One of my favorite workout equipment to strengthen my abs is the adjustable sit up bench. The reason is simple, it is comfortable to use, works my entire core and really helps to put muscle mass on my abdomen to have those visible abs. The adjustability allows me to give my workouts more or less resistance depending on my fitness goals.
The best sit-up benches are adjustable, such as Xmark Fitness, so you can set the angle of the board. By doing so, you can adjust the resistance to suit your needs. The beginner can adjust it to a lower level so the exercise is more comfortable. A hardcore trainer can raise the angle, making resistance more challenging.
This guide shows you different types of ab workout benches. Here you can find reviews and compare models, learn what features to look for before buying an ab bench, and other practical tips.
Ab Exercise Bench Reviews
How I picked the products
In my analysis, I compared the most critical features of sit-up benches, such as weight capacity, adjustability, design, dimensions, and padding. All of these aspects are key to getting a good ab workout at home. A machine’s price and online reviews are also factors taken into account.
As a 40-year-old man who’s been working out for 25 years now, I have accumulated a lot of experience in the gym. As part of my strength training, I have used various gym machines. When a machine has a bad design, it puts the user in awkward positions. Plus, I know how scary it can be when the sit-up bench creaks under us. It’s thanks to my experience that I came up with the products listed above.
1. Fitness Reality X-Class Bench
The Best Workout Bench for Home Use
I recommend Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench if you want to do a wide variety of lower, middle, and upper chest, abdominal, and leg workouts at home. This bench is worth every single dollar.
– Dimensions: 32.5 x 28.8 x 64 inches
– Capacity: 650 pounds
– Warranty: Limited lifetime
– Number of settings: 3 decline and 1 flat
This high-quality sit-up bench will help you add both lower and upper body exercises to your workout regimen, allowing you to build muscles with back extensions, abdominal crunches, single dumbbell rows, knee raises, preacher curls, and so much more!
You are also able to include a flat bench and decline abdominal crunches. It allows you to target the upper, lower, and middle chest muscles with the multiple bench dumbbell exercises that can be done on it.
Fitness Reality Multi-Workout Bench has transportation wheels that make it easy to move around the house if need be. This makes it possible to use it in a certain spot in the house and store it in a different spot.
- Very sturdy, does not squeak or wobble. Great stability.
- Very easy to set up and has quick settings.
- The settings, when required, are quick and easy to do.
- Versatility. The adjustable bench is suitable for a long list of weight lifting and core exercises.
- 650 pounds maximum limit.
- Easy to store, great functionality.
- It’s not possible to put the backrest to a fully upright position initially. However, this is a minor problem because placing the seat at the lowest degree angle makes it easy to place the board in the 85-degree position and place the adjustable seat at any intended angle.
More features and details
With three angles to choose from, this adjustable bench is perfect for ab workouts. As a hyper back extension bench, it is perfect. We love the wide footrest, foam rollers, and hip pads. They have enough cushion but are still supportive. This bench’s quality and strength don’t make me think twice about using it.Amazon reviewer – Read more customer reviews
2. XMark Fitness 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Decline Ab Bench Review
The Best Abs Bench
Based on the customer reviews and the features it provides, it’s an excellent choice and the most popular item in this price range. I also think it’s the best ab bench.
– Dimensions: 61 x 20 x 47 inches
– Capacity: 350 lbs
– Number of settings: 12 decline
There is no question that it is a high-quality sit-up bench. This is adjustable and comfortable home fitness equipment both for beginner and fitter users. Its size is enough for nearly anybody, which makes it safe and comfortable to use. It has been developed with special technology that protects your posterior from injuries or strains.
12 level adjustment is definitely the most powerful feature of this ab crunch bench. The higher we adjust it, the more gravity there is, and the more effective the training is. Beginners can lower the level and start there until they strengthen their abdominal region. Hardcore trainers can begin with high angled levels. This function gives a full range of motion, better extension, and stretching.
- Because of its wide and long size, XM-4416 is extremely stable. People over 350 lbs can use it safely.
- Rather long, taller people can use it comfortably. Most of the other ab machines are too short, so when the user lay down, his head is on the ground. That is not only uncomfortable but can cause neck strains.
- Because of its extended construction, it’s the right solution for bigger, wide-shouldered men.
- 12 level adjustment.
