Best Sit Up Benches – Reviews & Buying Guide

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Adjustable sit up benches are among those beneficial abs exercise equipment that can help you a lot to strengthen your core muscles at home. While there are several exercises for abs you can do without equipment, a bench can increase the efficiency of your workouts drastically.

The best sit up benches are adjustable, which means you can set the angle of the board. This way, you can increase or decrease the resistance to your needs. Beginners can adjust it to a lower level so the exercise will be more comfortable. Hardcore trainers can set the angle higher, so resistance will be far harder.

Within this guide, I’m going to show you different types of ab workout benches, and give info on buying and proper usage.

Top 3 Items

ModelBest for?Reviews & Score

Fitness Reality Multi-Workout Bench

Fitness Reality X-Class
The most versatile piece of equipment on this list. You can use it as a sit up, back extension, and as a workout bench. This way, you can have an all in one exercise bench for strength training. Suitable for any level of fitness thanks to the high weight limit.  

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XMark XM-4416

XMark-Fitness-XM-4416
If you need just a sit up bench which convenient, robust, and versatile, then this is the best choice. Many levels to choose from and very comfortable giving great abs workout experience.

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Universal Bench

Universal Decline Bench
If you are a beginner or on a budget, then this bench is for you. It is suitable for moderate training.

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When do you need one?

  • You have no time going to the gym but want to shape your abs with various exercises at home.
  • If the typical abs exercises such as crunches do not develop your midsection anymore.
  • You want to boost your core strength by using a fierce resistance by setting the board level to the maximum.
  • You would like to improve your performance in any sports since a strong core is required for that.
  • You need a piece of equipment for your home gym to have more types of exercises with free weights such as dumbbell chest press. (This way it functions as an adjustable workout bench).

Ab Exercise Bench Reviews

1. Fitness Reality X-Class Bench – The best Workout Bench for Home

Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Bench

My rating: | Price: Price not available

BUY AT AMAZON

This bench will help you add both lower and upper body exercises to your workout regimen, allowing you to build muscles with lower back extensions, abdominal crunches, single dumbbell rows, knee raises, preacher curls, lower back exercises, and so much more!

You are also able to include flat 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 which 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.

Features

  • 2.5-inch thick high-density foam bench with a moisture and sweat resistant vinyl cover that is double stitched.
  • Measures 36 x 8-12 inches and is tapered.
  • 650-pound real maximum capacity, height range of 5 feet to 6’4”.
  • 2 x 2-inch sturdy steel frame with a 45 degree back extension angle.
  • The push-up and dipping handlebars are soft, slip-resistant, and are 1.5 inches in diameter
  • 4-inch extra thick foam pads which allow two roller pad adjustment levels for multiple users of different heights.
  • It has a 7-level adjustable backrest, and the bench seat has four vertical height adjustments.
  • Detachable leg lockdown for sit-ups and crunches.
  • Split 2-inch thigh support cushions with 14 height.
  • The sturdy bench has one flat and 3 decline adjustments and a 2.5-inch medium density foam which guarantees increased comfort.
  • U-shaped stabilizer bar which reduces wobbling.
  • It has wheels for a smooth relocation from one room to another.
  • The utility bench comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

 

Pros

  • Very sturdy, does not squeak or wobble.
  • Very easy to set up.
  • The adjustments, when required, are quick and easy to do.
  • Versatile. It is suitable for a long list of weight lifting and core exercises.
  • 650 pounds maximum limit.
  • Easy to store

Cons

It’s not possible to put the backrest to a fully upright position initially. However, this is a minor problem because after placing the seat in the lowest degree angle, it is easy to place the board in the 85-degree position and then place the seat in any intended angle.

I would recommend Fitness Reality X-Class Multi-Workout Bench if you are looking to have a wide variety of lower, middle and upper chest, abdominal, and leg workouts at home. This bench is worth every single dollar you will spend buying it.


2. XMark Fitness 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Decline Ab Bench – The Best Sit Up Bench / Suitable for Tall People

XMark Fitness XM-4416

My rating: | Price: $148.00

BUY AT AMAZON

There is no question that this sit up board is one of the best ones. This is an 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 lower back from injuries or strains.

