A sit up bench seems to be exercise equipment that can be used for only one purpose, to make sit-ups. But, it is far more versatile than that. With the help of it, you can train not only your entire midsection but also several other muscle groups of your body.
Here are I’m going to show you some exercises you can do on the sit up bench.
But before the extra practices, check out the following video to learn how to perform the sit up on the bench correctly. I put it here because most of the people do it badly. Bad form can lead to injuries and no results.
1. Leg Raise for Lower Abs
The leg lift is one of the best moves to work your lower abs. The best is if you use a pull-up bar, but if you are a beginner, you may find it hard to perform it correctly. Hence, it is better to use the ab bench that helps to control the movement.
How to do it? Lie on the board and catch the handle bar of the bench. Then, lift your straight legs into a 90-degree position. Keep that position for 1-3 seconds and lower your legs slowly, and repeat.
If you find it hard to perform this move, you can bend your knees. Also, if you have an adjustable sit up bench, you can increase the resistance by setting the board into a higher position.
2. Hyperextension for Lower Back
The best equipment to strengthen your lower back is the Roman chair (hyperextension bench),
but you can use the ab board as well.
This exercise is the “opposite version” of the sit up. Lie on the board on your stomach, and put your feet or knees between the rollers to keep them secured. Then, put your hand around your nape or neck. Lift your upper body up as high as you can, and hold that position for 2-3 seconds. Then, slowly go back to the starting place.
Do not use the momentum when you lift your upper body up, but focus on your lower back. If you have lower back or spine problems, consult your doctor before.
3. Incline and Decline Dumbbell Press
Both of them are excellent exercises to strengthen and tone your chest muscles both for men and women.
However, if you want to use heavy weights, you should use a bench that has a high weight limit such as Fitness Reality X-Class Workout Bench that can also be used for barbell bench presses.
The incline dumbbell bench press is better for the upper part of the chest muscles. You can check out the tutorial below.
The decline version is an excellent move to focus on the lower part of the pecs. Watch the video below to learn how to do it correctly.
4. Russian Twist for the Oblique
This exercise works all your core muscles from the lower back to the external obliques.
I like doing this exercise on the sit up bench instead of the floor because it is more comfortable fo my tailbone thanks to the thick cushion of the board. Plus, because my feet are fixed between the rollers, I can focus more on the core muscles, and I can add extra resistance by setting the board to a higher angle.
This activity starts with the sit up position on the bench. Rotate your left elbow towards your right knee and vice versa. During the move keep your back straight and your core tight. You can use a medicine ball or a dumbbell for extra resistance.
5. Crunches for Upper Abs
When you do sit-ups, the range of motion is higher. And if you do crunches the motion will be shorter, but you can focus more on your upper abs.
On the bench, the processes of doing crunches is the same as if you do them on the floor, but since the board is in a decline position, it is going to be harder to perform. As a result, it works your abdominal muscles better.
If you are a pro, you can use a weight plate on your chest for even more resistance.
6. Side Leg Lift
This exercise focuses on your oblique. But instead of lifting your legs vertically in a straight position, you turn your hip a little bit inward so that you can concentrate more on those side abdominal muscles.
7. Push Ups for Newbies
Push up is the most important bodyweight exercise for the upper body, but if you are a beginner or severely overweight, you may find it hard to perform it correctly.
By setting the adjustable bench into an incline position and placing your hand on the upper part of it, the movement will be much easier. So, it is going to be a good start to get used to the push ups.
8. One Arm Dumbbell Row for Back Muscles
Typically, we do this exercise on a flat bench, but it can be done on the ab board as well. It is excellent for working the lats. However, if you do it on an incline board, you can focus more on the rear parts of your shoulders. More about dumbbell rows here.
While a sit up bench seems to be simple home gym equipment, it is very versatile. A quality adjustable ab bench can be used in several ways. On top of that, it is still one of the best equipment to get strong abs.
Do you do other sit up bench exercises? Share with us below.