The 9 Best Sit Up Benches
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in February of 2016. If your primary fitness goal is to strengthen your abdominal or back muscles, a logical first step would be to invest in one of these sit-up benches. Designed to put you in the ideal position to target your core in a comfortable and safe way, many are suitable for a variety of exercises that will benefit other parts of your body as well, such as pushups and leg presses. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 18, 2021:
The Valor Fitness DF-1 is no longer available, so we evaluated the DF-2 to see if it was worth the update. After careful consideration, we decided to simply remove Valor from our recommendations overall. The Merax Deluxe is a better choice for a mostly traditional decline bench. The rest of our suggestions haven't changed, including the the XMark Fitness Split, which is no stranger to commercial gyms. The Fitness Reality X-Class is another effective and ergonomic choice, offering plenty of leg support, and the Yoleo Home is one of our favorite low-cost full-size options. If you're looking for something even more affordable, consider the efficient Goplus Slant and Marcy SB-4606, both of which cost relatively little and fold flat for easy storage.
February 07, 2020:
In addition to eliminating several items due to a lack of availability, we also pulled the Stamina Hyper from the list after discovering safety issues. For some, it’s simply shaky and poorly balanced; for others, the metal actually snapped during use.
While the new items we’ve added to the list can all be adjusted to multiple positions, the Valor Fitness DF-1 offers the most variation with 14 available settings. If you’re worried about how much space the equipment will consume, it’s worth noting that the Yoleo Home and Flybird Utility fold up for storage when they’re not in use.
The Yoleo Home also comes with resistance bands, which can be used to perform a variety of other exercises. The Fitness Reality X-Class is a great value, with useful features like handlebars for dips and wheels for portability.
Belson Outdoors Fitness If you’ve been tasked with creatively furnishing a public space to encourage physical activity, these single and double sit up benches from Belson Outdoors are an interesting option. Their powder-coated finish allows them to resist rust and chipping, and they require minimal maintenance. belson.com
Rogue Reflex From a company that focuses on invigorating local economies by employing skilled American workers, this commercial-grade model should meet the needs of even the most ardent workout enthusiasts. Despite its considerable weight, you can easily maneuver it via its wheels and contoured handle. roguefitness.com
Kompan Bench Simply being outside can improve your mental and physical health — add in some exercise, and the benefits can be even greater. This heavy-duty outdoor bench is supported by a galvanized steel tube, with a surface that’s tilted at the ideal angle for performing the classic sit up. kompan.us
The Importance Of Core Strength
In the days of hunters and gatherers, a good core could be the difference between being able to feed your family and getting mauled by a mountain lion.
For decades, women have had to work themselves into a frenzy in an attempt to live up to unrealistic beauty standards that trickled down from Hollywood and pervaded our culture. In recent years, the beauty and fitness industries realized that they were only focusing their marketing efforts toward half of the population, and within a relatively short period of time, men became as obsessed with their bodies as women, if not more so.
There are certain ways in which this obsession is unhealthy. Psychologically and emotionally, it’s important that we have positive body images and that we’re proud of who we are, regardless of how we look. On the flip side, however, the increased awareness across the gender spectrum about fitness and the importance of diet and exercise might just be the thing that helps bring down levels of obesity and diabetes in the current generation.
At the center of the male beauty standard, and certainly very important in that of women, is the abdominal region. Six pack abs are the thing that everyone wants, whether or not they’re willing to admit it. From the perspective of evolutionary biology, this actually makes a little bit of sense. A six pack is visible evidence of a strong core, and our core muscles — pretty much every major muscle running from the middle of the torso to just above the knees — are integral to athletic performance. In the days of hunters and gatherers, a good core could be the difference between being able to feed your family and getting mauled by a mountain lion.
In today’s world, while you might not have to worry too much about mountain lions, you will find that a strong core can protect you from a whole host of physical discomforts. Having a strong core and knowing how to engage it will allow you to perform athletically, but it will also protect your back when lifting heavy objects, and it can help keep your posture upright, which has a lot of physical and psychological benefits.
At the end of the day, though, there’s no shame in just wanting to look good. Core strength and physical fitness can be viewed as pleasant side effects of the search for an attractive body, an no one should judge you for it. You’ve got to do what makes you happy, and if a washboard belly is a key to that, then get crunching.
Why Use A Sit Up Bench?
There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to attaining a six pack. The market is flooded with magic beans, often in the form of pills, diet plans, and electrical stimulators that can theoretically get you closer to your goal, but are by no means a one way ticket to the washboard. When all is said and done, you’re going to have to put some work in, so you might as well give yourself the opportunity to do the most comprehensive form of work on your abs.
That extra bit of resistance will give your upper abs a little extra work at the bottom of the movement, and it’ll also make your lower abs work harder at the top.
You could do what thousands of people do every day and get down on the floor for a set of crunches. The problem here is that most floors are a little to hard to support your spine safely, and you don’t want to sweat into your carpeting. Using a sit up bench will get you up off the floor and will provide you with just enough cushioning to keep your back from aching afterwards.
You’ll notice that sit up benches also come at an angle that, on some models, is even adjustable. That angle allows you to work against gravity as you engage your core to pull your upper body forward. That extra bit of resistance will give your upper abs a little extra work at the bottom of the movement, and it’ll also make your lower abs work harder at the top.
Some sit up benches are adjustable enough that you can use them for other activities as well, such as a variety of dumbbell exercises to work on the arms, chest, and back. And speaking of the back, a good sit up bench is designed with the knowledge that your core is just as important on the back side as it is in the front. These benches will allow you to do a special kind of reverse sit up, which will strengthen your lower back and give you more stability in your ab work, as well as your daily activities.
Building The Perfect Home Gym
While a sit up bench is undoubtedly an excellent investment in your home gym, it is by no means the only piece of equipment you should buy. It’s versatile, to be sure, but with a few additional purchases, you can enjoy the benefits of a total workout without taking up too much space in your house.
It’s versatile, to be sure, but with a few additional purchases, you can enjoy the benefits of a total workout without taking up too much space in your house.
One of the most cost-effective and space-efficient items you can buy for a home gym is a set of adjustable dumbbells. These take up only a little more space than the average set of single-weight dumbbells, and they negate the need for an entire rack of weights to accommodate a wide variety of exercises. Many can make adjustments as small as 2.5 lbs., giving you the ability to step your workouts up gradually as you get stronger.
Another brilliant home gym investment is a set of resistance bands. While these may seem a bit redundant in the presence of an adjustable dumbbell set, they can give you the ability to work your back with more variety in pulling motions and positions than dumbbells alone can. They’re also your best option when traveling. Since you can’t take your whole gym with you, familiarity with a number of exercises on your resistance bands can keep you from falling out of the habit when you’re away from home.
Finally, if you have the door frame to support it, you ought to get yourself a pullup bar. These are incredibly easy to install, and may offer a handful of grips that will add variety to one of the most important upper body exercises you can perform on a regular basis.