The Ultimate Guide to Sit Up Benches

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So, you want to know what is the best sit up bench is.

Well, it is hard to tell since I don't know you!

What is your budget? What's your fitness level? Are you tall or short? Do you need a multipurpose bench, letting you have more types of strength training exercises?

And, these are just a few questions that you need to be able to answer to find the most suitable decline ab bench for you! An item that serves your fitness goals for a long time.

Within this guide, you will learn everything about sit up benches, so in the end, you have the knowledge that is required to choose the most beneficial piece for you.

What you will learn here?

Don't you want to learn? Just need quick shopping advice?

#1st Rated Ab Bench
XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench

XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench

Get the Xmark 12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench if your main goal is strengthening your abs.

#2nd Multi Bench
Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench

Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Abdominal/Back Extension Bench

Do you need a multi exercise bench for full strength training? Then get the Fitness Reality bench, which is the most versatile piece of exercise bench for home.

What to Consider When Buying

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Shopping

  • Is the maximum weight limit enough for me?
  • Is it long enough for my height?
  • Does it provide enough resistance for my ab workout? Are the adjustments suitable for my fitness goals?
  • Will I have enough space to use and store it? Do I need a foldable bench?
  • Do I want to use it only for ab training, or I need a more versatile workout bench for strength training?
  • Is it suitable for my level of fitness? (If you are an advanced athlete, you need advanced workout equipment).

Types of Ab Workout Benches

Adjustable

ab workout bench adjustments

How to adjust sit up bench

They have an adjustable backrest that you set into different levels. Usually, we can choose from 6-8 settings, but better products have 10-12. The settings are somewhere between 10 to 50 degrees.

The main benefit of this type is that you can choose the optimal difficulty for your ab workout. Also, in the long run, it will support your development as you can switch to more difficult degrees from time to time. The best choice if your main goal is to strengthen your abs.

Non-adjustable

not adjustable

As the name suggests, this sort of ab bench comes with a fixed backrest. Hence, you have to train at the same level of resistance all the time. This type costs less, but the least versatile.

Multi-workout benches

multi workout bench

You will see from the reviews below that there are benches with additional functions.

A sit up hyperextension bench features 45 degrees back extension and sit up sections. This way, you can have a more complete core training targeting your entire midsection and even your hams and glutes. The downside of this type is that they support only a few levels for decline bench sit ups.

Other benches - for example, the Fitness Reality Bench - can be used as a weight bench for weight lifting.

How is that possible?

You can set the back pad into flat and decline positions to do such exercises like the bench press. Also, they have a high maximum weight capacity (over 600 pounds) thanks to a robust steel structure.

Of course, multi-purpose benches are more pricey, but they substituted multiple pieces of exercise equipment.


Essential features of decline sit up bench

The size of the board

Most of the benches are made for people who have average height. However, if you are taller than average, you should look for a board with an extended backrest. A short board is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous if your head hits the floor. So, check the size carefully.

The used materials for the frame

Most of the sit up benches are made from heavy-duty steel, so their weight capacity is rather high about 250-300 lbs. That is enough for most of the users. However, if you want to use it as a weight bench, higher capacity is required. Obviously, those more robust ab machines are a bit more expensive, but they are more versatile and gym-quality machines.

The cushion of the board

The thickness of the cushioning is a major factor. If it is not thick enough, it may hurt your back, but the too thick cushion is also not very comfortable. I think 2-3 inch thick foam padding is sufficient.

The number of adjustments

To tell the truth, I do not recommend that equipment that is not adjustable. Sooner or later, you get used to the same training, and you will not be able to give the resistance for your abdominal muscles to grow. So, get an adjustable bench that comes with at least 4 levels, but the more, the better.


Common Problems

Wobbling

Minimal wobbling is inevitable, but it should not be too much.

Tilting and moving can happen for three reasons:

  • You place the bench on an uneven floor. An easy solution is placing a thick rubber mat under it. That usually solves the problem.
  • The other reason is the poor assembly. Check if all the bolts are tight, and all the parts are the right place.
  • The third reasons come from the structure of the product. For instance, the stabilizers are not wide enough, so the bench swings to sides. Or, the equipment is too lightweight.

Assembly

Typically, you do not have to an expert to put a sit up bench together, but the devil never sleeps. It is not rare that a bolt, a washer, a nut, or another tiny part is missing. Also, do not forget you need at least an adjustable wrench and screwdriver for assembly.

Quick advice: Only tighten the bolts totally when you are ready with the assembly.


Price

The price of an ab workout bench depends on various factors.

A heavy-duty, commercial sit up bench with solid steel construction obviously costs more than a lightweight piece you can get at your local store.

The thickness and durability of the board, the number of adjustments, and the additional functions each mean extra cost.

I'm sure you have heard a million times that what you pay is what you get, but it is true. I know it from my experience. My first adjustable sit up bench was about 30 bucks. After 2 months of painful usage, it found itself in the garbage container.

A reliable item is at least 100 dollars.


Brands

Xmark Fitness: This manufacturer has adjustable benches with the most levels. Their high-end ab bench Xmark XM-4416 has 12. These items are comfortable and give excellent training experience.

