Last updated on May 15th, 2018
If you think about buying a sit up bench, you may have already checked out a few exercise equipment online or in a store. And, you have bumped into various types. Some are adjustable, others not and there are multifunction units out there.
Here I would like to talk about these variations. You will learn their pros and cons, so you will know which is the most suitable type for you.
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Types of Sit Up Benches
Adjustable decline sit up 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
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.
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
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
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 equipment 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.
To sum up
These are the various types of sit up benches you can choose from. Before purchasing one, I suggest you to ask the following questions from yourself to pick the most suitable for you.
- Do I need various resistance levels for my abs training? (adjustable or not)
- Do I have enough space to use and store? (check the dimensions)
- Will I use it for lifting weight? (check the weight capacity to know if it can be used as a weight bench)
- Do I want to do hyperextensions as well? (if a combo machine is required.)
Have you got any questions? Feel free to ask below.