If you’re dedicated to having an ultra-strong core and the best-looking abs possible, then having an ab bench is essential. A good ab bench allows you to effectively train all of your abdominal muscles – the obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis (the muscles that give you your six pack). You’ll also be able to develop your hip flexors and lower back muscles, as well as use it for a number of different free weight exercises.
Yep, their versatility and adjustability means there are heaps of exercises you can perform on an ab bench. However, if you’re serious about fitness and your safety when working out at home, then you’re going to want one of, if not the best ab bench for your home gym. And that’s where we come in…
In this article, we look at a range of ab benches that’ll be suitable for your home gym depending on your workout goals, body size and shape, and personal preferences. Let’s jump into it!
Best Ab Bench at a Glance
Our Top Pick
This versatile bench can be used to develop your abdominals and your lower back via the Roman Chair, and as a weight bench for dumbbell exercises. It’s sturdy and adjustable, and can fold down flat for easy storage.
Why Get and Ab Bench?
You’re probably reading this already thinking that getting an ab bench is a good idea; why else would you be here, right? Well, let us briefly reiterate why picking up a good ab bench for your home gym is a wise choice.
Ab benches are extremely effective for developing strength and stability in the core muscles, and developing the core muscles has numerous benefits for your health, well-being, and physical performance.
Not only does a strong, well-developed core look great, it also helps to prevent injury. Research has consistently found that weakness in the core muscles is associated with increased risk of back injury. Building a strong core can, therefore, reduce the likelihood of injuries caused by spinal and trunk instability. And it’s not just the spine and trunk that benefit from developing the core muscles – the lower body is also heavily influenced by the strength, or lack of strength, in the abdominal and other core muscles.
There is a wealth of research showing a link between poor core muscle activation (caused by deficiencies and weaknesses) and knee injuries. Patellofemoral pain, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, and other non-specific knee injuries are all more likely when you don’t have strong core muscles.
As you can see, building strong abdominal muscles, and therefore a strong and stable core, is extremely important. Our recommendations for the best ab benches for your home gym will help you do just that.
The first one on our list is the Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench, which is quite possibly the most versatile ab bench on the market today. The main functions are (obviously) to work as an ab bench, but for hyperextension/back extensions, as well. By utilizing both exercises, you can develop the posterior chain and the abs, reducing the risk of postural problems or pulled muscles due to an imbalance.
Adjustable to 4 levels, it easily accommodates a good portion of users, while the pivoting foam rollers keep your lower legs/feet secure so you can isolate the midsection. The bench features thick foam padding on the surface, so you have a soft place to rest while waiting for the next set. In contrast, the frame is made up of extra-durable 2″ steel so expect this bench to last you for years upon years. In fact, there’s a 5 year warranty on the frame (90 days on the additional components). Once you’re finished, simply fold it up and stow away under a bed, or against the walls of your garage.
It’s really not ideal for taller people. Once you start getting to 6’2″ and taller, it can feel too short.
A model commonly found at commercial gyms due to its high performance and durability is the XMark Fitness 12 Position Ab Bench. As the name suggests, it has 12 vertical height adjustments meaning it’s guaranteed to suit just about anyone.
Thanks to the bullhorn handlebar, you can dismount the incline easily, even when you’ve worked your abs to failure. In addition, you can use it for a multitude of exercises, like reverse crunches, which really isolate and destroy your lower abdominals.
The 3-inch padding is plush, yet firm enough to give you the support needed for intense workouts. Covered by vinyl, it’s easy to wipe clean when you’re done, while also holding up well against tears and punctures.
The ergonomically-positioned leg rollers are contoured for comfort and made to reduce back strain. They are a bit harder than many competitor options, however, so if you prefer your rollers to have more give, keep that in mind.
It’s somewhat less versatile than the Stamina Pro above in that it doesn’t have a roman chair, nor can it double as a weight bench, but it boasts a much lower price tag. If you’re just looking for an ab bench that does it’s intended job really well, then this is a great option.
Are you on the hunt for one of the best ab benches but don’t want to spend a lot of money? We’ll admit, your options are limited, but there’s always the Universal Decline Bench by Nautilus. If you’re a beginner or need something small and easily transportable, this will do you well.
With only 2 vertical height adjustment options, you’re a bit limited in regards to variability but for basic abdominal / core muscle exercises it should be fine. The max weight is 200 lbs, so while it will work for many people, it’s still not particularly generous. If you’re on the heavier side, you may want to opt for something more heavy-duty like the body-solid ab board below.
It’s not going to have all the bells and whistles more expensive models do, but it’s thickly cushioned, has stable foam rollers, and gets the job done at a low price.
Another first-rate budget product, the Confidence Fitness Pro Adjustable Sit Up Ab Bench is basic, but comfortable and convenient. Weighing just 15 pounds and with the ability to fold flat, storage and transport has never been easier.
Once again, if you’re over 200 pounds and or 6 feet tall, you’ll want to look for a more heavy-duty option, as this one is a bit flimsy in comparison to most others on our guide.
The upside, is that it’s great for sit-ups, chest flies, twists, and more. The adjustable incline only has 2 levels, but it does feature high-density support foam which is made to be quite pleasant. The padded backrest is also relatively comfortable, so you can use it extensively without issue. All in all, if you’re on the smaller side or just need something straightforward, this is your go-to.
Speaking of something more heavy-duty, if that’s what you’re in need of, check out the Body-Solid Pro-Style Commercial AB Board. It’s a bit more expensive, but still relatively affordable. With a 450-pound max weight, the vast majority of users will find this more than acceptable and will be able to use it with confidence.
12 vertical height adjustments allow you to add variety in your routine, increasing or lowering the incline according to your goals. Two sets of 8-inch, padded leg rollers give security and a touch of luxury, while a steel beam will hold up to heavy wear-and-tear. This model is also significantly wider than others on our guide, which makes for better stability and support.
One of the most high-performing ab benches out there is the Finer Form Sit Up Bench. With 12-14 gauge steel tubes and a 4-way frame structure, you can rest assured you’ll be stable and supported throughout the entirety of your workout.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Finer Form is the uniquely curved backboard. Rather than your spine being pushed into an unnatural position, the curvature seen here will help promote correct posture and reduce lower back strain.
Leather-wrapped padded rollers and a reverse crunch handle provide not only comfort, but added durability. The crunch handle also allows you to switch up your movements and do exercises like reverse crunches, twists, and more. Three adjustable height positions isn’t much, but the wide, long back pad and 300-pound weight capacity is very welcome.
Well, there you have it: The Best Ab Benches for Your Home Gym. Depending on your needs, one of the above options will be a perfect addition to that slice of home you’ve carved out to celebrate what your body is capable of.
As the best ab benches vary quite a bit in terms of durability, variety, size, etc. what’s most important is selecting the model that works best for your lifestyle, body, and goals. We hope this guide has helped you do just that. Remember, when training abs, you’ll see the best results when training to absolute failure.
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As always, all the best with your home workouts and remember: When it comes to our health and fitness, we can make the effort or make excuses, but we can’t make both.
(The Home Fit Freak)