5 Best Sit Up Bench Options - Adjustable & Decline Picks Reviews For A Stronger Core
Remember when you first started doing sit ups and you really felt the burn in your abs? Or maybe you are just starting now and want to keep increasing your resistance.
Unfortunately, after repeating the same exercise, in the hope of developing rock-hard abs, the burn just doesn’t feel the same...
I know that I have had to add a lot of different ab exercises to my routine to keep building muscle but there is an easier way to add resistance:
A sit up bench is the best way to work your upper and lower abs to your desired intensity.
Using an ab bench not only speeds up your progress, it helps to keep your form correct and prevents muscle and back injuries. In this review, we will look at the best sit up benches.
- The 5 Best Sit Up Ab Benches Reviewed
- 1. XMark Fitness 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Decline Ab Bench
- 2. Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Bench
- 3. Ironman Triathlon Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench
- 4. Valor Fitness DF-1 Decline/Flat Bench PRO
- 5. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench
- What Are The Benefits of Using a Sit Up Bench?
- What’s the Best Way to Use a Sit Up Bench?
- What Should I Look For in a Good Sit Up Bench?
- How Do I Choose the Right One for Me?
- And The Winner Is...
The 5 Best Sit Up Ab Benches Reviewed
1. XMark Fitness 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Decline Ab Bench
Our Verdict: Best Overall
The XMark Fitness is the best adjustable ab sit up bench which offers 12 different positions. It is great for both beginners and advanced users as you can set the bench very low to start with and increase the gradient as you build core strength.
In addition, this sit up bench suits all body sizes.
The strong and sturdy design makes it perfect for heavy weight athletes, and the length of the bench makes it great for taller users.
However, the size of this ab bench might mean that it gets in the way at home as it is hard to store.
The design is also very practical but not so fashionable. If you are looking for a stylish piece of equipment, this might not suit your tastes. On the other hand, if you are looking for quality design this sit up bench is one of the best.
It is made with tear resistant vinyl material and includes thick foam rollers and paddings which add to the comfort and reduce lower back strains or injuries.
It is also easy to assemble but some customers have found it can wobble when you are using it if you don’t assemble it properly, so make sure everything is as tight as possible when you are putting it together.
There are support handles for mounting and dismounting and handles at the feet to ensure you stay in position and can maintain the correct form throughout your sit ups. What’s more, the 12 different positions make this bench great for a range of ab exercises in addition to just sit ups.
However, you can’t set the bench to completely flat to use it as a weight bench.
2. Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Bench
Our Verdict: Most Versatile
The Fitness Reality product is a combination of ab bench and hyperextension bench and is the best for versatility. You can position the bench flat for abdominal crunches and use it to target other muscle groups through lower back extensions, dumbbell rows and knee raises.
The material is comfortable and moisture and sweat resistant, making your workouts more enjoyable no matter what muscle group you’re working on. It is also double stitched and has steel frames ensuring stability and strength. It can take on weight of up to 650 lbs, which is great for heavy weight athletes, and heights of 5' to 6'4".
There are a number of extras which add to its versatility including push up and dip handle bars which allow you to work on your upper body and build strength gradually if you can’t do a regular push up yet. These are sweat and slip resistant ensuring proper form and safety during your workout. It also features 4-inch-thick roller pads for leg workouts, which adjust to different levels to suit your height.
What’s more, a 7-level adjustable backrest reduces the risk of back strain, there is a bench seat with four adjustment settings, and detachable leg lockdowns for sit ups and crunches. In addition, it includes a U-shaped stabilizer which keeps your body secure so you can concentrate on your form.
In terms of adjustability, this is also one of the best decline ab benches as it has one flat and three decline adjustments. Finally, it has wheels so you can move and store it easily.
3. Ironman Triathlon Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench
Our Verdict: Most Sturdy
If you are looking for a well built and stable bench that you can use for a whole range of exercises this is a great option. It has a 650lb weight capacity which means it can take on standing exercise, compound movements and can also be used for Roman chair exercises.
Furthermore, it doubles as a hyper extension bench for lower back extensions and glute and hamstring workouts. You can train your whole body with this bench, but it isn’t the best if you also want to use it as a weight bench as it is not long enough for chest flyers and dumbbell exercises when set to flat position.