What I Like

  • 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 an extended construction, it’s the right solution for bigger, wide-shouldered men.
  • 12 level adjustment is definitely the most powerful feature of this ab crunch bench. The higher we adjust the board, the more gravity there is, and more effectively 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.
  • It also comes with a support handlebar to get on or off the bench and to start the ab workout more easily.
  • 14 gauge steel mainframe and tear-resistant, extra-thick cushion upholstery for durability.

Cons

  • Because of its bigger size, some may find it difficult to store or use in smaller places. But that is the reason why XM-4416 abdominal bench is so stable and comfortable.

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.


3. Universal Decline Bench – The Cheapest

Universal

My rating: | Price: $59.99

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This is a simple sit up equipment on a great price, which allows to perform full sit-ups and also good for twisting. Though it only offers two levels of adjustment; Universal is still good gym equipment to train abs at home. It can be folded so it can be stored easily.

Pros

  • You can fold it up for easy storage. Good choice for those who live in smaller flats.
  • The foam padding rollers are comfortable and adjustable covered with foam. People say that the rollers fix their feet so they can use the crunch board securely and effectively.
  • Easy to assemble and none of the buyers complain about missing parts.
  • Most of the users say positive reviews about the thick padding on the bench. Universal has dense cushion.

Cons

  • This abdominal board has limitations. Men over 6′ cannot use it conveniently as their head hang out.
  • Also, the weight limit is just 200lb.
  • It wobbles under heavier trainers.

In case you are bigger than the mentioned values, do not buy it. You will not be able to use it comfortably. Although it is maybe a good choice for women under average height. To sum up, it is a very basic product.


4. XMark Mini Ab Decline Bench XM-4415 – The Most Compact

XMark XM-4415

My rating: | Price: Price not available

BUY AT AMAZON

If you are searching for a cheap, not adjustable sit up bench for you home gym, Xmark Mini ab bench is for you. Unfortunately, it is not the best solution for bigger men as XM-4415 not long and wide enough. It has compact design so it does not require to so much space to use and store. Suitable for one having limited space.

Pros

  • This is a really simple bench, but users like it as it is comfortable to use
  • Compared to other benches XM-4415 is cheaper.
  • Can be stored in a small place and light.

Cons

  • Not adjustable and maybe uncomfortable for some users. This is a really simple board with no extras.
  • It is not foldable.

A rather small bench that provides basic features. I think it is a better option for women.


5. Body-Solid Pro-Style Commercial AB Board – Gym Level

Commercial abdominal bench

My rating: | Price: Price not available

BUY AT AMAZON

Body-Solid GAB60 ab board is another proven product to strengthen all your abdominal muscles. 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.

Pros

  • This bench comes with an extra wide board which is comfortable and helps to do different sorts of abdominal exercises safely as the motion is more controlled.
  • Though it is made of durable steel, it is not heavy at all. It also comes with 2 small rollers which help to relocate it even more comfortable.
  • It 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 thick padding and the rollers are covered with dense Durafirm material making the usage comfortable.
  • The rollers help to 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.
  • The whole structure of this sit up machine is exceptionally stable, which is essential to prevent injuries during ab workout.
  • Portable

Cons

  • Some users complain about that the sponge on rollers are a bit firm, and that is uncomfortable for knees.
  • It is not easy to assemble.
  • High price

A gym quality ab workout bench for long-lasting usage, but a bit more expensive. Because of its price, I think there are better purchases here.


6. Stamina Ab/Hyper Bench Pro – Good Choice for Women

My rating: | Price: $113.19

BUY AT AMAZON

This ab hyperextension bench is definitely one of the best buys considering that Stamina 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 lower back and abdominal muscles.

Pros

  • The angle of the board can be increased up to 30 degree with a pin. Hence, you can easily increase or decrease the difficulty
  • The split tight support for hyperextension make usage safe and comfortable.
  • The unique feature is that you can do standing hyperextension exercises to strengthen and slim your lower back.
  • Fully adjustable to alter it to the optimal position for your height.
  • Thickly padded foam board and foam rollers for comfortable usage.

