A portable abs bench is a great way to strengthen and tone your abs without spending a lot of money on expensive gym equipment.
Ab benches can be used to work all the major abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis.
Before beginning abs training, it is important to know which abs bench exercises are best for you. That’s why I’ll tell you the best exercises for beginners to get better. These exercises include simple crunch variations, leg raises, and more.
With these ab exercises, you can get six-pack abs at home.
This blog post will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the best ab bench exercises. We will also discuss tips for proper form and technique.
Let’s dive in and discover the power of bench exercises!
- What is an Abs Bench?
- Basic Abs Bench Exercises for Beginners
- 1. Lying Leg Raises
- 2. Bench Sit-Ups
- 3. Seated In And Outs
- 4. Incline Reverse Crunch
- 5. Decline Crunch
- 6. Incline Side Plank
- Advanced Abs Bench Exercises
- 7. Bench Russian Twist
- 8. Bench Oblique Crunch
- 9. Twisting Sit-Up
- 10. Copenhagen Plank
- 11. Incline Hip Raise
- 12. Dragon Flag
What is an Abs Bench?
An abs bench, also known as an ab bench, is a versatile piece of exercise equipment designed to target the abs and core muscles.
Abs benches come in a variety of styles.
- Some are simple, portable benches that can be folded up for storage.
- Others are larger stationary benches with padded leg rollers and grip handles for balance.
- There are also more advanced abs benches that allow for a wide range of adjustable positions to customize your workout.
Whichever style you choose, an abs bench is an affordable and effective tool to sculpt and strengthen the abs from the comfort of your home.
It’s a great alternative to doing floor workouts for those who like the stability and support of a bench.
With a well-designed abs routine, an abs bench can help you get closer to defined midsection goals.
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Basic Abs Bench Exercises for Beginners
If you are new to abs bench training, you should start with these fundamental core moves. Doing these exercises correctly and consistently will make your abdominal muscles stronger.
Before attempting more difficult variations, master these abs bench basics.
Let’s go over the top basic exercises that every abs bench beginner should learn.
1. Lying Leg Raises
Lying leg raises are touted as killer abs exercises, but your hip flexors actually reap some major benefits. So don’t be surprised if your hips feel a bit of a burn during this one.
It mainly works on the lower part of your abs, making it stronger and more toned.
It also strengthens the muscles of the upper thigh, and the quadriceps, without placing any stress on the knee joint.
How To Do Lying Leg Raises
- Lie on your back on an ab bench or on the floor with your legs extended.
- Place your hands underneath your lower back and glutes for support.
- Keep your legs straight and together.
- Engage your core muscles and slowly raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Pause at the top of the movement for a second.
- Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
- Do this movement 15 to 20 times for three to four sets.
- Don’t use your momentum to swing your legs up and down.
- To make the exercise more challenging, you could add weight to your feet.
2. Bench Sit-Ups
It’s one of the best bench workouts for working your core, including your abs, obliques, and glutes. They help promote good posture by strengthening your lower back and gluteal muscles.
One of the reasons the Sit-up has received negative attention is because many people are doing it with poor form.
When done slowly and carefully, sit-ups will not cause back pain and instead can aid digestion, build muscle, and improve posture over time.
How To Do Bench Sit-Ups
- Hook your feet under the pad and sit on the decline bench with your torso upright.
- Place your hands behind your head or in front.
- Lift your shoulders and upper back off the decline bench by contracting through your abs.
- Hold this position for a second and then slowly return to the starting position.
- Do the negative part of the exercise as slowly and carefully as the positive part.
- Repeat the desired number of reps.
- Avoid overusing your hip flexors.
- Don’t lean forward with your head. Keep a natural head position.
- Don’t let your shoulders roll forward. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
3. Seated In And Outs
If you want to build six-pack abs or simply increase your core strength, seated knee up are for you.
Seated Knee up is also known as the seated In and Out. Any 6-pack home workout routine needs it.
For the most effective execution, keep the trunk stable and bring the knees as close to the chest as possible. This makes the abdominal muscles work harder.
How To Do Seated In And Out
- Keep that core tense and bring it right back in.
- Lean backward and lift your legs a little off the ground. Keep them straight and together.
- Now raise your knees up toward your chest.
- Pause for a moment and then lower your legs back down until your heels almost touch the ground.
- Keep your back straight and your feet off the floor.
4. Incline Reverse Crunch
The incline reverse crunch is similar to the traditional reverse crunch, except that it is performed on an incline bench.
Since it requires you to work against gravity, it puts more tension on the lower abs and is more difficult than the standard version.
How To Do Incline Reverse Crunch
- Lie on an incline bench, with your head where your feet normally go.
- Hold on to the leg pads to hold your torso in place on the bench.
- Bend your hips and knees to 90-degree angles for the start position of the reverse crunch.
- Maintain the bend in your knees and hips, and flex your spine from the bottom to lift your hips up off the bench and curl your knees toward your head.
- Slowly reverse the motion to return your legs to the start position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
- Keep the movement slow and controlled.
- Increase the incline by raising the bench to add more resistance.
5. Decline Crunch
The decline crunch is similar to the basic floor crunch, except with a greater range of motion. It is one of the most effective abs exercises that creates good tension in your upper abs during crunch.
It is a relatively simple exercise that will not only improve your core but also help you get closer to having a six-pack ab.
How To Do Decline Crunch
- Lie back on a decline bench with your feet secured under the foot pad.
- Place your hands behind your head, or place them by your ears.
- Curl up as high as you can to get your shoulders and upper back off the bench.
- Hold this position for a second before slowly lowering back to the starting position.
- Keep the movement slow and under control.
- When at the top of your movement, contract the abs for a few seconds.