However, it serves its purpose as an ab bench and is great for sit ups and reverse crunches. The sit up bench can be adjusted to 4 positions, including flat and three decline. It also has handle bars for comfort and support which allow you to use it for push ups. If you are just starting to incorporate push ups into your routine, this is a great way to practice and build up your strength as the incline relieves some of the pressure.
This ab bench is made from high quality black vinyl which will look stylish in your home. The double stitching makes it more durable and it is also sweat resistant. Making your workout even more comfortable, it features high density foam cushions and padding, and adjustable foam rollers.
Although easy to adjust and assemble, this ab bench might not be the best option for taller users as it is only 36 inches in length. It is also one of the more expensive options but is worth the money if you are looking for a strong and stable piece of equipment.
4. Valor Fitness DF-1 Decline/Flat Bench PRO
Our Verdict: Best Decline Ab Bench
The Valor Fitness DF-1 is the best decline ab bench as it features 12 decline adjustments. The sturdy structure can take on 600lbs and is made of 11-gauge steel for stability. It is also made of thick, comfortable foam and is specifically designed for lower back and knee support. What’s more, it has a wide seat pad for thigh support.
Being sturdier than other options, this ab bench can take on a high weight capacity. This is especially helpful as it can double as a weight bench in flat position. It is also extra wide and long to suit heavy weight and taller users. You can adjust the second leg roller to suit your leg length.
For the best sit up experience, this bench features contoured support behind the knees and for the shins, so that you can feel comfortable using your legs to hold the perfect form during your sit ups. This makes it ideal for Russian twists and crunches as well as sit ups. There is also lower back coverage to avoid any injuries or strains and a fixed 20-degree decline which allows you to concentrate on toning your abs without neck or back strain.
What makes this the best decline ab bench is the stability of the base which makes you feel secure throughout your extension. The build quality ensures that you won’t experience any unsteadiness during your workout and the 4-point rubber base keeps the bench in place no matter what surface you put it on.
Downsides are that some taller users have found the bottom roller to be a little low and it can also be difficult to assemble.
5. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench
Our Verdict: Best Storability
The best ab bench for storability is the Stamina Pro. This bench is a combination of decline ab bench and Roman chair for hyperextensions. This means you can work every part of your core, including your lower back, which will help to build up overall strength.
Working your back is an important part of core strength, especially if you enjoy activities like yoga which require full body engagement. This makes the Stamina Pro a great choice for those who want to improve their overall physique and build core strength.
In terms of decline, the angle of the ab bench can be declined to 30 degrees which adds a decent resistance whilst not putting excess stress on your back. This is great for crunches and oblique twists. It is easily adjusted using a pin; however, some customers have found that the pin can come loose so make sure to secure it tightly.
For standing hyperextension exercises, the 45-degree hyperextension allows you to train your lower back, which ensures total core strengthening and reduces risk of back injury when training your core. The back-hyperextension also comes with a thick support to prevent discomfort and further reduce risk of injury.
The sit up bench has three incline positions and can be set to flat. This means you can also use it as a weight bench for exercises like chest presses and flies. However, the maximum capacity is 250lbs so you have to be careful using extra weight. It is also not suitable for stepping exercises because of this low weight capacity.
This bench is budget friendly and suitable for shorter, lighter users. The 28-inch backrest will not provide enough support for taller users so this is not the best option for anyone over 6 ft. Having said that, it is one of the most easily stored options and can folded and kept under your bed when you are not using it, making it a handy piece of home equipment for beginners.
What Are The Benefits of Using a Sit Up Bench?
Sit up benches are primarily used to target your core. Strengthening these muscles has a number of benefits and an ab bench simply allows you to target your core and build strength more effectively.
Builds Functional Strength
Benefits of ab training include building functional strength which will help you with a range of exercises. Core strength is a major part of balance and helps you to maintain good posture. Improved balance is essential for exercises like yoga and maintaining the correct form in your workouts in general.
Improves Posture, Reduce Back Pain
With improved posture, you are less likely to experience back pain. What’s more, many of the ab benches featured in this review double as a hyperextension benches allowing you to work on the muscles in your lower back. By strengthening your lower back, you will be at less risk of injury or strains from exercise.
Improves Digestive Health
Strengthening your abs can also improve digestive health. Ab exercises can regulate the gut and help with digestion which improves your general wellbeing. Aside from health and wellbeing, working on your abs can improve your physique and confidence and, with an ab bench, you can get the abs you really want.
