Top 5 Best Sit-Up Benches For Ab Workouts in 2021

When it comes to abdominal exercises, what first comes to mind?

That’s right: the sit-up. The undisputed king of getting your core strong, allowing your six-pack to be revealed (with a solid diet, of course).

So, why the ab bench? Altering the angles so that your muscles contract more throughout the movement.

That’s where sit-up benches come into play.

ImageProduct
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Fitness Reality X-Class Ab Multiworkout Bench
  • Includes push-up and dip handles
  • Sweat-resistant bench covering
  • 1 flat and 3 decline bench adjustments
  • Includes push-up and dip handles
  • Sweat-resistant bench covering
  • 1 flat and 3 decline bench adjustments
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench
  • 12 levels of decline adjustment
  • Bullhorn safety handlebar
  • Ergonomic design to prevent injury
  • 12 levels of decline adjustment
  • Bullhorn safety handlebar
  • Ergonomic design to prevent injury
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Merax Double Foldable Utility Weight/Ab Bench
  • 800 LB Capacity
  • Dense foam padding for comfort
  • 6 different angles for flat, incline, and decline
  • 800 LB Capacity
  • Dense foam padding for comfort
  • 6 different angles for flat, incline, and decline
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
Vanswe Adjustable Incline Bench
  • 800 LB Capacity
  • 3 year warranty on frame
  • Fully adjustable back, seat, and leg brace
  • 800 LB Capacity
  • 3 year warranty on frame
  • Fully adjustable back, seat, and leg brace
View on Amazon
digital-business-prep-table__image
ROGUE AB-3 Adjustable Bench
  • 50+ seat and back-pad position combinations
  • Made In USA
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • 50+ seat and back-pad position combinations
  • Made In USA
  • Sturdy steel construction
View on Rogue Fitness
digital-business-prep-table__image
Marcy Utility Slant Board w/ Headrest
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • 4 angled positions
  • High-density head rest for support
  • Foldable for easy storage
  • 4 angled positions
  • High-density head rest for support
View on Amazon

Sit-up benches are what you see in any and all gyms across the world, usually sloping down to the ground. They kill your abs and get you that much closer to your ultimate physique.

Related: The complete guide for training abs for CrossFit athletes

In this article, we’ll go over everything sit-up benches. We’ll explain in full detail what they are, what the benefits are, the different exercises you can perform on the benches, and what you want to have when selecting your very own sit-up bench.

Lastly, we’ll go over the best sit-up benches you can add to your home gym and what they bring to your workouts.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Situp benches

Great question. The funny thing is, there isn’t just one type of sit-up bench. The most popular, well-known kind of sit-up bench is the one that has a slight decline and two padded attachments to put your legs in.

This is to help anchor your lower body, as if a buddy was holding your legs down while you’re doing sit-ups.

Other sit-up benches (differ from ab machines) can double as a back extension bench; these benches only cover your buttocks, securing your legs in the stirrups.

This leaves your entire upper body free to go as far down as you want. The additional range of motion is a nice perk for some people.

In short, an ab bench is a specially designed bench made to assist you in getting quality sit-up reps. However, these benches also give you a plethora of exercise possibilities (which we’ll cover in a later section).

Benefits of a Sit-up Bench

Don’t assume that the only thing a sit-up bench can do is help you do sit-ups. There are many more advantages to owning a sit-up bench, including:

Decreased risk of injury

The bench has padded supports throughout, which can keep your back comfortable and injury-free. This allows you to perform numerous sit-ups (and other exercises) without your back seizing up or compressing your spine. Also, on the eccentric motion of a sit-up (i.e., when you’re coming back down), you can fully lengthen your back, which provides for a more fluid, flexible movement.

Read Also: Effective Core Exercises for Older Adults

Improved sit-up form

To piggyback off of the decreased injury benefit, this bench was made to give you a positive sit-up experience. So, it only makes sense that it provides a healthier way to perform sit-ups. Your posture is vastly improved from the bottom of the movement to the top. Also, you can utilize weights and oblique sit-ups (more on these later), which will help with progressive overload.

Related: The best Calisthenics Core & Ab workouts

Adjustability and versatility

Most of these benches can be moved to alter the degree in which you perform your sit-ups or other exercises. By adjusting the incline, you can change the degree of difficulty, another great way to express progressive overload. Plus, the increased range of motion ties in beautifully with the lower risk of injury.

Multiple exercise possibilities

Continuing the versatility, sit-up benches are built for more than just sit-ups…and more for just abdominal movements, for that matter. There’s a plethora of exercises you can perform on a sit-up bench, resulting in a better physique overall.

Burn fat and reveal your six-pack

Now, with all of this talk about progressive overload and being able to get stronger on these movements, all thanks to the sit-up bench. What does this mean for you? Well, getting stronger means developing bigger, better muscles.

Bigger muscles results in a higher metabolism, which leads to lower body fat. If you keep up with your training routine (and eat at a caloric deficit), a sit-up bench will help you finally expose your hard-earned abs, definition and all.