6. Incline Side Plank
The incline side plank is one of the beginner-friendly exercises. As the surface becomes more inclined, it becomes easier to plank.
How To Do Incline Side Plank
- Set Up an elevated surface.
- Place your elbow in the center of the bench and align it with your shoulder.
- Keep your legs and body straight.
- Establish a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Hold this position for a set amount of time.
Advanced Abs Bench Exercises
After you’ve done the basic abs bench exercises, it’s time to do more difficult moves to make your core stronger. More coordination and balance are required to perform correctly.
Do not rush into these exercises until you have truly mastered proper form on all the beginner variations. Keep your focus on quality over quantity.
Mix up these exciting exercises into your routine to avoid plateaus. Get ready to feel the burn with these advanced abs bench exercises.
7. Bench Russian Twist
The Bench Russian Twist is an advanced rotational exercise that targets the obliques. It helps to burn fat and defines the hard-to-target obliques, all while improving your midsection rotation capabilities.
How To Do Bench Russian Twist
- Sit on the edge of a bench and hold a weight in both hands in front of your chest.
- Lean back slightly to engage your core.
- Twist your torso to the right, bringing the weight towards the right side of your body.
- Rotate back to the center and then to the left side.
- Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions.
- Breathe steadily, exhaling with each twist and inhaling to return to the center.
- Keep your back straight and avoid rounding your shoulders to prevent back strain.
Know More: 21 Best Oblique Exercises For A Strong Core
8. Bench Oblique Crunch
How To Do Bench Oblique Crunch
- Place your lower legs and feet on the bench with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Your back should be flat on the ground with your hands placed lightly behind your head or beside your ears to support your neck.
- Curl up and rotate your torso towards one side. Aim to bring your rib cage towards your hip on the same side.
- Pause at the top of the movement. Then slowly lower back down to the starting position.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions on one side before switching to the other side.
- It is important to keep your movements controlled and deliberate.
9. Twisting Sit-Up
A decline sit-up bench positions your upper body at an angle so that it’s lower than your hips and thighs. It is a challenging exercise for developing the upper abs.
This position causes your body to work harder since you have to work against gravity and through a wider range of motion.
It’s a great exercise for intermediate to advanced lifters because it is moderately challenging but very effective for its intended purpose.
How To Do Twisting Sit-Up
- Sit on the decline bench, hook your feet under the pad, lean back, and position your hands behind your head.
- As you sit up, twist your torso, directing your right elbow toward your left knee.
- Reverse the motion and lower your torso to the starting position; during the next repetition, direct your left elbow toward your right knee.
- Keep repeating and alternating the side to which you twist your waist.
- Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Use a slow, controlled motion to target the muscles.
10. Copenhagen Plank
The side plank with feet on the bench is a progression from a normal side plank that targets the core, inner thigh, and groin-the adductors.
Performing with your feet raised also increases the resistance on your shoulders and triceps.
How To Do Copenhagen Plank
- Get in a plank position with your forearm on the floor.
- Place the top foot onto a chair, bench, or another stable surface, while holding the bottom leg off the ground.
- Maintain a straight line from your shoulder to your ankle. Hold for 20–30 seconds.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position.
- Repeat on your other side.
11. Incline Hip Raise
Leg raises are among the most popular abs exercises for men. These moves are very similar to sit-ups, but in this case, the abdominal muscles lift the lower body and pull it forward to the upper body and not the opposite.
Incline Leg raise works the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) and the oblique (side abs). But, due to the nature of the exercise, hip and leg muscles are also engaged, particularly at the beginning of the movement.
If you have an adjustable sit-up bench, you can make the move harder or easier by changing the angle of the board.
How To Do Incline Hip Raise
- Lie supine (on your back) on an inclined bench with your legs together.
- Place your hands beside your head and grip the bench for support.
- Support your back by pressing your lower back against the bench.
- Exhale as you slowly raise your legs and curl your hips off the bench.
- Try to hold the contracted position, with your legs in the air.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your hips and legs to the starting position.
- Keep the movement slow and controlled. Do not use momentum.
- Do not let your heels rest on the floor.
12. Dragon Flag
Dragon Flag, also known as the Dragon Fly, is an advanced core exercise that primarily targets the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
It also engages other muscle groups, such as the erector spinae, gluteal complex, hip flexors, adductors, latissimus dorsi, and more.
Bruce Lee, a martial artist and actor, popularized the technique. This exercise works a lot on your core muscles and requires a lot of strength, control, and technique.
How To Do Dragon Flag
- Lie on a bench and grasp the edges of the bench above your head for support.
- Engage your core and lift your legs and hips up towards the ceiling.
- Try to make a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.
- Hold for a while and then slowly lower your body back down without bending at the hips or waist. Your body should move as one solid unit.
- Try to hover just above the bench without touching it, and then raise your body back up to the starting position again.
- If you can’t lift back up, you can lower yourself all the way down to the bench before resetting for the next rep.
- Begin with easier progressions, such as knee tucks.
- Don’t let your body sag in the middle of the movement.
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Abs bench exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles. They are versatile and can be used to target all of the major core.
Start out slow with basic crunches and work your way up to more dynamic exercises like the Russian Twist and Dragon Fly.
Mix up your ab routines regularly to conquer plateaus. Smart programming and dedication can transform your midsection with an abs bench.
For more workout tips and creative ab exercises, be sure to check back in with our fitness blog.
What abs bench exercises do you love? Let us know in the comments.
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- Phys Ther. 2000 Jun;80(6):564-9. Abdominal muscle response during curl-ups on both stable and labile surfaces. Vera-Garcia FJ1, Grenier SG, McGill SM.
- Vispute SS, Smith JD, LeCheminant JD, Hurley KS. The effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Sep;25(9):2559-64. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fb4a46. PMID: 21804427
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.