LOTS of Potential Exercises
Finally, ab benches are useful for more than just sit ups. You can use them for a range of exercises, especially the options which can take on a higher weight capacity. This makes ab benches the perfect addition to any home gym.
Sit up benches help you build functional core strength, improve your posture, provide a variety of different exercise possibilities, and even help regulate your digestion.
What’s the Best Way to Use a Sit Up Bench?
Depending on the features of your sit up bench, you can use it for a range of exercises. All ab benches can be used for sit ups or crunches with an incline or decline.
This added resistance means that your ab muscles really have to work to raise your upper body. Be aware that adding too much resistance without training before can be dangerous for your back and cause strains.
Focus on Your Core
If you struggle to complete a normal floor sit up without moving your feet, ab benches can make a real difference to your form. Padded leg rollers are used to keep your lower body in place, allowing you to focus all your energy on moving your upper body.
This concentration on the core gives the best results, as explained below:
Can Double as a Weight Bench
Some of the benches in this review can also be used as a weight bench for your garage workout gym by setting them in the flat position. This allows you to train your arms and upper body comfortably.
Furthermore, you can practice push ups using a bench with handlebars if you struggle to do a normal push up. Decreasing the incline will gradually add more weight and resistance to your push up.
Train Your Back & Glutes
Hyperextension benches allow you to train your back and glutes by completing simple extensions. This is done by lowering your upper body and raising it again while keeping your lower body fixed in place with the leg rollers. You should feel your back tensing and a decent burn in the back of the legs.
Finally, to work the lower body, if you have a sturdy ab bench with a decent weight capacity it can also be used for stepping exercises and cardio. A squat rack is also a perfect addition to work your glutes.
What Should I Look For in a Good Sit Up Bench?
There are a few key features that you will want to check when buying a sit up bench, all of which are featured in the products in this review.
Adjustability For Varied Resistance
One of the most important aspects in adjustability. You will want to be able to adjust the resistance, incline and decline quickly and easily. You might also want to focus on different parts of the body.
- If you want to use your ab bench as a weight bench, try one which you can set flat.
- If you want to focus on crunches and oblique twists, chose one with a decent decline.
Hyperextension benches allow you to work on your lower back as well as your abs. If you are looking specifically to target the muscles all over your core, including your back, look for an ab bench which doubles as a Roman chair. Training your back improves overall core strength and reduces the risk of back injuries when you are working out so there are a lot of benefits to training back muscles.
Durability is a key feature and all the products in this review are made from high quality material. For the sturdiest ab benches, you might want to think about spending a bit more money on a well-made piece of equipment, however, all the products in this review are made from good material and provide decent support.
If you are looking for extra comfort, try one with extra foam padding and sweat resistant material.
Finally, if you want to store your bench easily when you are not using it, you might want to think about how heavy and portable it is. Choose a lighter option which you can fold away and store under your bed, or one with wheels which you can move around your home with ease.
How Do I Choose the Right One for Me?
Each of the ab benches in this review offers something different and they all feature the specifications required to make them high quality products. The right one for you will depend on your preference.
If you are a heavy weight athlete, or looking to use your ab bench as a weight bench as well, go for something with a high weight capacity like the Ironman. This bench can take on 650lbs. Similarly, the Fitness Reality can take on 650lbs and can double as a weight bench comfortably.
Foldable for Easy Storage
If you are looking for a foldable piece of equipment that you can store easily try the Stamina Pro. This option has a lower weight capacity but can be used for a range of body weight exercises.
If adjustability is the most important aspect for you, try the Xmark Fitness which has 12 adjustable positions. This bench is great for increasing resistance over time and allows you to chose the intensity of your workout and add resistance slowly to tone abs and build core strength in a controlled and safe way.
And The Winner Is...
All of the ab benches here are top picks and have individual features which might make one of them your preferred option. In my opinion, the best overall option is the Xmark Fitness.
This ab bench is very versatile and perfect for focusing on the abs. With 12 positions, you can increase the resistance overtime and build core strength effectively. It is also suitable for everyone, especially tall and heavy weight users, as well as beginners and advanced athletes.
It is made from high quality material and is tear resistant. It also provides the support you will need both from the handles and the padding.
If you are looking for something which doubles as a weight bench or a hyperextension bench, there are other options in this review that might suit you. However, if you are looking specifically to target the abs, the XMark Fitness is the best option.