Fitness Reality: They have one product, the Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench, which is my personal favorite. Excellent bench for a home gym where size matters.

Sunny Health & Fitness: This manufacturer makes affordable benches with simple features. However, customer reviews are excellent.

Stamina: Their Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench is a top-rated home exercise equipment among ladies.

Marcy: Their Utility Slant Board is the cheapest option, but users like it. I only recommend it for beginners.


Best Ab Bench Reviews

1. XMark Fitness XM-4416.1 - The Best Adjustable Sit Up Bench

Considering the price, the functions, the design and the user experience, this model is my favorite one.

This Xmark adjustable ab bench comes with 12 adjustments making it an optimal choice for anyone. The lowest level is useful for beginners, while the highest ones provide enough resistance for even pro users. The levels can be easily set with the help of the lockable pop pin.

Also, this machine is designed in such an ergonomic way that it reduces back strain. It comes with unique, ergonomically positioned leg rollers and the board itself is thickly padded for extra lower back comfort.

Another useful feature is the support handle that helps you to get on and off. The reverse crunch handle especially useful for beginners for mounting and dismounting.

Features & Specs

  • 2,5 inches high-density cushion
  • 12 levels of resistance
  • Durable Duraguard Vinyl padding that is sweat and tear resistant.
  • Big, thickly padded leg rollers
  • 14-gauge 2×3 inches steel mainframe construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Cushion dimensions: 40L x 12.5W
  • Assembled dimensions: 61L x 20W x 47H

Pros

  • Many levels to choose from.
  • 400 lbs capacity so suitable heavier users or for weight training.
  • Thanks to the professional padding and rollers, it is convenient to use.
  • Because of the heavy duty construction and ergonomic design, it does not wobble during usage. The stability is excellent and very safe to use.
  • The board is rather long making it suitable for taller users.

Cons

  • A few users found it hard to assemble, although it comes with a detailed instructional manual.
  • The plastic caps do not always fit and should be made from more durable materials.
  • Exclamation Circle
    The lock pin should be made from stronger material.

2. XMark Ab, Hyperextension and Preacher Curl Utility Bench - Has the Most Functions

Well, I put this combo ab machine on my list because this exercise equipment is more than an adjustable sit up bench, although the price is obviously higher.

This machine is packed with many functions. It is a decline sit ups, hyperextension and adjustable workout bench. Plus it can be used for preacher curls. It is a very useful piece of equipment for a home gym.

The weight capacity is 1500 lbs, that is enough for home workouts. You can adjust the board to a flat position, place it in a power cage and you are ready to make bench presses with a barbell. It comes with built-in transfer wheels, so moving it is easy as well.

Another important feature is the function that allows making the hyperextension exercise. This activity is the best move to strengthen your lower back, that is usually neglected, however it is an important part of the core. The hyperextension bench can be adjusted in 5 incline positions. So, it allows getting a resistance level that suits you the best.

XMark Ab, Hyperextension and Preacher Curl Weight Bench XM-7631

Sit up back extension bench

The manufacturer added extra thick cushion to the rollers and the pad. The rollers are oversized with 4.33-inch vinyl and foam. While the board is covered with 3 inch thick Duraguard cushions. So, this model is comfortable to use and protects your back, ankles, and feet.

Pros

  • It enables you to do more types of exercises with it than other typical abdominal benches.
  • Even if it is packed with extra functions, this item is not so big and can be moved around quickly thanks to the wheels. Its compact design makes it a suitable choice for small places.
  • Adjustable so you can set to your height and for your desired resistance level. 
  • It has a barbell holder. 
  • Heavy duty and sturdy, users do not complain about wobbling at all.
  • Comfortable to use protecting your back and legs.

Cons

  • Compared to other products here, this gym equipment is more expensive.
  • Not foldable.

Features & Specifications

  • 1500 pound capacity
  • Heavy duty 11 gauge 2' x 3' steel construction
  • Assembled dimensions: 65.5' x 22.5' x 32.25''
  • All in one adjustable bench for lower back, abs, biceps and other strength training.
  • In-built transportation wheels.
  • Scratch resistant coat finish.
  • Thickly padded with durable, tear and sweat resistant materials.

3. Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper-Back Extension Bench - Best for Total Core Training

This list would not be complete without this commercial ab bench that can also be used in several ways. It can be used as weight, hyperextension and sit up board. Its capacity is 650 lbs, so this equipment is suitable for heavy weight strength training as well.

It can be altered to a flat and 3 decline positions, so you can use it for various bench presses with dumbbells or if you have a power rack with a barbell. The thigh support can be adjusted in 14 levels, so you will surely find a level that suits your height.

This commercial sit up bench comes with two slip resistant handle bars that can be used for mounting and unmounting, and beginners can use it for making push ups as well.

It is thickly covered with 2.5 inches medium density foam, and the roller pads are covered with a 4-inch thick cushion. Hence, working out convenient with it.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose bench for abdominal, back and other weight training exercises with dumbbells and barbell.
  • Can be used as a flat bench.
  • High weight capacity making it a good choose for heavier and pro users.
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Can be adjusted in several ways.
  • Easy transportation thanks to the wheels.
  • Assembly is not complicated if you follow the manual.
  • Check Circle
    No wobbling.

