Looking to build and sculpt a set of 6 pack abs?
Chiseled abs may seem like the pinnacle of a successful fitness routine, because they are hard to get, and even harder to maintain.
The best sit-up benches can help you attain a carved midsection by allowing you to do ab shaping exercises like decline sit-ups, roman twists, reverse crunches, knee tucks and more.
The best sit up benches allow you to work upper, mid and the notoriously hard to target lower abs.
Sit-up benches help you target the oblique’s, for fuller definition.
I will go over the top 13 sit-up benches, what to look for before deciding which sit-up bench to get, the best ab bench workouts and ab bench FAQs to answer all your questions.
- TOP 13 Best Sit-Up Benches Reviewed 2020
- Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench
- XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench
- Finer Form Sit-Up Bench
- Apex Sit-Up Bench
- Marcy Utility Slant Board Sit-Up Bench
- Body-Solid Semi-Recumbent Ab Bench
- Ader Sporting Goods Bent Knee Sit-Up Bench
- Relife Rebuild Your Life Sit-Up Bench
- Vanswe Adjustable Ab Bench
- REP Fitness Adjustable Bench Ab-3000
- Fitness Reality X-Class Ab Workout Bench
- Best Choice Products Sit-Up Bench
- Sunny Health & Fitness Sit-Up Bench
- Buyers Guide to the Best Sit-Up and Ab Benches
- Adjustment Settings – How High or Low Can the Backrest Go?
- Maximum User Weight – Can I Use Weights with This Sit-up Bench?
- User Height vs Length of the Backboard – Is Bench Long Enough for My Height?
- How Sturdy is This Machine – Will it Last a Long Time?
- What Extras are Included? Is This Ab Bench a Good Value?
- How to Use an Ab Bench & a Sit-Up Bench
- Best Ab Bench Workouts
- Ab Bench FAQs
- Article Summary
TOP 13 Best Sit-Up Benches Reviewed 2020
Rogue AB-3 Adjustable Bench
Review: The Rogue AB-3 is a multi-bench that allows you to get things done in your home gym. This bench is perfect for decline sit-ups with the removable foot catch with thick padded rollers.
The AB-3 is built like a tank and will not wobble, even for very heavy and tall users.
And the best thing? This bench works inside or outside the cage, and can be your bench press bench too.
- Both seat and back are adjustable.
- Foot catch rollers are removable so you can use as a flat incline bench.
- A bit expensive – but worth it.
Best ab bench for big guys – one bench that does it all.
XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench
Review: This dedicated decline ab bench is an affordable, yet solid addition to your garage gym. It holds up to 400 lbs of user and weights combined, so its fairly heavy duty.
The back board has a decent length of 40 inches, and the 2.5 inch padding is durable and comfortable.
- Bullhorn handlebar for easy mount and dismount – plus reverse crunches.
- 12 decline adjustment angles.
- 400 lb weight capacity for heavy guys or weighted ab work.
- Foot catch rollers are small.
- Not foldable.
A good value for a home or garage gym in this price range.
Finer Form Sit-Up Bench
Review: Finer Form sit-up bench is a good choice for those who are looking to do sit-ups without much added weight. The curved backboard is comfortable and encourages good form.
The bench has a bullhorn handle that helps you get on and off the bench and allows you to do reverse crunches, which is a nice touch.
- Bullhorn handle allows for reverse crunches.
- Ergonomic curved back pad.
- Adjustment levels to increase challenge.
- Not for users over 6 feet or 200 lbs.
A lightweight sit-up bench for a great price.
Apex Sit-Up Bench
Review: This high-quality slant board sit-up bench from Apex is the perfect addition to your home gym. The back pad is a generous 41.5 inches, and the max weight is 300 lbs, including weights, making it an economical choice for most home gyms.
This board allows you to do decline sit-ups, crunches, Russian twists and more, all from the comfort of home.
- 300 lbs max capacity.
- 5 inch backboard – good for tall folks.
- The back pad is narrow.
The most affordable slant board sit up bench for decline sit-ups for tall people.
Marcy Utility Slant Board Sit-Up Bench
Review: This Marcy slant board sit-up bench is a great addition to your home gym. Although it only holds 250 lbs max, it does work well for tall users.
This sit-up bench has a foam roller headrest, which I have not seen elsewhere, and the backboard is fairly long, so if you are tall, you can be confident this sit-up bench will fit.
- Folds for easy storage.
- 4 adjustment angles to increase challenge.
- Foam headrest at the bottom of the pad.
