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?
XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench
Get the Xmark 12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench if your main goal is strengthening your abs.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Features & Specifications
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.
Features & Specifications
4. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench - The Best Cheap 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.
Features & Specifications
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.