Cons

  • Taller users find it not long enough.
  • A few customers complained about the pin.
  • A few problems with assembly.
  • Low weight limit.

Considering that it supports the hyperextension exercise, it’s a more versatile model than the others. Great for home usage and women.


7. Fabfit Curved Extra Long Adjustable Sit Up Bench – Unique Design

Fabfit Curved Extra Long Adjustable Sit up board

My rating: | Price: Price not available

BUY AT AMAZON

This slant board allows you to define and heat your core very effectively and ergonomically by providing the perfect platform for a lot of 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 for pros who intend to remain at the top. This supports targeting the different parts of your abdominal section.

The bench comes with roller pads which have chrome end caps making the product extremely light and durable, while at the same time providing comfort during a workout.

Best features

  • Extra-long back cushion.
  • A curve design supports the natural curvature of your lower back, which will help in preventing lower back pain which is common if using the flat benches.
  • It 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 which 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 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.
  • It comes with a pair of resistance bands which help in boosting your strength training.
  • The maximum user weight is 250 pounds.
  • It features an assembled footprint measuring 57 x 16 inches.
  • Assembly manual and all the necessary tools.

Pros

  • Very simple to assemble
  • The bench is very comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and extremely durable
  • Durable heavy-duty steel tubing

Cons

  • It 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 a lot of space in your room.
  • The ankle rollers are a bit uncomfortable.

I would recommend it for anyone who is looking to have a variety of abdominal workouts. It is one equipment that you must-have for your home gym, and it sure will give you value for your money.


8. XMark Commercial Sit Up Bench XM-7608

12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench XM-7608

My rating: | Price: Price not available

BUY AT AMAZON

This commercial ab bench is an enhanced alternative of the mentioned 12 positions one. This means it 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 for the equipment!

Pros

  • Handle bar for safer usage. 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 suitable for those who want to use weights such as dumbbells on it.
  • Ultra-dense cushion to protect your back.
  • Thickly padded foam leg rollers for even more comfortable and comfy usage.
  • 12 level adjustment to tweak the optimal resistance. Good for both beginners and pro users.

Cons

  • A few users found it hard to assemble.
  • Expensive.

If you need a durable, gym-quality bench for multiple purposes, it is the model you need. Also, a good choice for commercial gyms.9.


9. Valor Fitness DF-1 Decline/Flat Bench

Valor Fitness DF-1 Decline Flat Bench

My rating: | Price: $312.99

BUY AT AMAZON

This adjustable decline sit up bench can be altered in 12 positions. The structure has been designed specially to support the lower back and the knees. Because of its high limit and flat position, it can be used as a weight bench as well.

Pros

  • The crunch board has thick foam which allows comfortable usage.
  • Since Valor Df-1 is really sturdy, it is not only suitable for ab training, but other decline workouts as well.
  • Because of the contoured angle behind the knees (which is unique feature among the ab benches). It allows for more lower back safe usage.
  • Wide and long board. Hence, DF-1 is fitting to tall guys.
  • The wide steel tubing basement provides stability for any decline exercises.

Cons

  • It does not come with wheels which can help to move it and it is rather pricey.
  • Expensive

A really versatile and robust bench for any types of decline workout.


Buying Guide & Tips

Types of Sit Up Benches

Adjustable decline sit up bench

types of sit up benches

XMark Fitness 12 Position Ergonomic Adjustable Decline Ab Bench

It is the most popular equipment as it allows us to change the angle of the board. This way, we can set a resistance level that suits the best to our workout needs.

The higher you put the board, 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, thanks to the adjustability, we can improve our abdominal strength training. For example, you do fewer reps at a high level, and do more repetitions at a lower one. Therefore, your workouts will be versatile stimulating your abdominal muscles.

Each product comes with different adjustments. Some support only 4-6 levels, while others up to 12. Apparently, the ones 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 positions where the last one is pretty high.

Non-Adjustable Ab Bench

traditional

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 of the cases, these are small sit up bench equipment having a compact size. So, you can store and use them in a little place.