- Low weight capacity – 250 lbs.
A good quality folding sit-up bench at a reasonable price that works for tall people.
Body-Solid Semi-Recumbent Ab Bench
Review: This Body-Solid commercial quality ab bench machine will last a lifetime and practically guarantee good sit-up form.
The machine holds users up to 300 lbs and an additional 90 lbs in weights on the weight plate horns.
- Works upper and lower abs via ab crunches and knee raises.
- Use with up to 90 lbs of weights on the horns.
- Commercial quality – stable and will last a lifetime.
- Does not allow for decline or reverse crunches.
A sturdy ab bench machine for building upper and lower abs with perfect form. If you like this style of ab crunch machine, we have a list of the best ab machines here, so take a look.
Ader Sporting Goods Bent Knee Sit-Up Bench
Review: This Ader Bent knee sit up bench is made to last. It can hold over 400 lbs total weight and has a wide bench to accommodate large athletes at 16 inches wide. Most are just 12 inches wide.
- Weighs just 30 lbs, so it’s portable.
- Solid as a rock, appropriate for big and tall users.
- Wide seat back, 16 inches.
- Fixed angle, does not adjust.
Simple, straightforward sit-up bench that works well for big and tall users.
Relife Rebuild Your Life Sit-Up Bench
Review: The rebuild your life sit-up bench is a portable, lightweight folding sit-up bench perfect for those who are tight on space.
This space saving sit-up bench can be stowed away and holds up to 260 lbs, making it a good choice for moderate use.
- Folds up easily.
- Curved, ergonomically backboard.
- Lightweight, easy to move.
- Only holds 260 lbs total weight.
Good folding sit-up bench for small spaces.
Vanswe Adjustable Ab Bench
Review: This quality mutli-bench allows for decline sit-ups and hyper-extension, all on the same bench, making it a great value.
With a 36.5 inch back pad used in combination with the knee and footpads, this sit-up bench easily accommodates taller users. The pads are height adjustable too, so you can position the hip pad to your height.
- One flat and three decline positions.
- Includes hip pad for hyperextensions.
- Hip and footpads are height adjustable.
- Wish the back pad was just a little longer.
Best sit up bench for home for doing ab work and hyperextensions.
REP Fitness Adjustable Bench Ab-3000
Review: This REP Fitness adjustable ab bench is made for serious lifters. It holds up to 1000 lbs and the back rest has 7 adjustable positions, including decline for decline crunches.
This multi-use bench will serve you for years to come and is an excellent value because, in addition to ab exercises, it can be used for fly’s, presses and much more.
- Backrest has 7 adjustable position, while seat has 5 adjustable positions.
- Holds up to 1000 lbs.
- Multi-use – as an ab bench and for presses and fly exercises.
- Challenging to assemble.
A great Multi-Bench with decline position for Ab exercises.
Fitness Reality X-Class Ab Workout Bench
Review: The Fitness Reality X Class Ab Bench is a top of the line, dedicated ab bench. It holds an impressive 650 lbs which means it works great for serious lifters.
This bench also functions as a hyperextension machine, further adding value. It is easy to put together and has wheels so you can quickly move it out of the way.
They seem to have thought of all the details-except the pad length is only 36 inches, so if you are over 6’2” your head extends past the pad.
- Massive 650 lb weight capacity.
- Allows you to do back hyperextensions, thanks to the height-adjustable hip/knee pad.
- 1 flat and three decline positions.
- Wish the back pad was a few inches longer, not great for users over 6’2”.
Best sit up bench of 2020 in terms of both value and utility.
Best Choice Products Sit-Up Bench
Review: This Best Choice sit-up bench is sturdy and well-constructed, but is a little short. It holds up to 330 lbs, which is decent, and I like that it gets down to a 45 degree angle to really increase the challenge, because not all ab benches are able to go that steep.
- Twelve different height adjustments.
- Bullhorn handle for reverse crunches.
- Comfortable foot catch pads.
- Not for tall folks.
A good sit up bench for those under 6 feet tall who need the challenge of 12 different adjustment angles.
Sunny Health & Fitness Sit-Up Bench
Review: This Sunny Health and Fitness ab bench functions well as an ab bench, but since it only holds 250 lbs, I would not use this bench for presses.
The backrest adjusts so you can increase the challenge of your ab workout and the price is hard to beat. This is a small ab bench, so if space is limited, this is a good choice.
- Adjustable angle back.
- Very affordable.
- Small and can be propped against the wall and out of the way.
- Only holds 250 lbs max.