- The Xmark sit-up bench also comes with a support handlebar to get on or off and start the ab workout more easily.
- 14 gauge steel mainframe and tear-resistant, extra-thick cushion upholstery for durability.
- Because of its bigger size, some may find it difficult to store or use in smaller places. But that is the reason why the XM-4416 abdominal bench is so stable and comfortable.
It’s pretty easy to put together and very sturdy. Also, it has a wide mat, which is nice since I’m 6’1, 225 pounds. In terms of price, I can’t think of a better alternative.User – Read more customer reviews
3. Finer Form Multi-Functional Weight Bench
Excellent multi bench
Home gym owners who want an all-in-one bench will love the Finer Form multi-functional bench. This bench is adjustable for flat, incline, decline, preacher curls, and hyperextensions. Lots of functionalities in one machine.
– Dimensions: 60 x 23 x 30 inches
– Capacity: 400 lb
– Settings: 2 decline and flat
– Warranty: 1 year
This allows you to do more exercises without requiring additional benches. Space is saved, as well as money.
An FID bench is one that is flat, incline, and decline. Several bench options are available, including a flat setting, a decline setting, and 6 different incline levels. The bench pad is 2 inches thick and 4 feet long from bench base to bench top.
A three-level adjustment is also available for the seat. There is a flat level and two higher inclination levels. You can move the seat up and down by pulling out the red knob.
In addition, the Finer Form bench can be utilized as an abdominal bench and a hyperextension bench. Using the decline position of the bench and the highest incline of the seat, you can accomplish this goal. You can use the leg pads for any exercise you choose. Leg pads can be adjusted up to four different settings.
Metal gauges are fairly heavy, and welds look very good, with an excellent finish. Despite my weight of over 200 pounds, I always have no trouble using the bench in any of its various positions, yet it weighs less than I anticipated.Brian – Read more customer reviews
4. XMark Mini Ab Decline Bench Review
A rather small bench that provides basic features but is robust. I think this bench is a better option for women.
– Dimensions: 38.75″ L x 21.5″ W x 21.5”
– Capacity: 350lbs
– Settings: Not adjustable
If you are searching for a cheap, not adjustable, sit-up bench for your home gym, the Xmark Mini ab bench is for you. Unfortunately, it is not the best solution for bigger men as XM-4415 is not long and wide enough. The bench has a compact design, so it does not require so much space to use and store. Suitable for a person having limited space.
- This is a really simple bench, but users like it as it is comfortable to use
- Compared to other benches, XM-4415 is a budget option.
- It can be stored in a small place and light.
- It’s not an adjustable sit-up bench and may be uncomfortable for some users. This is an elementary unit with no extras.
- This bench is not foldable.
5. Body-Solid Pro-Style Commercial AB Board
A gym quality abs workout bench for durability, but a bit more expensive. Because of its price, I think there are better purchases here.
– Size: 66″L x 24″W x 52″H
– Settings: 12 settings from 0 to 45 degrees
– Capacity: +300 pounds
– Warranty: Limited lifetime
Body-Solid GAB60 ab board is another proven product to strengthen all your abdomen. It helps to enhance the exercises by setting different degree angles. It can be adjusted in 12 positions, so it is suitable for anybody. Moreover, since it is made of quality materials, this bench is incredibly durable, making it a good choice even for gyms.
The Body-Solid bench supports 12 levels to increase or decrease the difficulty. The hardest level is so steep as if you were hanging upside down, so this crunch board is fitting to professional athletes, as well. This ab board offers the highest angle for sit-ups.
The foam rollers help keep yourself stable while you do the workout, and as they have soft upholstery, they are comfortable. Most of the users say that the foam rollers are well-positioned.
- With its wide backboard, this sit-up bench can be used for different types of abdominal exercises while providing a controlled motion that is more comfortable to do.
- Though the solid steel construction, it is not heavy at all. It also comes with 2 small rollers to relocate it even more comfortable.
- The thick foam padding and the leg rollers are covered with dense Durafirm material making the training comfortable.
- The whole structure of this sit up machine is exceptionally stable, which is essential to prevent injuries during an ab workout.
- Some users complain that the sponge on rollers is a bit firm, which is uncomfortable for the knees.
- This bench is not easy to assemble.
- High price for a sit-up bench.
