The keys to unlocking the six-pack power of the sit-up are the perfect form and added resistance. The inherent problems with doing sit-ups from the floor are unnecessary stress on the joints – especially the neck – and zero added resistance. A decent solution to the problem is to do reverse crunches or sit-ups, yet you’re still left with minimal resistance. The ultimate solution is to invest in the best sit up bench to give yourself the most decline/incline angles and to minimize stress on your joints.
Welcome to our guide to choosing the best sit-up bench for your home. In this guide, we share:
- Top 10 Sit-Up Benches (Incline + Decline)
- Sit-Up Bench Reviews
- The Best Sit Up Bench Exercises
- Buyer’s Guide
Best Sit Up Bench Reviews
Are your abs as hungry for a hard workout as ours? We sure hope so! Before you get crunching, let’s take a closer look at several of our top picks in case you’re still on the fence. Also, be sure to stick around after the reviews for tips on sit-up bench workouts that’ll help you get the coveted shredded six-pack.
XMark XM-7608 Utility Slant Board
There are two versions of the XMark sit-up bench, and both of them are top-notch choices for your home or garage gym. The two major differences between the premium and budget versions are the extra-thick vinyl-covered foam rollers and the segmented backrest w/ headrest upgrades found in the premium version.
The premium version (XM-7608) also sports a larger bench with 66.3″ L x 22.4″ W x 43″ H fully-assembled dimensions vs 61″ L x 20″ W x 47″ H dimensions of the budget version (XM-4416.1).
What we like the most about both benches is the number of height positions and the steeper angle than other benches offer. If you’re anything like us, you know how important it is to get a steep angle for more resistance and to really target your lower abdomen.
We also love the bullhorn handlebar feature to keep your body stable during decline work. Stability is essential to help you lock in on targeting your abs for the best results.
Marcy SB-4606 Utility Slant Board w/ Headrest
The Marcy Sit-Up Bench or “Slant Board” is a solid budget decline ab bench for your home gym. If you’re not concerned about buying premium quality and looking for something that’ll get the job done, the Marcy bench is an excellent option. It’s also good for people who have gym memberships and need something on the side for brief ab workouts at home.
The greatest drawback is the load capacity of 250lbs including the user’s weight. The greatest advantage is the wide bench that prevents you from slipping around during your ab workout. The rollers provide enough padding to avoid the pain of metal digging into your legs that often accompanies cheap sit-up benches.
Valor Fitness DF-1 Adjustable Decline/Flat Bench
The first thing we noticed when we checked out this bench was the stable foundation. Instead of roller wheels, this bench sits on square feet, meaning this bench will not rock or wobble. The DF-1 is best for people who want a combination sit-up & weightlifting bench to do decline/incline work.
The greatest disadvantage is there’s nothing to grab onto such as a bullhorn handlebar for doing reverse crunches and sit-ups. Secondly, the max incline angle is not quite as steep as what you get with the XMark benches. Outside of those disadvantages, this bench is a beast and a great price for a gym-quality bench.
We love the thick padding for doing sit-ups, especially the overflow padding that protects the back of your knees while doing sit-ups and crunches. Lastly, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not a foldable sit-up bench that stores easily.
Ironmaster Super Bench w/ Hypercore Attachment
The Ironmaster Super Bench paired with the Hypercore attachment is for people who want to be able to do the most hardcore core workouts at home. The Super Bench itself is diesel and built to support up to 1000lbs. The Hypercore attachment holds up to 300lbs.
The main feature we love about the Hypercore is the deluxe extra-thick padding not offered in cheap workout benches. When it’s time to do back extensions, reverse back extensions, Roman Chair sit-ups, and side crunches, you know you’re getting a 100% sturdy bench that’s comfortable to use.
When you’re done, simply unmount the attachment. We really like how versatile the Super Bench is for a home gym, and there are additional attachments you may want to check out for alternate workouts.
Vanswe Adjustable Ab Bench
The Vanswe Adjustable Ab Bench is the most versatile bench in our Top 10. One of the advantages of the Vanswe bench over the XMark benches is the option to do back extensions aka hyperextensions. Since hyperextensions are one of our favorite all-time workouts for strengthening the core and lower back, we love to have this feature.
Secondly, we love the handlebars on the sides of the Roman Chair for doing reverse crunches and sit-ups. The sure-grip allows you to really dig into your decline work and target your abs. For the price, it’s hard to beat the quality and versatility offered by the Vanswe sit-up bench.
