post Bowflex Workout Routine (2-Day Split for Full-Body Fitness)

Bowflex Workout Routine (2-Day Split for Full-Body Fitness)

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 22, 2024
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Home gyms are awesome because you can get a whole workout routine without leaving the house or starting a car on a rainy day.

However, the trick lies in creating a well-designed, functional, and effective workout routine when you only have one piece of equipment and a lack of space.

Based on my research, I created a perfect workout routine that covers the whole body, activates all major muscle groups, and helps develop strength and hypertrophy.

You will be ready to implement these two workouts in a week and create the perfect Bowflex workout routine.

Quick Summary

  • The best and most efficient Bowflex workout routine consists of a two-day split and focuses on hitting all major muscle groups, such as your chest, back, and leg muscles.
  • Some of the best exercises to incorporate into your Bowflex workout routine include bench press, shoulder press, leg press, leg curl, lat rows, reverse crunches, and rear delt rows.
  • According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, this Bowflex exercise develops the deltoid, upper pectoral, and trapezius muscles.
  • In my professional experience, the Bowflex provides an unparalleled combination of versatility and effectiveness for home workouts.

A Full Body Bowflex Workout

A woman using Bowflex for her workout routine

These are the two-day split workouts. They are also considered a full-body workout because you will hit your chest, back, shoulder, and leg muscles.

From my perspective, as an experienced personal trainer, you can’t make an efficient two-day split without completing a full-body workout each day.

It is impossible to cover all body muscles with only two weekly workouts and to avoid full-body workouts.

This is why I created an ultimate Bowflex workout routine with different lower and upper body exercises that cover the whole body.

"You need to feed all of your movement patterns a proper diet of the right exercises to get truly strong."

- Mike Dewar, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

Day “A”

A person doing workouts with bowflex equipment

Day “A” has upper body chest, back, shoulder exercises, and leg exercises towards the end of the workout.

The only thing missing is bodyweight exercises, which will be covered in the following “B” workout.

Before we start, as a fitness trainer, I always emphasize integrating dynamic stretching routines at the beginning to prepare your muscles and joints for the workout, enhancing flexibility and reducing the risk of injury.

With that out of the way, let's begin.

Bench Press

Bench press following a horizontal push movement pattern will build your pectoral, tricep, and anterior delt muscles.

I've seen this exercise transform clients' upper body strength.

How to Perform a Bench Press

  1. Lie on the flat bench and take Bowflex cables in both your hands.
  2. Start the exercise by pushing the cables toward the ceiling and stopping when your elbows reach the fully extended position.
  3. Hold for one second and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Now, to further enhance muscle growth, consider the timing of your protein intake.

Consuming protein-rich foods or supplements within 30 minutes after your workout can significantly aid in muscle recovery and growth.

Shoulder Press

A person doing shoulder press workout with bowflex workout

The shoulder press follows a vertical push movement pattern. According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, this Bowflex exercise develops the deltoid, upper pectoral, and trapezius muscles [1].

This can also be an easy at-home shoulder workout.

How to Perform a Shoulder Press

  1. Sit on the flat bench facing away from the Bowflex home gym.
  2. Take cables in both your hands and place them at shoulder level, with your elbows closing at an angle of 90 degrees.
  3. Start the exercise by pushing the cables toward the ceiling and stop when the elbows are fully extended.
  4. Hold for one second and return to the starting position.

Tricep Extension

Tricep extension will isolate your lateral and medial head if performed from the anatomical position.

According to studies published in the National Library of Medicine, it also works the long head if performed with your shoulder flexed at or more than 90 degrees [2].

How to Perform a Tricep Extension

  1. Assume a standing position facing away from Bowflex home gym.
  2. Take the rope workout equipment and flex your shoulder for 120 degrees towards the ceiling while flexing your elbows.
  3. The starting exercise position is facing away from the machines, both joints flexed, and you are holding the rope in your hands.
  4. Extend your elbows and push the rope in front and above your head until the elbows are fully extended.
  5. Hold for one second and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

French Press

A person doing french press workouts with bowflex equipment

French press is similar to the skull crusher exercise and will develop your tricep brachii.

How to perform a French Press

  1. Assume a lying position on the bench with your head closer and legs further away from the machine.
  2. Take the cable with both hands, flex your shoulders for 90 degrees, and extend the elbows so the cable is above your chest level.
  3. Start the exercise by flexing your elbows and moving the cable toward your eye level.
  4. When you reach above the head level, extend the elbows to return to the starting position.

Leg Press

The leg press is among the best Bowflex exercises for developing quadriceps muscles.

From my experience, clients who have added leg presses to their workouts have not only strengthened their quads but also improved their overall leg muscle balance and stability.

See also our article about leg press foot placement for more hip movement.

How to Perform a Leg Press

  1. Assume a sitting position on the Bowflex seat facing the machine.
  2. Place your legs on the pads and keep your hands free or crossed at your chest.
  3. Start the exercise by pulling yourself towards the machine by bending your hips, knees, and ankles.
  4. When you reach the bottom position, push back to return to the starting position.

Leg Curl

A person doing leg curls with bowflex workout

Leg curls are excellent for developing your biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus.

How to Perform a Leg Curl

  1. Assume a lying position on the stomach on the flat bench.
  2. Place your legs in the machine to prepare for the leg curl exercise.
  3. Start the exercise by curling your legs towards the glutes.
  4. When you reach maximum knee flexion, hold for one second and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
  5. Keep your back flat and avoid overextending your lumbar spine.

