When people talk about wanting to tone up their abs, the first exercise that comes to mind is the sit-up. Known for decades as the go-to exercise to get that washboard, it’s not the most functional exercise to strengthen the core, nor is it always the safest. Not everyone can or should do sit-ups. If you are deconditioned or have a pre-existing condition, your back will tell you right away whether or not a sit-up (or even basic crunch) is right for you. Looking for a better option? Consider finding the right ab bench for you.
For the lucky few that have the proper core stability and abdominal strength, a properly performed sit-up can still scorch those abs. A well-designed ab bench can help facilitate this. To help you do sit-ups safely and comfortably, look for these key features:
Upholstered benches should provide padding that is cushioned yet firm enough so you can maintain proper and neutral alignment of the spine. Too soft of a pad can cause unnatural curves to your spine and negatively affect your mechanics. In addition to the right cushioning, ensuring that there is a premium look with a durable finish is key. We offer 18 standard colors at no additional cost to match the look of any gym or facility.
Having an adjustable bench can increase the intensity of the sit-up. Conversely, it can also decrease the intensity to allow for safety and appropriate progression. Most ab benches have the ability to decline and therefore make the sit-up more challenging.
However, an incline feature can help you perform a sit-up if the standard level position is too difficult for your current fitness level. The ease of adjustability is something to look out for too. TRUE’s abdominal bench has -30 decline to +10 degree incline along with hydraulic assist for smooth adjustments.
Anchoring your feet while doing a sit-up can really help you focus and isolate your abs. When choosing an ab bench, make sure the padding provided is comfortable and allows you to smoothly perform the exercises without any discomfort. Additional features such as a handle will help you get on and off as well as to serve as an overhead anchor for your hands during leg raise variation.
Sometimes you’ll either find that the ab bench isn’t where it’s supposed to be, or you want to move to a different location if the usual space is crowded or preoccupied. Some ab benches are designed to make it easy for you to move around safely. Features like wheels and integrated handles on the XFW-5300 Abdominal / Decline Bench make it convenient to move the bench so you can continue your exercise session.
Looking to do more on the ab bench? Other commonly performed exercises on the ab bench:
Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS, RCPT*E
A fitness industry veteran of 22 years, Randy is the Training and Education Manager at TRUE Fitness. He spent much of his career as a fitness director and operations management for a privately owned fitness facility that offered general memberships, personal training, group fitness, small group training, Pilates, nutrition counseling, and sports performance training. Randy has been a consultant for ACE, a regional committee member for NSCA, and currently provides education on TRUE cardio and strength products to club owners and staff.