How to Use a Sit Up Bench Effectively
A Sit Up Bench is an Effective Tool For Getting a Six Pack if Used Properly
What is a Sit-Up Bench?
A sit up bench, sometimes referred to as a decline bench, puts your body in position to exercise against the force of gravity. Sit-up benches are usually adjustable to create multiple angles for exercising. This is one piece of equipment that has been labeled as “bad for your back,” but those problems arise from improper use. When used correctly, the sit-up bench can yield great results.
Proper Use and Exercise
First, adjust the decline to your ideal angle, and begin by sitting on the top of the bench and putting your feet in position. The Footpads should always be adjusted so your knees sit comfortably and are not pulled over the edge of the bench.
Place your hands at the sides of your head, but do not interlock your fingers. Slowly rise up by squeezing your abs. At the top, bring your elbows to your thighs and hold for one second. Slowly lower your body down in a controlled manner. Do not completely release your abs at the bottom, stay flexed and then repeat the movement. You can make this exercise more difficult by changing the decline angle or by holding a weight or medicine ball across your chest.
Muscles Targeted: Rectus Abdominus, Lower Abdomen, Hip Flexors.
Bent Knee Reverse Crunch
For this exercise, you will need to lie with your head at the top of the sit up bench and grasp the foot pads or the top of the bench with your hands. Bend your knees and bring your feet to your butt. Keeping your knees and feet together, you will bring your knees toward your face. At the very top of the position, flex and think about trying to pinch your nose with your knees. Slowly bring the legs back to the starting position and repeat.
Muscles Targeted: Lower Abdomen, Rectus Abdominus.
Start with your feet locked in place, and raise up to about half way. This will be the bottom position for this exercise. You will rise up to the top and twist your body, bringing one elbow above the opposite knee. Slowly lower to the starting position, and bring the other elbow above the opposite knee. This counts as 1 repetition. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Muscles Targeted: Obliques, Lower Abdomen, Rectus Abdominus.
Finding an ab bench
Most gyms will have at least one decline bench that you can use. If you would like to purchase your own for your home gym, it is important to find one that fits the following criteria:
- Stability: Try to find a bench that is sturdy and does not wobble.
- Adjustable: Has the option of changing the angle and foot pad position.
- Comfortable: An ideal bench will have firm but comfortable padding.