Straight Leg Calf Raise

Calf raises will develop your soleus and gastrocnemius.

Calf raises are often skipped and should be incorporated into most workout routines to support the holistic development of your lower body.

How to Perform a Straight-Leg Calf Raise

  1. Place a weight plate or anything with a similar height on the floor against the wall.
  2. Step with both your feet at the end of the weight plate so ¾ of your foot is unsupported and your ball of the foot is in contact with the plate.
  3. Start the exercise by lowering your heels toward the ground.
  4. When you reach the maximal dorsiflexion in your ankle joint, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Day “B”

A person doing lat pulldowns with bowflex equipment

Day “B” focuses more on the back and abdominal muscles.

"When you’re working out at home, you don’t have to deal with the potential drawbacks of commercial gym fitness life."

- Alex Polish, Certified Personal Trainer

Lat Rows

Lat rows will develop your latissimus dorsi, but your traps too.

Some of my clients have reported feeling more powerful and stable in their upper back after regularly performing lat rows, which is a testament to the effectiveness of this exercise.

How to Perform Lat Rows

  1. Assume a sitting position on the bench facing the Bowflex home gym machine.
  2. Start the exercise by rowing the bar attached to a cable towards your hip/torso angle.
  3. When you reach close to your stomach, reverse the motion and return to the starting position.

Close Grip Lat Pulldowns

A person doing a close grip lat pulldown with bowflex equipment

Close grip lat pulldowns make your lats thicker due to the narrower grip.

How to Perform Close Grip Lat Pulldowns

  1. Assume sitting on the bench and take a narrow and pronated grip on the lat pulldown bar.
  2. Start the exercise by pulling the bar until it reaches your collarbone.
  3. When the bar reaches your collarbone, hold for one second and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Rear Delt Rows

Exercises like rear delt rows are excellent for developing your rear deltoid and traps.

How to Perform Rear Delt Rows

  1. Assume a sitting position on the bench and take a pronated grip on the bar attachment.
  2. Start the exercise by rowing the bar towards the upper portion of your lower abdominal muscles.
  3. When you reach close to the stomach, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Standing Bicep Curls

A man holding dumbbells doing bicep curls

Standing biceps curls will develop your biceps brachii, brachialis, and brachioradialis muscles.

How to Perform Standing Bicep Curls

  1. Assume a standing position and hold the rope attachment in both your hands.
  2. Keep your hands in the anatomical position on the sides of your body.
  3. Start the exercise by flexing your elbows and pulling the rope towards your shoulders.
  4. Keep your shoulder joint fixed during the whole movement.
  5. When you reach maximal elbows flexion, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Reverse Grip Bicep Curls

Reverse or pronated grip bicep curls will focus on your biceps brachii and brachioradialis muscle.

How to Perform Reverse Grip Bicep Curls

  1. Assume a standing position and hold the bar attachment in the pronated/reverse grip with both hands.
  2. Keep your hands in the anatomical position on the sides of your body.
  3. Start the exercise by flexing your elbows and pulling the bar towards your shoulders.
  4. Keep your shoulder joint fixed during the whole movement to avoid additional compensatory movements.
  5. When you reach maximal elbows flexion, reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Back Extension

A person doing back extensions with Bowflex equipment

Back extensions are excellent for developing the strength of your lower back muscle, the erector spinae.

How to Perform Back Extensions

  1. Assume a lying position on the flat bench on your stomach.
  2. Keep your hands flexed at the level of your shoulder.
  3. Both elbows and shoulders are flexed at an angle of 90 degrees.
  4. Start the exercise by extending your torso and lifting it towards the ceiling.
  5. When you reach maximal extension, hold for one second and return to the starting position.

Resisted Crunch

Resisted crunches are effective for developing more abdominal muscle endurance and activating your rectus abdominis muscle.

How to Perform Resisted Crunches

  1. Assume a lying position on the back on the flat bench and keep your legs flexed.
  2. Hold one weight plate at your chest level.
  3. Start the exercise by lifting your torso towards the ceiling.
  4. When you reach the top position, hold for 1-second isometric contraction and return to the starting position.

Reverse Crunch

A woman doing reverse crunches at home

Reverse crunches are excellent for developing the lower fibers of the rectus abdominis.

I've observed clients who initially had weaker core strength make remarkable progress in their abdominal muscle tone and overall core stability by incorporating reverse crunches into their routines.

How to Perform Reverse Crunches

  1. Assume a lying position on your back on the flat bench.
  2. Keep your feet off the floor, and your hips and knees flexed.
  3. Arms are on the sides of the bench, providing sufficient support during the whole exercise.
  4. Start the exercise by pulling the legs towards your head and lifting the lumbar spine of the floor to necessitate the reverse crunch motion.
  5. This exercise is dynamic, and there shouldn’t be a stopping motion at the end portion of the movement.

Staying hydrated throughout your workout is essential. Adequate hydration can improve exercise performance, reduce fatigue, and aid in post-workout recovery.

FAQs

How Long Should You Workout on a Bowflex?

You should work out for at least 30-45 minutes on Bowflex. You can’t hit major muscles of your body without spending sufficient time working and resting between the sets to recover.

Can You Get a Good Workout on a Bowflex?

Yes, you can get a good workout on a Bowflex. Bowflex is an excellent machine representing an entire home gym that can be used to holistically develop all body muscles.

How Many Days a Week Should You Use a Bowflex?

You should use Bowflex at least two days a week. A two-day split is the bare minimum you should do to preserve your muscle mass, support your skeletal system, and build a minimum of muscle endurance.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590897/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136322/
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