For my home gym, I love Body Solid’s products. It is about a year since my wife and I began using this ab board regularly. In addition to its excellent solid design, it is made from high-quality materials. Its ergonomics are perfect for both of us.Glenn D. – Read more customer reviews
6. Stamina Ab/Hyper Bench Pro
Best bench for women
Considering that the bench supports the hyperextension exercise, it’s a more versatile model than the others. Great for home use and women.
– Dimensions: 36 x 17 x 7 inches
– Capacity: 250 lbs
– Warranty: 5 years
– Adjustability: 4 levels
This ab hyperextension bench is definitely a good buy considering that Stamina Pro is the combination of a decline sit-up bench and a back extension. This way, we can perform core strengthening exercises with it. So, it’s an all-in-one solution for core training, meaning you can develop your back and abdominal muscles.
- The angle of the bench can be increased up to 30 degrees with a pin. Hence, you can easily increase or decrease the difficulty.
- The split tight support for hyperextension makes it safe and comfortable.
- The unique feature is that you can do standing hyperextension exercises to strengthen and slim your hips.
- Fully adjustable to alter it to the optimal decline position for your height.
- Quality, thickly padded foam slant board and foam rollers for comfort.
- Taller users find this sit-up bench not long enough.
- A few customers complained about the pin.
- A few problems with assembly.
- Low weight limit.
7. Fabfit Curved Extra Long Adjustable Sit-Up Bench Review
I would recommend this bench for anyone who is looking to have a variety of abdominal workouts. It is equipment that you must-have for your home gym, and it sure will give you value for your money.
– Capacity: 250 lbs
– Warranty: ?
– Adjustability: 4 levels
This slant board allows you to define and heat your core very effectively and ergonomically by providing the perfect platform for many ab exercises. It allows you to do your bench sit up, twists, and reverse crunches. Fabfit is good for novices looking to get into shape and pros who intend to remain at the top. This supports targeting the different parts of your abdominal section.
The decline bench comes with roller pads that have chrome end caps making the product extremely light and durable while at the same time providing comfort during a workout.
- Very simple to assemble.
- The bench is very comfortable.
- Quality and affordable.
- Lightweight and extremely durable.
- Durable, heavy-duty steel tubing giving stability.
- The FabFit sit-up bench does not have a folding design, but the assembled footprint is 57 x 16 inches and will therefore not occupy much space. You could also lower it and lean it against a wall or in the closet if you do not have enough space in your room.
- The ankle rollers are a bit uncomfortable.
- Extra-long back cushion.
- A curve design supports the natural curvature of your back, which will help in preventing back pain which is common if using the flat benches.
- The bench features an ultra-thick back cushion which is two inches and provides better support to the spine for a more efficient workout.
- The bench also features extended PU wrapped roller pads that have chrome end caps to conveniently secure your legs during a workout, causing less strain and fewer injuries because they are at an ideal distance.
- Both an incline and a decline bench, depending on where you position your body and head, with four incline positions for comfortable and efficient twists, sit-ups, and reverse crunches for your core area.
- The sit-up bench comes with a pair of resistance bands that help in boosting your strength training.
- The maximum user weight is 250 pounds.
- The bench features an assembled footprint measuring 57 x 16 inches.
- Assembly manual and all the necessary tools.
8. XMark Commercial Sit-Up Bench Review (XM-7608)
If you need a durable, gym-quality bench for multiple purposes, it is the model for you—also a good choice for commercial gyms.
– Size: 66.3 x 22.4 x 43 inches
– Capacity: 500 lbs
– Warranty: Lifetime for home
– Adjustability: 12 levels
This commercial ab bench is an enhanced alternative of the mentioned 12 positions one. This means this bench has an even more sturdy structure so that it can be used in gyms as well. It also comes with an amazing exclusive lifetime warranty!
- Handlebar for safety. It can be used as a reverse crunch handle as well.
- Robust, heavy-duty steel frame construction for long-lasting usage. Because of it, XM-7608 is suitable for those who want to use weights such as dumbbells on it. The stability is great.
- Quality ultra-dense cushion to protect your back.
- Thickly padded foam leg rollers for an even more comfortable workout.
- 12 level adjustment to tweak the optimal resistance. These settings are good for both beginners and pro users.
- A few users found this commercial sit-up bench hard to assemble.
