Reviews of Abdominal Workout Equipment
There are numerous products on the market that claim to be the best ab exercise machines, but do these gadgets really work? If you have worked out in a health club on an expensive abdominal exercise machine but didn’t see any results, can you really expect a $25 exercise wheel to work?
There are some ab machines that work but it’s up to you how much effort you put into it. Before we look at which ones could be a good choice for you, let’s discuss the reasons why getting the abs to show themselves requires a multi-tasked approach.
Rule No. 1: Put Down the Fork
Since subcutaneous fat hanging around your waist will hide any developed muscles, the first thing to do is burn calories to drop as much excess fat as possible. Once you have your diet sorted out, start cardio training to begin toning and trimming your entire body. Even the best ab exercise machines won’t work to define your abdominals if you are packed with extra pounds. You’ll become stronger, nevertheless, but you won’t be able to see your hard work hidden behind all that fat.
What Are Your Ab Goals?
Can even the best ab exercise machines really develop cut abs that will make you look like the men and women on the TV infomercials? Well, yes and no. The six-pack comes from a combination of three things: eating a nutritious diet, doing cardiovascular conditioning, and lifting weights. To be honest, there is a fourth condition and that is that six-pack abs are usually present only during your pre-cellulite years, which is up until about age 30. Once you get older and the subcutaneous fat starts creeping on, it becomes more difficult to rip your abs. But yes, you can be fit at 60 with a toned tummy if you do all three — diet, cardio, and weights — faithfully.
Review of the Best Ab Exercise Machines
There’s no truth to the myth that you can spot reduce anywhere on your body. It’s especially true for the abs since they are hard to isolate properly; for example, traditional sit-ups tend to work the hip flexors and not the rectus abdominus. However, the pursuit of a flat stomach is all, and there are a few things you can do that help.
- Exercise Wheel — an inexpensive wheel with comfortable handle that you roll back and forth across the floor. One of the best ab exercise machines that actually work, if done right. Recommended: Yes.
- Doorway Sit-Up/Pull-Up Bar — Another cheap item that works the abdominals, and the best alternative if you don’t have a dip station on your multi-gym system. Recommended: Yes.
- Ab Trainer Rocker — Crunches! We hate crunches. You hate crunches. You hate them on the mat, why would you spend $50 on this weird-looking ab exercise machine to help you hate them? Recommended: No.
- Ab Sling (or Straps) — Uncomfortable and expensive. You can do the same rotary torso exercises on a pull-up bar or dip station. Recommended: No.
- Abdominal Toning Belts — Zapping yourself with electricity? Are you crazy? Recommended: No.
- Swiss Ball — What if you actually enjoy crunches? Then this is the way to go. An exercise ball can help you perform this difficult exercise with proper form: With the ball against a wall, lie on the floor on your back, legs together and placed on top of the ball, knees bent and above the hips. Put your hands behind your neck. Crunch forward until your shoulder blades are off the floor. Your lower back should not leave the floor (this is where crunches differ from sit-ups). Recommended: Yes.
A Flat Stomach & Good Health for the Lower Back
Let’s sum it all up: you don’t have to do hundreds of hours of crunches to get well-defined abdominals. Most men don’t do crunches anyway and most women aren’t that fond of them either. Diet and cardio exercises should be your first plan of attack. Yet it’s important to work the abs since strong abs help tip the pelvis backward, and that improves your posture and helps condition your lower back. These are some of the best ab exercise machines we’ve seen that can help you trim and tone your love handles and abdominals.