- Does not fold completely – despite what the ad says.
A good, adjustable angle sit-up bench in the low-end price range.
Buyers Guide to the Best Sit-Up and Ab Benches
Keep the following 5 factors in mind while you choose the best sit-up bench for your home gym.
Adjustment Settings – How High or Low Can the Backrest Go?
Many sit up machine manufacturers boast about how many adjustment settings they have, which is fine. The more adjustment settings the bench has on the backboard, the more you can fine-tune your workout.
The real challenge lies in the angle the sit-up bench has. The steeper the angle, the more challenging the exercise.
Maximum User Weight – Can I Use Weights with This Sit-up Bench?
It is important to pay attention to the max capacity of the bench before you decide.
The way to get the MOST from your sit-up bench is to use it with weights. After all, abs are built using resistance, and weights provide more resistance.
The weight capacity of the bench must hold you and your weights safely.
User Height vs Length of the Backboard – Is Bench Long Enough for My Height?
The length of the backboard is something you should be looking at. If you are tall, and the backboard is short, your head may hang from the end, or you may not fit comfortably.
If you are tall, look for a bench that is at least 38” long.
The XMark adjustable decline ab workout bench is a good sit-up bench for tall folks because it has a 40 inch long back pad.
How Sturdy is This Machine – Will it Last a Long Time?
When you invest in a piece of workout equipment, the last thing you want is to have to buy a new one again in a few years. It may seem like a good deal to get an inexpensive sit-up board, but that choice may bite you in the butt later.
A good hint about the stability and sturdiness of an ab bench is the max weight it can hold.
If you are looking for a sturdy bench that won’t drain your bank account, check out the Fitness Reality X-Class ab workout bench which holds 650 lbs and is built to last.
What Extras are Included? Is This Ab Bench a Good Value?
Obviously, you should be able to do the basics like decline sit-ups, reverse crunches and such with any sit up bench.
Some sit up benches allow you to do more. A few on this list, allow you to use the bench for back hyperextensions. The Vanswe adjustable ab bench has a hip pad and footrest that allows you to do Hyper Back Extensions.
A few benches in this list also can be used for bench presses, which really adds value, since you get two benches in one. The Rogue Ab-3 a bench that does it all.
How to Use an Ab Bench & a Sit-Up Bench
Here, Billy Beck demonstrates how to use the sit-up bench.
Best Ab Bench Workouts
After you invest in an ab bench, you want to make sure you get the most from your money by learning all the exercises you can do.
In the following video Jared shows you how to do 5 different exercises on the ab bench.
Some more specialized exercises you can do on your sit-up bench are:
Roman Twist – Grab a Kettlebell or a weight for this exercise.
Decline press – All you need for decline bench presses are a decline bench and a pair of dumbbells.
Reverse Crunch – Look for a sit-up bench with a bullhorn handle to do reverse crunches.
Ab Bench FAQs
What is the Best Sit-up Bench for Tall Guys and Gals?
Finding a sit-up bench that is long enough for tall folks, and sturdy enough for heavy users can be challenging.
Some great sit-up benches for tall and heavy guys are the Rogue Ab 3 , which is a tank, the Rep Fitness bench , which holds up to 1000 lbs, and the Apex sit-up bench which holds 400 lbs and is stable and solid even with a lot of weight.
Are Ab Benches Effective?
Sit-up benches are effective at building all ab muscles. They make it easy to do exercises like the reverse crunch and decline sit-ups, which work the hard to target lower abs, specifically.
Without an ab bench, it is more challenging to reach all the ab muscles.
A sit-up bench is the right tool for the job when it comes to sculpting your midsection.
Are Sit-up Benches Bad for Your Back?
No, not if they are used properly. It is important to maintain good form for whatever exercise you do, to prevent injury.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I think that’s spot on. Educate yourself on how to perform a proper sit-up and you should have no trouble with your back.
Check out this video to see the proper form for a decline sit-up.
Are Sit-up Bars any Good?
A sit-up bar attaches to the bottom of your door and provides two roller style foot catches to hold your feet as you do sit-ups, like this CAP sit-up bar here ( link to Amazon.com ).
As long as your sit-up form is good, they are useful, because they give your feet a place to anchor you in place.
Like all floor sit-ups, they are limited in their scope. In other words, a floor sit-up cannot target the ab muscles to the same extent a decline bench or sit-up bench can. This is particularly true when it comes to the lower abs.
While you are setting up your home gym with the best sit up bench, why not take a look at some more CrossFit gym equipment here, and make your home gym complete.
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