If you’re serious about developing a strong core and abs, you can’t past a quality sit-up bench or roman chair.
It’s such a simple and versatile machine which you can build a whole workout routine on.
They give you a degree of inclination for your ab crunches and support many other exercises, especially if you have a pair of dumbbells.
So here is my list of favorite sit-up benches on the market- based on quality, comfort, versatility, and more.
Favorite Sit-Up Bench
- 650 lbs in weight capacity. Recommended user height of 5’ to 6’4 inch.
- 3 decline bench adjustments and a flat bench position with 14 height adjustments for the thigh support cushion.
- Sweat-resistant vinyl covering with 2 ½ inches thick density foam inside the bench.
- Convenient transportation wheels to move around at home.
This roman chair is a convenient and comfortable choice to support a wide variety of core exercises, including knee raises, back extensions, and ab crunches with various degrees of inclination.
You can also use the bench for dumbbell exercises if you have a pair at home or you can buy them separately.
The bench has 2 ½ inches of thick foam, and the cushions are 2 inches thick, which makes them more resistant and comfortable.
This is a great home gym companion for anyone who has available space. It does not fold for storage, and you will need a space larger than 5 feet to use it comfortably.
The package is well done, the instructions are precise, and the assembly is quite easy, even if you’re no expert.
It’s very durable and made with good materials, but not meant to leave outdoors, especially if you want to guard the metal pieces.
What we like
- Sturdy and durable.
- Very easy assembly, with a great instruction manual.
What we dislike
- Very large and cannot be folded.
- Not designed for small spaces.
Second Best Decline Bench
- Combines an adjustable bench and a hyperextension bench for multipurpose features.
- Made in steel, scratch-resistant, and resistant for home or gym use.
- 2 decline bench adjustments, and a flat bench position. 8 adjustment levels for the thigh support cushion, and 4 different foot positions.
- Maximum weight of 660 lbs.
- Long and comfortable cushion pads.
Finer Form has redesigned its previous roman chair models according to the feedback received from their users and came up with this new model which has their most highly-requested features.
It now has the longest cushion pad in the market, which is 42.5 inches long, to make sure very tall users keep their heads off the ground in a decline setting.
Another distinct feature is its foot adjustment settings, which serves to optimize comfort in exercises such as hyperextension and sit-ups. It is a sturdy roman chair with a triangle frame structure to guarantee stability.
The assembly is not difficult, and only takes around 30 minutes, but some users have complained about clarity in the assembly instructions.
The good news is, after figuring it out, you can use this roman chair for a variety of core exercises and upper-body exercises.
You can also use it for dumbbell exercises if you have a pair at home or you can buy them separately.
What we like
- Very stable and adjustable.
- A great pick for taller people who want to do decline ab crunches without touching the floor.
What we dislike
- It is sometimes difficult to place the knees in the supporting pad, even at the lowest setting.
- The assembly of the supporting pad tube and other parts can be a bit difficult to figure out.
Great Value Bench
- Solid design with a steel frame and high-density foam for comfort and durability.
- Weight capacity of 260 lbs.
- Easily foldable to save space when not in use.
- Supports a variety of core-building exercises with adjustable height levels.
- Features an elastic rope to assist biceps exercises, stretching, and others.
The Relife Sit-Up Bench stands as a great value bench made with excellent materials and ergonomic design.
It features a curvature in the supine board to make it more stable and comfortable on your spine.
Designed for home use
It is a great option if you need to save space at home and need a foldable sit-up bench that does not take too much extra space.
It’s designed for home use, and may not be the best pick if you’re planning on very heavy use or putting together a gym.
This sit-up bench is excellent for decline crunches, leg raises, hyperextensions, and may be used as a dumbbell bench too.
However, keep in mind that the maximum weight capacity is 260 lbs.
Users have mentioned that some declined heights are not suitable for decline crunches as your head is likely to hit on the ground.
What we like
- Excellent design, very comfortable and durable for house use.
- Includes elastic ropes and it is foldable to save up space at home.
What we dislike
- It is not meant for very tall people
- It does not offer a flat bench position.
Most Innovative Design
- Combines a sit-up bench and a rowing machine to tackle your core and upper back muscles.
- It comes with various resistance levels to suit different training needs.
- Recommended height ranges from 4’7’’ to 6’2’’.
- Foldable in a storage mode that only takes around 10’’x13’’ floor space.
If you thought sit-up benches are just for crunches, hyperextensions, and leg raises, you can think twice.
This Wonder Core II Exerciser is actually breaking that premise with a very innovative design that includes rowing exercises for your back.
It also features a seat with a twisting function meant to activate your oblique muscles.
The resistance of the rowing attachment is 26 lbs and can be upgraded to 40 lbs with an additional kit that is sold separately.
The material of this revolutionary sit-up bench is very high-quality and allows for a maximum weight of 260 lbs.