The one major drawback is the low number of height positions. If you’re someone who likes steep angles, XMark benches are the better option.
Best Choice Products Adjustable Decline Sit Up Bench
If you’re looking for a budget alternative to the XMark XM-7608 that’s under a hundred bucks, this bench by Best Choice Products is the one for you. Obviously, the greatest disadvantage is the quality of the bench compared to the XM-7608. However, this is the best budget sit-up bench in our Top 10 with steep angles for decline/incline work.
You also get the convenience of the bullhorn handlebar to keep your body stable for decline ab workouts. The roller wheels are a nice touch for moving the bench. We also like the thick-padded foam rollers that are great to see at this price point.
The Best Sit Up Bench Exercises
Now, it’s time to get busy. What are the best sit-up exercises to do on your new bench? Below are the Top 5 ab bench exercises to accelerate your six-pack journey:
- Incline/Decline Sit-Ups
- Decline Reverse Crunch
- Hyperextensions (Back Extensions)
- Incline Oblique Crunch
- Incline Leg Raises
Get into a routine of doing these 5 ab workouts on your sit-up bench, and you’ll be well on your way to a shredded six-pack!
The steeper the angle the more intense the ab workout. This is one reason we chose XMark as the best sit-up bench. The XMark benches offer 12 height positions. As your strength increases, you’ll work your way up the ladder to press your abs harder as you progress.
The problem with fewer height positions is there’s only so much room to grow. At that point, you may want to graduate to using ab slings.
The gentleman below demonstrates how to do decline sit-ups the right way without injuring yourself:
Our personal favorite sit-up bench exercise is the decline reverse crunch as demonstrated in the video below. This exercise provides far greater value than standard sit-ups or crunches from the floor:
Lastly, we want to share a demonstration of a hyperextension. A hyperextension is a critical core workout for lower back strength that people often skip. I’ve struggled with lower back pain most of my adult life, and I start every lifting session with a couple of sets of hyperextensions. It’s helped me relieve my back pain and avoid injury when doing heavy lifts such as squats.
The fitness instructor in the video below demonstrates exactly how to do hyperextensions:
The Vanswe and Super Bench w/ Hypercore Attachment benches both offer the option to do hyperextensions.
How to Choose the Best Sit Up Bench
Let’s finish up by going over the features to consider before you choose which bench is the right one for you.
Always check the bench load capacity and compare it to your own weight and your family’s weight before you buy it. The last thing you want to do is buy a bench that’s not rated to support your weight and have to go through the hassle of sending it back.
Also, benches with higher load capacity are going to be sturdier and more versatile. If you intend to use your bench for weightlifting as well, be sure to factor in how much weight you plan to max out with on your lifts. For this purpose, you add your weight plus the weight you plan to max out with before comparing it to the bench’s overall load capacity.
Since sit-up benches are made for ab workouts, they often have lower load capacity ratings than commercial or light-commercial workout benches.
Width & Length
Most budget sit-up benches are shorter than premium ab benches, which explains one of the reasons why the company is able to charge a lower price. Be sure to check our sit-up bench reviews above closely before you buy one because there you’ll find user reports of the benches not being suitable for tall people in the “Cons” sections.
Width is just as important as height to ensure you get enough stability and support for your ab workouts. One of the major cons we found for the Super Bench, despite it being awesome, is that it’s too narrow for some people. Always check the dimensions of the bench to guarantee you get enough width.
Premium sit-up benches often have thicker padding on the backrests and the rollers. If you have a bad back or prefer extra padding, be sure to check the thickness of the padding in the specs section.
The Number of Height Positions
We noticed a lot of complaints by buyers who were dissatisfied with the steepness of the bench after purchase. To avoid this problem, consider how steep of an angle you prefer. A steeper angle equals more resistance and a harder ab workout. The XMark benches, Best Choice Products bench, and Hypercore attachment offer the steepest angles in our Top 10.
Benches with solid-steel frames rather than steel-tube frames are sturdier and more costly. However, since most sit-up benches are for home gyms or garage gyms, solid-steel construction may be overkill. A steel-tube frame is more than adequate for most people. Plus, it’s easier to move around and store.
We’re confident that you know everything there is to know about choosing the best sit-up bench for your home and the Top 10 benches currently available. Be sure to consider which exercises you plan to do before you purchase, and you’ll be all set!
Decline sit-up benches are a huge upgrade over sit-ups and crunches from the floor. Your back & neck will thank you for the added support, and you’ll be a big step closer to a six-pack.