The sit up bench is the oldest type of abdominal exercise equipment out there, but it is still an excellent tool to strengthen and shape your abs and oblique. Compared to other equipment such as the crunch machine, you use your bodyweight as resistance, and this is certainly the best way for getting strong core muscles.
Besides, thanks to the manufacturers, new ab benches can be used for several other purposes. For example, there are boards with a hyperextension function or heavy-duty ones that allow you to use it as a weight bench, for instance for dumbbell workouts. Thanks to its versatility, a bench is going to be a good friend for your home workouts.
Quick Overview & Comparison
Sit Up Bench Reviews
1. XMark 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Adjustable Decline Sit Up Bench with Handle - The Most Popular
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 a 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. Handles are especially useful for beginners for mounting and dismounting.
Features & Specs
2. XMark Ab, Hyperextension and Preacher Curl Weight Bench - Has the Most Functions
Well, I put this combo 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 sit up, hyperextension and weight bench. Plus it can be used for preacher curls. It is a very useful piece of equipment for a home gym.
The weight capacity of the bench 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 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 Light Commercial Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper-Back Extension Bench - Best Buy
This list would not be complete without this commercial ab board that can also be used in several ways. It can be used as weight, hyperextension and ab bench. Its capacity is 650 lbs, so this equipment is suitable for heavy weight 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 comfortable with it.
Features & Specifications
4. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench - Cheap & Good for Ladies
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 sit up bench workout experience.
This is a dual machine that comes with sit up 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
Why get one for home?
The sit up 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 increase or decrease the resistance. The higher the angle, the harder to do the exercises. Hence, it is suitable for both beginners and for those who are at a better fitness level.
The current ab boards are ergonomically designed and thickly padded. That means they support your lower back and your feet while you do the exercises. They provide comfortable, yet efficient at home core workouts.
Although, it is called a sit up bench there are many other exercises you can do with it. For example, for 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 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 good diet can certainly help you to get those six pack abs.
Decline Sit Up Bench Exercises
Having a quality sit up machine 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 level or by using hand weights. For your oblique, you can get oblique (Russian) twists or decline crunches. If the bench comes with a hyperextension function, you can train your lower back and hamstrings. So, it enables you to target your entire core.
Want to focus on the hyperextension exercise for you lower back? Get a Roman chair instead.
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 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 you 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 sit up bench 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 use sit up bench properly.
What to look for when buying one?
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 a long board. A short board is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous if your head hit the'floor. So, check the size carefully.
The used materials for the frame
Most of the adjustable decline 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 greater capacity is required. Obviously, those more robust machines are a bit more expensive, but they are more versatile and gym quality machines.
The cushion of the board
The thickness of the cushion 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.
To tell the truth, I do not recommend those fitness sit up benches that are not adjustable. Sooner or later you get used to the same amount of resistance, 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.
Well, there are hundreds of products out there and the sit up bench prices are from $50 to hundreds of dollars. From my experience, cheap "made in China" type products does not provide good user experience, and they do not last for long. On the other hand, quality fitness equipment is rather expensive, but it is just a one-time investment. It depends on your budget. If you have extra money to spend, get a bit more pricey product.
To conclude, always read the customer review carefully. To help you buy one online, I put together this list with the best sit up benches available on the market. These products fulfill the mentioned criteria above and have many positive reviews.
Last update on 2018-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API