Having previously detailed forgotten physical culture devices like the Iron Boots and the Swingbell, the time has come to discuss another treasure from bodybuilding’s past, namely the ‘half moon bench’.
Promoted heavily by the Dan Lurie Barbell Company during the sixties and seventies, the “Half-Moon” or “Round Bench” promised to stretch the ligaments and cartilage around the rib cage thereby causing greater chest expansion. The exercises needed for such anatomical manipulation were the old reliables, pullovers and dumbbell flies.
With the focus on chest and ribcage expansion, the half moon bench harked back to previous physical culture routines such as the 20-rep squat method which sought to use high rep squatting and barbell pullovers to increase the size of the ribcage.
Interesting the ‘Half Moon’ bench came in two options, the regular model and the heavy duty model. This was standard practice for the Dan Lurie Barbell Company.
How popular and prevalent the Half Moon bench was is difficult to ascertain. Those who used it often swear by its usefulness while others view it as a relic from a bygone era. Nevertheless, strength trainees of a certain age would be familiar with the bench owing to Lurie’s heavy advertising during the sixties and seventies.
While it’s doubtful the bench will be making a return, in a world of shake-weights anything is possible!