Cons

  • Because of the premium features, this item is more expensive than a single ab bench.

Features & Specifications

  • 650 pounds capacity
  • Transportation wheels
  • 2" x 2" heavy duty steel frame construction
  • 36L x 8-12W tapered board
  • User height range of 5" to 6.4"
  • 1 flat and 3 decline adjustments, 14 thigh adjustments
  • Moisture and sweat resistant covering
  • Dimensions: 64" x 28.8" x 35" ; 55.6-lbs

4. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench - The Best Cheap Sit Up Bench

features

Folding sit up bench

Well, if you found the previous benches expensive, this model from Stamina might be the solution for you. Obviously, it is not as professional, but for an average Joe, it still provides an excellent incline sit up bench workout experience.

This is a dual machine that comes with decline sit ups and hyperextension functions, but since the capacity is just 250 lbs, it is not recommended to use as a weight bench or for heavier people.

The abs training section can be set in 4 levels (flat, 3 declines). The maximum is 30 degree. The hyperextension section (45 degrees) is not adjustable, but the footrests are so that you can set them to your height.

Cons

  • Considering the price, functions and used materials, worth to buy equipment. It provides a comfortable and efficient abdominal and lower back workout. Its dimensions and the foldable function makes it a good choice for those having a little space.
  • Thanks to the several adjustments it can be set in several ways to make your training more intense or to suits your height.

Pros

  • The maximum capacity is just 250 lbs, and that means it is not suitable for heavy people or for those who want to use it as a weight bench. However, with light dumbbells, it can be used.
  • The length is maybe short for a taller user (over 6-feet)
  • Exclamation Circle
    The locking system could be much better. A few users have experienced that the pins and rods loosened up while they were using the machine. This problem can be quickly solved if bolts or nuts were used.

Features & Specifications

  • 5 adjustments for the board
  • Durable stitched vinyl thick upholstery
  • 2" sturdy steel frame
  • Thick pivoting foam rollers
  • Non-slip footrest
  • Adjustable footrest, backrest and thigh support
  • Foldable
  • 5 years warranty on the frame and 90 days on other parts
  • Maximum user weight: 250 lbs
  • Dimensions: 56 x 27 x 35 inches

Adjustable Sit Up bench benefits

The incline ab bench benefits are numerous. All the products listed above are adjustable sit up benches. That means you can change the angle of the board. This way, you can increase or decrease the resistance. The higher the angle, the harder to do the core exercises. Hence, it is suitable for both beginners and for those who are at a better fitness level.

The mentioned ab boards are ergonomically designed and thickly padded. That means they support your lower back and your feet while you do the practices. They provide a comfortable yet efficient at-home core workout.

Although it is made for core workouts, there are many other core exercises you can do with it. For example, for strong abs, you can make crunches, hip raises, leg raises. And if you use it as a weight bench, you can make dumbbell chest presses and flyes. Or, if you have a power rack, it can be used for bench presses with a barbell.

Compared to other home gym equipment, they are not big, and most of them are foldable. So, even if you have only a small space for training, you will enjoy its benefits.

To conclude, having an ab bench at home is an excellent possibility to have a complete core strengthening and abs workout. Using this equipment with a proper diet can certainly help you to get those six-pack abs.

Sit Up Bench Exercises - How to Use Effectively

Having a quality decline ab bench provides you a lot of possibilities to train your body at home.

For your abs, you can do sit-ups, crunches, leg raises, knee raises at various resistance levels, or by using hand weights. For your oblique, you can get oblique (Russian) twists or decline crunches. If equipment comes with a hyperextension function, you can train your lower back and hamstrings. So, it enables you to target your entire core.

If you have a pair of dumbbells, you can do chest exercises like decline or incline dumbbell chest presses or flyes. If it comes with handlebars, incline push-ups can be done as well for the upper body. For you back, you can make dumbbells rows in flat or decline positions. And for your shoulder, get shoulder presses.

So, a sit up board lets you add a lot of exercises for your home workout routine to build muscles and tone your body.

But, it is critical to learning how to do these decline ab bench exercises correctly.

Many people say they do not like using the slant board because they feel pain on their back. That is because they do not perform the move correctly.

Here is the best tutorial on how to do decline bench sit ups properly to avoid back pain.

Alternative Ab Exercise Equipment

Doorway situp bar

It's a very compact and portable alternative. You need to place under the door and righten the knob. It gives support to perform the sit ups on the floor more conveniently, but not as comfortable and versatile as an ab bench. Check out the Body-Solid situp bar here.

Vertical knees raise station (Captain chair)

With the help of this exercise equipment, you can do knee and leg lifts. So instead of using your upper body as the resistance, you use your lower body.

To sum up

I'm sure now you everything about sit up benches, so the choice is yours. Now you can filter out the products that are suitable for you and which are not. If you still have questions, feel free to ask below.

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