It is very easy to assemble and comes with video instructions to help you do it correctly. It supports a variety of crunches, with and without rowing movements and twists.
It is also excellent for stretching and comes with a user manual and a free mobile app for instructions and exercise ideas.
What we like
- The innovative design and the capacity to trigger many muscle groups in one purchase.
- The rowing attachment and the workout ideas in the free app.
What we dislike
- It can be too narrow for an overweight or obese user.
- Folding takes many steps instead of a two or three-step process.
Are Sit-Up Benches Effective?
Sit-up benches are a simple and effective way to upgrade your ab exercises and perform safer and more powerful crunches.
They are extremely effective and can be used to work towards your six-pack or at least increase your core strength.
However, fat burning will be a very important step if you’re looking for beautiful abs.
Combine with a healthy diet
These benches are made to strengthen your core and keep you in good shape. The rest goes with you. You need to keep a healthy diet and make sure you activate your upper and lower abs as well as your obliques.
Look for different exercises for each one of them, and use the capacity of your sit-up bench to the maximum.
That way, you will really make use of what you’ve spent, and your results will definitely show after a while.
Excellent Bench Exercises
There are a variety of exercises you can try with your sit-up bench.
As you’ve probably seen above, there are some benches that allow for extra exercises, but the majority of them are perfect for crunches, leg lifts, Russian twists, and trunk extensions.
Let’s briefly review each one of these exercises:
Crunches are one of the most common ab exercises, and should not be neglected. They are very effective, especially if you do them on a sit-up bench.
You can use a flat bench if you’re a beginner or decline your bench to various degrees that will increase the intensity of the exercise.
Crunches engage the rectus abdominis, and the obliques if you do a twist at the end of the exercise.
You can do leg lifts on the floor, on a flat bench, or in a declined position. As you try each one, you will see how it changes the level of intensity.
In this exercise, you will be engaging the rectus abdominis and the hip flexors.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to lift your legs with your knees flexed, as this movement will put more stress in your abs.
As you get more experienced, you can also perform the same exercise with your legs fully extended.
This will engage the hip flexors a bit more and give an extra challenge to the exercise.
This exercise features a movement that closely resembles that of ab crunches but focuses more on the oblique muscles.
It also targets the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis, and the hip flexors.
You can always increase the difficulty by holding a weight in your hands or increasing the decline level of your bench.
If you lie face down in your sit-up bench and extend your trunk, you will be performing this exercise, also known as hyperextensions.
They are excellent for the muscles of your lower back, and may also help to build your abdominal muscles, especially if you hold the extended position for a few seconds in each repetition.
Things To Consider Before Buying
You probably want the best sit-up bench you can have, and I got you.
But if you don’t have the budget for a super expensive item, you may want to look for the features you are really going to use.
For example, you may not need a heavy-duty sit-up bench if you’re lean and are planning to use it at home once a day.
A foldable sit-up bench may serve a better value for you.
So, let’s take a look at some important features you should consider before buying:
You’re probably not planning to buy a complete gym set, which is why the multi-purpose features are really important.
Look for sit-up benches that are versatile, easy to use, and include exercises and varieties you are really going to use.
Also, make sure these “extra” exercises are supported by your bench are really useful and not for show.
With sit-up benches, having adjustable height is a very important feature.
The more height options it has, the more variations and intensity levels you will get for each exercise.
You might not need heavy-duty materials, but they should be high-quality nonetheless.
Read user experiences to find out whether or not the sit-up bench you’re considering is sturdy and durable, and how stable it is while you’re using it.
Other Recommended Benches
The Bowflex Bench has 6 different positions which include incline and decline positions.
As such, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a multi-purpose bench for crunches, sit-ups, and dumbbell exercises.
Users report that sometimes the leg support can get in the way of the dumbbell exercises, but unlike other models, in this one, you can take it out and quickly solve the problem.
This sit-up board is definitely a hot pick if you’re a large person or if you’re looking for something sturdy and durable.
One of the distinguishing features is an easy folding for storage, which only takes two simple steps.
The only downside is that it doesn’t have enough user ratings for us to know whether or not the advertised features work as expected.
A sit-up bench with a curved backboard made for more comfort and to reduce back strain. It is very stable and wider than other benches, which makes it a smart selection for large users.
This one can be quite difficult to assemble, but once you figure it out, it gives a great workout and a variety of options to choose from.
You can even perform preacher bicep curls in this one, which is something most sit-up benches do not offer.
If you’re looking for versatility, this bench will probably catch your attention.
It does the work and offers a wide range of incline and decline positions you can choose from. It is also an excellent bench for dumbbell workouts and is made with very high-quality materials.
If you can figure out the assembly, this sit-up bench is a great pick, especially if you are planning to use the speed punching ball and the resistance band exercises.
It adjusts to four different positions and is made with thick steel and a weight capacity of 220 lbs.