Bowflex makes several different models of its home gym. Each model has the same basic cable setup, but each one offers different exercise options. A basic Bowflex home gym, such as the Classic, only offers around 30 different exercises, but a higher-end model, such as the Ultimate 2, offers almost 100 exercises.
Bowflex Exercise Charts
The manual for each Bowflex home gym includes an exercise chart. The chart outlines vital information about each exercise, including muscles worked, bench position and required accessories. Every exercise includes one or two pictures depicting a person executing the movement. A word description lists each step of the exercise and a tip section provides extra information about proper form and technique. The exercises are divided into sections by body part: legs, arms, chest, back, shoulders and abdominals.
The basic Bowflex machines have an upright seat, a lat tower and a leg developer. For your chest and back, perform seated chest presses, chest flyes, seated rows, bent over rows, and lat pulldowns. Target your arm muscles with biceps curls and triceps extensions. With the leg developer attachment, do seated leg extensions and standing single-leg leg curls. Use the low pulley cable to do hip extensions, dead lifts and squats. Work your shoulders with seated shoulder presses, lateral raises and shrugs. Abdominal exercises include the seated crunch and trunk rotation.
The Bowflex full bench models offer more exercise options because you can lie prone or supine on the bench to do lying exercises, instead of just seated exercises. Perform lying chest presses and flies in a flat, incline or decline position. Lie flat and do resisted crunches or reverse crunches. For a different feel to your arm exercises, do your bicep curls and triceps extensions in a lying position. The full bench also has a sliding seat for you to do the leg press exercise or an aerobic rowing movement.
Several optional accessories are available for Bowflex home gyms that expand your exercise choices. The preacher curl pad allows you to do supported preacher bicep curls. The ab accessory turns your Bowflex machine into a commercial ab machine. It is a bar that attaches to the cable system. Hold the bar in front of your chest and crunch forward against the resistance. The Bowflex T-bar allows you to use a close grip on various upper body exercises, such as bicep curls, shoulder presses and triceps extensions.