Top 10 Sit Up Bench Exercises You May Not Know

Some would say that ab benches have their sole purpose: for declined sit-up workouts. But it is not.

In fact, ab benches are considered a versatile platform because it targets different muscle groups in your body.

One of the most powerful workouts you can do with a bench is the sit up bench exercises.

Check out the following video to learn how to use an ab bench correctly. You will need to learn the basics to avoid the same mistakes newbies did, resulting in injuries and low results.

 1. Leg Raise for Lower Abs

Who else wants to build V-cut midsection?

The leg raise is one of the best moves to work your lower abs, which works best in a pull-up bar.

If you are a newbie, you may find it hard to perform a leg raise correctly. Hence, it is better to use the incline ab bench that helps you control your movements.

So, how to do a leg raise effectively?

  1. Lie on the bench and hold the handlebar.
  2. Lift your legs straight until they reach a 90-degree angle.
  3. Keep that position for 1-3 seconds then lower your legs slowly. Repeat as needed.

If you find it hard to perform this move, you can bend your knees.

Meanwhile, you can adjust the resistance by setting the bench press’ angle into a higher position.

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 2. Hyperextension for Lower Back

Fact: 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 called the “opposite version” of the decline bench sit-ups.

To do hyperextension exercise, you need to:

  1. 1Start by lying on the bench on your stomach and put your feet or knees between the rollers.
  2. 2Make sure that your feet or knees are secured.
  3. 3Put your hand around your nape or neck. Lift your upper body as high as you can and hold it for 2-3 seconds.
  4. 4Go back slowly to your starting place. Keep that position for 1-3 seconds, then lower your legs slowly.
  5. 5Repeat as needed.

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

Warning: If you have lower back or spine problems, consult your doctor before trying this workout.

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 3. Incline and Decline Dumbbell Press

Incline and decline dumbbell bench press are excellent workouts that strengthen and tone your chest muscles. This exercise works for both men and women.

If you want to use heavyweights, you should use commercial sit up equipment that has a high weight limit. An example of this machine is the 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.

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Fitness Reality X-Class Extension Bench
Target lower back muscles with incredible back extensions and forward lower back stretching with bench in flat and decline positions.

 4. Russian Twist for the Oblique

The Russian Twist exercise targets all your core muscles, from your lower back to the external obliques.

I like performing this exercise on an inclined sit-up bench instead of the floor because it is more comfortable for my tailbone, thanks to the bench’s thick cushion.

Since your feet are fixed between the rollers, you can focus more on the core muscles. You can add extra resistance by setting the backrest to a higher angle.

To do Russian Twist correctly,

  1. 1Start with a sit-up position on the ab bench.
  2. 2Rotate your left elbow towards your right knee and vice versa.
  3. 3Keep your back straight and your core tight while doing the exercise.
  4. 4You can use a medicine ball or a dumbbell for extra resistance.
  5. 5Repeat as needed.
Finer Form Multi-Functional Weight Bench
Designed for multiple workouts, targets most major muscle groups, shape your abs, back, chest, glutes, hamstrings, and core.

 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 process of ab crunches is the same as doing them on a floor.

But since the back pad is at a declined angle, it is going to be harder to perform. Thus, working your abdominal muscles better.

If you are a pro, you can use a weight plate on your chest for added resistance. Learn more about weighted sit-ups for abs.

 6. Side Leg Lifts

Do you hate Russian Twists? Side leg lift exercise is a great 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.

 7. Push-Ups for Newbies

Push-up is an essential bodyweight exercise for the upper body.

If you are a newbie or severely overweight, you may find standard push-ups hard to perform correctly.

By setting the adjustable bench into an inclined position and placing your hand on the upper part, your moves will be much easier. So, it is going to be an excellent start to get used to push-ups.

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 8. One-Arm Dumbbell Row for Back Muscles

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.

The one-arm dumbbell row is an excellent exercise for working your lats. However, if you do it on an incline board, you focus more on the rear parts of your shoulders. More about dumbbell rows here.

9. Decline Sit Ups

Ab benches are best known for this type of exercise. When doing decline sit ups, the bench positions your body at an angle so that it’s lower than your hips and thighs. With this position, your body is forced to work harder because you have to work against gravity and through a wider range of motion.

Decline sit ups are an effective exercise to add to your fitness routine. They not only improve your core strength but also prevent injury and help to stabilize your body. These benefits can ultimately have a positive impact on your fitness routine and daily physical activities. They can make it easier to twist, bend, and extend your body.

You can choose to do decline sit ups with or without weights, it’s all up to you. Using weights will increase resistance and engage more muscles.

To do decline sit ups without weights:

  • Sit on the ab bench with bent knees and place your feet under the padded bar.
  • Cross your arms over your chest, or otherwise, interlock your fingers around the base of your skull.
  • Lift your torso up and bring your chest to your thighs.
  • Pause in this position for a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the steps for the number of sets you desire.

To do decline sit ups with weights:

  • Sit on the bench with bent knees, and place your feet under the padded bar.
  • Hold a dumbbell, a weight plate, or a medicine ball above your head or across your chest.
  • Raise your torso and bring your chest to your thighs.
  • Pause for a few seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the steps for the number of sets you desire.

Decline sit-ups work the core muscles around the torso, thighs, and pelvis and also increase spinal flexion. They also strengthen the back, chest, and hip flexors. The movement of decline sit ups allows your hips, core, and low back to work together to improve balance, stability, and posture.

Watch how to do this in the video below:

10. Decline Bench Butt Lifts

The ab bench is a good way for you to do decline bench butt lifts. These majorly work your glutes as well as partially strengthen your core. The exercise is quite simple and anyone can do it. To do this exercise on a bench follow these steps:

  • Grab the bench right behind your ears and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Proceed to thrust your legs outward and lift your butt off the bench as high as you can go.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the process.

Watch how to do this in the video below:

 Example of a Sit Up Bench Exercises Plan

What is a good ab workout?

A good ab workout works all the muscles of your core and matches your fitness level.

Putting it simply, you need 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 would be at least 10.

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

 Conclusion

Most users observe a sit-up bench a simple home gym equipment, however, it is more than that.

Ab benches offer versatility, as you can do many workouts in several ways. It can even cater to your fitness needs when it comes to strengthening and toning your abs and core muscles.

Do you do other sit up bench exercises? Share with us below!

Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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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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