Top 8 Sit Up Bench Exercises You May Not Know

Ab benches seem to be exercise equipment that can be used for only one purpose, to perform decline 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 powerful sit up bench exercises.

But before the extra practices, check out the following video to learn how to use an ab bench correctly. I put it here because most of the people do it poorly. Bad form can lead to injuries and no results.



1. Leg Raise for Lower Abs

sit up bench exercises

Who else wants to build V-cut midsection?

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 incline ab bench that helps to control the movement.

How to do it?

Lie on the bench and catch the handlebar. Then, lift your straight legs into a 90-degree. 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 angle into a higher position.

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Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench
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2. Hyperextension for Lower Back

back extension on ab bench


The best equipment to strengthen your lower back and muscles by your spine is the Roman chair (hyperextension bench),
but you can use the ab workout bench as well.

This exercise is the “opposite version” of the decline bench sit ups.

You start by lying on the bench 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 as high as you can and hold it for 2-3 seconds. Then, slowly go back to the starting place.

Do not use the momentum when you lift your upper body, but focus on your lower back.


If you have lower back or spine problems, consult your doctor before.

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Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench
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3. Incline and Decline Dumbbell Press

Both of them are excellent decline ab bench exercises to strengthen and tone your chest muscles both for men and women.

However, if you want to use heavy weights, you should use commercial sit up equipment 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 performing this exercise on the incline sit up bench instead of the floor because it is more comfortable fo my tailbone thanks to the thick cushion. 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 backrest to a higher angle.

This activity starts with the sit up position on the ab 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.


Decline Russian twist on the ab workout bench


5. Crunches for Upper Abs

When you do sit-ups, the range of motion is higher. And if you do crunches, the move will be shorter, but you can focus more on your upper abs.

On the bench, the processes of doing crunches are the same as if you do them on the floor, but since the back pad is in a decline angle, 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. Learn more about weighted sit ups for abs.

6. Side Leg Lift

Do you hate Russian twists? Here is an alternative!

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.

side leg lifts

How to use ab bench for an oblique workout


7. Push-Ups for Newbies

Push up is an essential 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 an excellent start to get used to the push-ups.

8. One Arm Dumbbell Row for Back Muscles

dumbbell row

What if you could strengthen your back muscles as well?

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.

An example ab bench workout

What is a good ab workout?

That works all the muscles of your core and matches your fitness level. To simply put, you do at least one exercise for your lower and upper abs, obliques, and lower back. The number of sets is a minimum of 3 and the reps at least 10.

Let me give you an example routine that is suitable for someone who has been working out for some time now.

Do 3 rounds of the following exercises.

  • 15 decline sit ups
  • 15 back extension
  • 20 leg lifts
  • 20 Russian twist for both sides.

If you find this routine easy, you can add one or two exercises, increase the number of reps, sets, and rounds.


While a decline sit up bench seems to be simple home gym equipment that is only good for abdominal exercises, but 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.

Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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