I recommend this type of equipment for someone who is not so serious about working out, just want to do some decline sit ups sometimes.

Folding

There some models which are foldable, so after usage, 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 equipment works fine without any problems.

Curved ab benches

curved

To tell the truth, I have not used this type of equipment before, the opinion of the trainers are 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 abdominal muscles stretch more at the starting position so the movement will be longer.

On the other hand, that state is not healthiest for the lower back and the spine, especially if the supporting muscles are weak.

Hence, I only recommend a curved ab bench for people who are at an advanced fitness level having strong core muscles.

Hyperextension/Sit Up Combo

hyperextension bench

In my opinion, this is the most beneficial one since it is multifunction equipment. (An alternative to a Roman chair)

Most of the beginners neglect to strengthen their lower back and spine muscles, but they are as important part of the core as the abdominal muscles. The weak lower back is one of the main reasons for back pain and injuries.

Without the help of 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 provides more functions to exercise.

If you want to use the bench for weight training for example to perform incline dumbbell presses, it is better to get commercial equipment. These benches come with much higher maximum weight capacity so that you can lift weight in safety. The pro units can handle up to 500 lbs or more. So, you can use it with a power rack as well.

Apparently, they cost more than typical equipment for home.

What to check out when buying

Weight capacity

The higher the max load the equipment can stand the better. I never recommend buying an item which has lower than 150 lbs capacity. The minimum is 200-250 lbs since for that the frame of the equipment must be solid. That max load is enough for an average user.

Moreover, if you are a big guy or someone who wants to use weights for the exercises, or maybe you want to use the decline ab bench as a weight bench as well, then you need something even stronger. If that is the case get a heavy-duty sit up bench with capacity over 350 lbs such as Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Bench.

Dimensions

An important factor is the length of the back pad. If you are taller than average, get an adjustable ab bench which has a long board. It is annoying if because of the shortness of the board you hit your head on the ground.

Also, will you have enough space to use and store your new abs exercise equipment?

Check the length of the equipment and if it is foldable or not.

Adjustability

Well, I do not recommend purchasing an abdomen bench which is not adjustable since after a time your muscles get used to the same resistance. Get one which provides at least four levels so that you can have versatile workouts.

However, if you are someone who already has a strong midsection, it is better to get an item that supports even more levels, 8 or more. This way you can set it to a high angle that gives a killer resistance. So you can keep growing.

The upholstery of the board and rollers

If the cushioning of the board is too thin, it is uncomfortable for the back to perform the moves. The backrest should be covered with a minimum 2 inches upholstery. 2.5-3 inches thickness is the most comfortable.

The same is true for the leg holders. It is very uncomfortable for the ankles if the rollers are not covered with a thick and appropriate material.

Price

Well, you can get one 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, it is worth to spend a little bit more since the training experience is much better. But, mid-level equipment are suitable for an average user for home workouts.

What are the benefits?

  • Strengthen your core. Your core means your abs, oblique, hip and lower back muscles. To build an attractive midsection, you should train each of these muscles. Furthermore, a strong core is vital if you do other sports and proper posture. With the help of a 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 it. If you already have a lean stomach, then you will see results quickly. It is powerful equipment to get those six-pack abs.
  • It supports your back (do the 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 dumbbell bench presses. It can be a useful fitness bench for other purposes.
  • The adjustable models are beneficial for both beginners and advanced users since the resistance can be adjusted to make the variety of decline ab bench exercises more effective. Some models even come with reverse crunch handle for secure mount and dismount.

FAQ

How effective are abdominal benches?

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 this equipment to get the best results. Also, you need 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 sit up equipment?

It isn’t necessary to buy an abdominal bench, but if you can afford this gym equipment is worth to buy. There are many great workouts you can do to train your abs without using any machines, but an adjustable decline bench can help a lot to make your routine even more efficient.

Alternative equipment?

If for some reason you cannot have an ab workout bench, there are few exercise equipment that substitutes it.

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 core muscles differently. You need to roll in and out it by keeping your balance. It is very effective equipment, but the exercise itself is challenging, so it is 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 a 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 as well.

Last update on 2019-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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