As you can see, sit-up benches are impressive pieces of equipment. They do all of these things for you, including helping you with your sit-up form. But the question still remains…

Decline-Bench-Ab-Abdominal-Exercise-Fitness-Sit-Up-Crunches-Machine-Sit-Up-Bench-Adjustable-Incline-Slant

Is a Sit-up Bench Effective?

Or, even a better question: Is a sit-up bench effective enough for the cost?

In order to be effective, it needs to aid you in performing an exercise to maximize results.

A sit-up bench is designed to improve your sit-up posture, movement, and progression.

You are protected from injury, on top of which you can alter the exercise in a safe way to continue to get stronger in all things sit-up related. This, by definition, makes a sit-up bench effective.

Not only is it effective, it’s efficient, too. You can do so much with this singular bench, working out your entire body. A sit-up bench is almost like a Power Tower, except it’s inexpensive and requires less space in your garage or workout room.

Related: The ultimate guide to Power Tower workouts

Bench Press Shoulder Pain

Sit-up Bench Exercises

Don’t let the name fool you. The sit-up bench can do much, much more than give you a solid surface for sit-ups (though it does that very well).

Here are all of the movements you can do with a sit-up bench:

  • Sit-ups (duh): Can also be weighted, side-to-side, crunches at the top or bottom, etc.
  • Back extensions: Flip yourself over from a sit-up and raise your upper body, flexing your lower back.
  • Incline/decline barbell bench press: This improves your bench by securing your legs, making it all about your upper body (a.k.a. no more flailing legs).
  • Russian twists: Great for the obliques. For an even better workout, hold a medicine ball while repping these out.
  • Bench-assisted rows: With your chest against the bench and dumbbells, perform rows without the assistance of you swinging the weights. This helps with strict form. (You can also do )
  • Bench-assisted dumbbell curls: Position yourself just like the rows, but instead do curls. Again, this is to help with strict form.
  • Tricep kickbacks: With one hand and one knee on the bench, perform kickbacks with your other arm.
  • Incline/decline push-ups: Works on this bench, kinda like every other bench.
  • Heel touches: You can do this on the ground, but the bench will make you engage your abdominal’s throughout the entire workout, increasing time under tension.
  • Leg raises: Hold the top of the bench with your hands, raising and lowering your legs toward the ground.

Phew! That’s a lot of different exercises. That’s what’s so cool about sit-up benches: You can do a full-body workout with only this bench and a handful of dumbbells. This makes the acquisition of a sit-up bench definitely worth the cost.

Related: The best Home Gym Flooring to Love your at-home workout space

ab workout bench

Considerations Before Buying

Now, don’t go out and buy the first sit-up bench that catches your eye on Amazon. Choosing a bench requires careful deliberation and consideration of your own fitness routine and goals. Here are some things to look for when selecting your very own sit-up bench:

Weight Rating

We hope this goes without saying, but you’ll want a bench that can withstand your bodyweight, and then some.

This is because you might end up doing weighted sit-ups–you beast of a human being, you–and you don’t want your bench to wobble and tip over with you attached to it. Make sure the bench you want can sustain 250-300 pounds comfortably. If you're looking for a multifunctional bench that can support your weight as well as a loaded barbell, you'll want something in the 600-800lb maximum weight range.

Durability

You’ll want your sit-up bench to stand the test of time. (Or, at the very least, you don’t want it to break week one.) Durability is a huge factor for your sit-up bench.

This will be determined by the materials used to construct the bench, the maximum weight rating, the company that made the bench, and overall strength of the equipment. Look for a brand that uses a steel frame to support the backboard and provide overall stability.

Size

How big or small your sit-up bench is will be a matter of preference. Like we said earlier, some benches cover the expanse of your body, allowing your head to rest against the bench at the bottom of a sit-up.

Other benches merely suspend your upper body in the air, anchoring your rear end and legs only. Therefore, consider your height and which kind of bench you’d want for your fitness regimen.

Read Also: Best Weight Bench for your Home Gym

Top Sit-up Benches Reviewed

Fitness Reality Bench

  • Includes push-up and dip handles
  • Sweat-resistant bench covering
  • 1 flat and 3 decline bench adjustments
Fitness Reality X-Class ab bench

First up on our list is a multipurpose bench made by the bros over at Fitness Reality.

This bench has everything you could ever ask for. It comes equipped with one flat and three decline adjustments, along with 14 different height adjustments for the thigh support cushions.

The vinyl bench upholstery covering is double stitched, as well as sweat and moisture resistant.

And with a weight limit of 650 pounds and a user height range of five foot to 6’4”, this bench is made for anyone and everyone.

Plus, it has transportation wheels for moving in and out of your workout space and push-up/dip handle bars that are non-slip and soft.

If you want a sit-up bench that thinks of everything, you can’t do much better than the Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench.