It is convenient to adjust the height. Many of the decline benches here don’t have much decline angle. It features a 45-degree angle that’s perfect for ab exercises.Joe – Read more customer reviews
9. Valor Fitness DF-1 Decline/Flat Bench Review
A really versatile and robust bench for any type of decline workout.
– Size: 56 x 21 x 37 inches
– Capacity: 600 lbs
– Warranty: 3 years
– Adjustability: 14 levels
This adjustable decline sit-up bench can be altered in 12 positions. The structure has been designed specially to support the back and the knees. Because of its high limit and flat position, it can be used as a weight bench. Hence, the Valor Fitness bench helps to build muscles for fitness enthusiasts.
- The crunch board has thick foam, which allows a comfortable workout.
- Since Valor Df-1 is really sturdy, it is suitable for ab training and other decline workouts.
- Because of the contoured angle behind the knees (which is a unique feature among the ab benches) allows for lower back safe exercise.
- Wide and long slant board. Hence, DF-1 is fitting to tall guys.
- The wide steel tubing basement provides stability for any decline exercises.
- This sit-up bench does not come with wheels that can help to move.
When do you need a sit-up bench?
Buying Guide & Tips
Types of Sit-Up Benches
Adjustable decline ab bench
It is the most popular sit-up bench as it allows us to change the angle of the slant board. This way, we can set a resistance level that suits our workout demands.
The higher you put the backboard, the more difficult the exercise is. Hence, people with strong abs can develop their midsection even better. But beginners can also choose a level that helps them to start.
Also, because of the adjustability, we can improve our abdominal strength training. For example, you do fewer reps at a high level and more repetitions at a lower one. Therefore, your workouts will be versatile, stimulating your abs.
Each sit-up bench comes with different adjustments. Some support only 4-6 levels, while others up to 12. Apparently, the items with more positions cost more.
If you want to buy this type of bench, think forward. As you develop, you want to add extra load to your training. Hence, it is better to get one that supports more adjustable positions where the last one is pretty high.
Non-Adjustable Ab Bench
These are the old-school benches that provide only one position for working out. The problem is that sooner or later, your abs get used to the same resistance. Although, you can always increase the number of reps and sets to keep them growing.
On the other, hand in most cases, these are small sit-up benches having a compact size. So, you can store and use them in a little place.
I recommend this type of bench for someone who is not so serious about working out. They just want to do some decline sit-ups sometimes.
Some models are foldable, so after the workout, you can store them under your bed if it is high enough. Cheap folding workout benches are not so stable and have less weight capacity. The better machine works fine without any problems.
Curved ab benches
To tell the truth, I have not used this type of sit-up bench before. The opinion of the trainers is different if it is good or bad.
Some say they give better results since the range of motion is longer. As it is curved, your glutes and lower back are in a higher position. This way, the ab muscles stretch more at the starting position so that the movement will be longer.
On the other hand, that state is not the healthiest for the spine, especially if the supporting muscle groups are weak.
Hence, I only recommend a curved ab bench for people at an advanced fitness level having strong core muscles.
Hyperextension/Sit Up Combo
In my opinion, this is the most beneficial one since it is a multifunction machine. (An alternative to a Roman chair)
Most beginners neglect to strengthen their lower back and spine, but they are an important part of the core as the abdominals. The weak backbone is one of the main reasons for back pain and injuries.
Without this type, you can strengthen these areas with the help of the hyperextension exercise and your abs with decline sit-up bench exercises.
Commercial sit-up bench
Commercial ab benches can be used in gyms. Hence, they are more robust, durable, and maybe provide more functions to exercise.
If you want to use the bench for weight training, such as performing incline dumbbell presses, it is better to get commercial equipment. These benches come with a much higher maximum weight capacity so that you can lift weight safely. The pro units can handle up to 500 lbs or more. So, you can use this sort of bench with a power rack as well.
Apparently, they cost more than a typical machine for a home.
What to check out when buying
Weight capacity & sturdiness
The higher the max load the ab bench can stand, the better. I never recommend buying an item that has lower than 150 lbs capacity. The minimum is 200-250 lbs since, for that, the frame of the apparatus must be solid. That max load is enough for an average user. Typically, the weight limits are suitable for an average user.
Moreover, if you are a big guy or someone who wants to use weights for the ab exercises, or maybe you want to use the decline ab bench as a weight bench, you want something even stronger. If that is the case, get a heavy-duty sit-up bench with a weight capacity of over 350 lbs, such as Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Bench. A bad construction can cause serious injury.
