version of this vertical rack is 20 inches long by 20 inches wide and 45 inches tall -- while the standard horizontal rack is 90 inches long by 16 inches wide. The Olympic flat bench will require more room for the barbell and the plates to accompany it. The women's Olympic barbell is about 8 feet long, so you will require at least 10 feet to work out comfortably. The required plates will take up another 3 to 4 square feet of space based on the style of rack for storage.

Total Area

Not all workouts will be on the bench so adding room for squats and lunges is necessary. Adding an extra 5 feet 4 inches -- average female height -- or more if you are taller to your area should suffice. The minimum amount of room for your workout area while using an adjustable bench or non-adjustable bench -- with a vertical dumbbell rack -- thus comes out to about 10 feet by 10 feet, and the minimum for an Olympic bench press -- with a plate rack -- is 12 feet wide by 10 feet long. The American Council on Exercise provides a guideline of 20 to 50 square feet on your Nest gym. When this amount of space simply isn't available, you just have to make do.

 

About the Author

Timothy Owens has been in the fitness and wellness industry since 2000. He holds a Master of Arts in physical education: sport and exercise science from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and is a certified personal trainer through the National Council on Strength & Fitness. Owens worked as a exercise physiologist and personal trainer for eight years until moving into recreation administration and management.

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