XMark Fitness Ergonomic Ab Bench

  • 12 levels of decline adjustment
  • Bullhorn safety handlebar
  • Ergonomic design to prevent injury
Xmark adjustable decline ab workout bench

Next up is a sit-up bench dedicated to keeping your posture perfect throughout your workout. This is the Ergonomic Ab Bench from XMark Fitness.

The XMark Ergonomic Ab Bench is the definition of adjustable, with 12 different vertical height positions. The carefully positioned leg rollers and ergonomic back rest are designed to avoid hyperextension and reduce back strain, and the support handle makes for easy mounting and dismounting.

The mainframe is made out of 14-gauge steel with a scratch resistant powder coat finish, while the bench is made of 2.5-inch extra thick high-density cushion and double stitched, tear resistant Duraguard vinyl.

It comes in both grey and white, plus you can have someone come and install if for you if you want.

If you enjoy having as many options as possible in terms of positioning, then the XMark Fitness Ergonomic Ab Bench is the one for you.

Merax Double Foldable Utility Weight/Ab Bench

  • 800 LB Capacity
  • Dense foam padding for comfort
  • 6 different angles for flat, incline, and decline
Merax Deluxe Foldable Utility weight bench

Another quality sit-up bench that deserves a spot on our list is the Deluxe Fold-able Ab Bench from Merax.

The vinyl upholstery on this bad boy will cover the bench forever and ever, formulated for easy maintenance and water resistant.

The 800-pound user weight capacity makes this piece of equipment one of the toughest benches on our list, and it gives you support in the right areas, no matter what lift you’re doing.

The ladder adjusts for six different angles, ranging from flat to incline and decline, along with various seat angles.

On top of all this, it has dense foam padding to keep your body comfortable and safe throughout the workout. You can also adjust the leg supports, so you can always get the best lift possible.

A maverick in the workout bench industry, Merax doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the Deluxe Fold-able Ab Bench. Give it a try and see why they’ve been trusted time after time.

Vanswe Adjustable Incline Bench

  • 800 LB Capacity
  • 3 year warranty on frame
  • Fully adjustable back, seat, and leg brace
Vanswe Adjustable sit up bench

This sit-up bench–manufactured by the company Vanswe–might look familiar to you if you’ve spent any time in a gym.

The Adjustable Weight Bench can go flat, incline, and decline, looking like a traditional bench with leg supports attached. It’s super strong and stable, with an 800-pound weight limit and with a heavy duty steel frame and 2-inch thick padding. This bench is ideal for weightlifting and strength training, as it can support the user weight and then some.

The bench also has seven different ladder positions (up to 85 degrees) and three various seat positions (to adjust for the incline).

That way, you can go from a full decline all the way to a traditional military press (an additional feature not found on other common sit-up benches). With over 49 inches of bench and wheels for easy transport, this is one super bench.

If you want to utilize your sit-up bench for more things, including weighted lifts, definitely go with the Vanswe Adjustable Weight Bench.

Read More: Finding the Best Weight Bench

ROGUE AB-3 Adjustable Bench

  • 50+ seat and back-pad position combinations
  • Made In USA
  • Sturdy steel construction
Rogue AB-3 adjustable ab bench

When it comes to creating high-quality gym equipment, Rogue reigns supreme. This trusted brand is a fan-favorite for CrossFitters, gym owners, and athletes alike. The Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench boasts sturdy steel construction and is made in the USA.

The durable steel is sourced from North America, guaranteeing the best possible quality and sturdiness.

This high-quality machine is ideal for serious training and can withstand commercial use. With six adjustable seat settings and nine adjustable back pad settings, you can use this bench to target all of your muscle groups rather than just ab exercises.

The telescopic foot catch assembly will keep you safe and supported as you sit up and crunch those abs on a decline.

You'll pay more for the Rogue name, but when it comes to high-quality equipment, you can't do any better.

Marcy Utility Slant Board w/ Headrest ROGUE AB-3 Adjustable Bench

  • Foldable for easy storage
  • 4 angled positions
  • High-density head rest for support
Marcy Utility Slant Ab board with headrest

If you're looking for a simple sit-up bench that serves a single purpose without paying for all the extras, the Mercy Utility Slant Board is for you. This budget-friendly option is foldable and weighs only 22lbs, making it easy to store away when not in use. While it's light and simple, the Mercy Utility Slant Board is made of a durable steel frame and offers ample cushioning for your comfort.

One of the things that sets the Mercy apart from other budget sit-up benches is the comfortable headrest. With four adjustable positions and ample back support, this exercise bench is perfect for doing ab exercises in a small home gym.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You now know everything you need to know about sit-up benches. Consider yourself a professional on the subject.

Take a look again at the top benches available to you and find one that matches your training style and fitness needs.

Make sure you factor in the benefits of each bench, the weight rating, durability, and overall size of the bench before selecting your number one. Then, start doing all of the exercises to get your dream physique.

May your six-pack be revealed!

Jake Lyda

Jake Lyda

I'm a freelance fitness and nutrition writer who loves to travel, train, and play team sports. I'm a true workout nerd and love to educate people about their bodies and how to optimize their physique.

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