An important factor is the length of the back pad. If you are taller than average, get an adjustable ab bench that has a long board. It is annoying if, because of the shortness of the backboard, you hit your head on the ground.
Also, will you have enough space to use and store your new ab bench? Folding benches with transport wheels are great for small spaces.
Check the length of the sit-up bench and if it is foldable or not.
Adjustability & versatility
Well, I do not recommend purchasing an ab bench that is not adjustable since your abs get used to the same resistance after a time. Get one that provides at least four levels so that you can have versatile workouts and challenge yourself regularly. Increasing the intensity of the movements is important for continuous development.
However, if you already have a strong midsection, getting an item that supports even more levels, 8 or more, is better. This way, you can set it to a high degree angle that gives a killer resistance. So you can keep growing and get versatility.
The upholstery of the slant board and leg rollers
If the cushioning is too thin, it is uncomfortable for the back to perform the moves. The backrest should be covered with a minimum of 2 inches of upholstery. 2.5-3 inches thickness is the most comfortable. Also, the risk of back pain is lower.
The same is true for the leg holders. It is very uncomfortable for the ankles if the leg rollers are not covered with a thick and appropriate material.
Well, you can get a sit-up bench for 40 bucks, but you get what you pay for. Better ab benches start at about $100, and gym-quality ones are about $150. If you can afford this bench, it is worth spending a little more since the training experience is much better. But, mid-level gear is suitable for an average user for home workouts.
What are the benefits?
- Strengthen your core. Your core means your abs, oblique, hip, and back. To build an attractive midsection, you should train each of the previous. Furthermore, a strong core is vital if you do other sports, proper posture and balance. With the help of an ab bench, you will be able to target all those muscles.
- Tone and tighten your abs. But, follow a healthy diet and control your calorie intake, you can burn belly fat faster with the chair. If you already have a lean stomach, then you will see results quickly. It is powerful equipment to get those six-pack abs.
- The sit-up bench supports your back (do the ab exercises correctly.) The models mentioned coming with ergonomically positioned leg rollers that help to reduce back strain. Moreover, since they are covered with thick foam, you will be able to do the activities more comfortably then doing them on the floor.
- You will be able to do a wide range of core strengthening exercises, not just abdominal ones. For example, I use it for performing decline bench presses, push-ups and leg raises. It can be a useful fitness bench for other purposes. But, don’t use them for barbell training.
- The adjustable models are beneficial for both beginners and advanced users since the resistance can be adjusted to make the variety of decline abdominal bench exercises more effective. Some models even come with reverse crunch handle for secure mount and dismount.
How effective are ab bench?
No matter which one you will use, none of them will be sufficient if you do not use them correctly. It is essential to learn how to use it to get the best results. Also, you want to follow a routine. Do not think that you will have six-pack abs just because you do some exercises.
If you are a beginner, you need to start with the basic sit-up bench exercises such as incline leg lifts. You can learn more here: how to use a sit-up bench correctly.
Is it worth buying a sit-up bench?
It isn’t necessary to buy an abdominal bench, but it is worth buying if you can afford this gym equipment. There are many great workouts you can do to train your abs without using any machines, but an adjustable decline bench can help make your routine even more efficient.
Alternative to ab machine?
If you cannot have an ab workout bench, there are some core exercise equipment that substitutes it for some reason.
You can get a sit-up bar that you can attach to the bottom of the door. It is similar to a leg holder. Hence, it is not adjustable, but the bar is covered with thick foam for the comfort of your feet.
The other option is the ab wheel which strengthens the core differently. You need to roll in and out by keeping your balance. It is a very effective device, but the exercise itself is challenging, suitable for beginners.
Why does my back hurt after I use the ab bench?
It is crucial to make the motion correctly. You must not let too much strain on your spine; you can do this by bending your knees. Besides, you do not have to go down so far and keep your ab muscles flexed. Finally, you may need to train your lower back.
If you follow the advice above, I’m sure you will find the best sit-up bench that will suit your needs. If you buy online, read the customer reviews and ask the manufacturer if you have any questions.
- Build Your Six Pack With Decline Sit Ups
- Beim, Gloria M., et al. “Abdominal strengthening exercises: a comparative EMG study.” Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 6.1 (1997): 11-20.
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API