One of the most coveted rewards of a healthy lifestyle is the six pack. Year after year, it seems that bathing suit season creeps up on us. Why not avoid the panic and rock a solid set of abs year-round?
Whether you began your fitness journey for health reasons, competitive ambitions, or with purely aesthetic intentions, having a strong core is vital to your success. Abdominal muscles are recruited in nearly every exercise you can imagine. Your core is the driving force behind every weight you lift and every mile you run. That being said, although your core should be engaged during every workout, it is still important to set aside time to perform abdominal exercises on a regular basis if you wish to make serious progress towards your fitness goals.
What to Look for in Ab Machines
If you decide to purchase an ab machine, there are several factors you should consider. The most important variable in your decision should be your current fitness level. While most ab machines offer modifiable exercises to accommodate every fitness level, there are some which are geared more towards advanced users and others which are more suitable for beginners.
Portability is another feature to consider. Many ab machines are small and portable, allowing you to easily take them with you everywhere you go, while others are a bit bulkier and not as easily transported.
As mentioned before, some ab machines provide support for your neck, shoulders, and back. These types of ab machines can be helpful for beginners, as injuries to these areas typically occur when you do not have the required abdominal strength to perform exercises properly.
If you are going to spend your money on an ab machine, wouldn’t it be nice if it offered more than just abdominal exercises? There are a lot of options on the market for ab machines with dual functionality. These machines allow you to work out your core as well as other muscles such as your upper body or legs.
As always, price can be a determining influence in your purchase. There are many options for affordable ab machines, however you must realize that you are paying for features. The more expensive ab machines will provide you with a wider range of exercise options as well as a higher quality product.
Below you will find reviews of the best ab machines available on the market. These products come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and functionalities.
Perfect Fitness Crunch
The Perfect Fitness Crunch is a crunch assistance device that provides back and neck support during your abdominal exercises while also ensuring your form remains impeccable. The Perfect Fitness Crunch is suitable for all fitness levels, especially beginners. Not only does the Perfect Fitness Crunch provide support to perform crunches comfortably and efficiently, it also offers additional functionality when flipped over. When you turn it upside down, it provides parallel bars for performing dips and incline pushups. The Perfect Crunch website features a guide detailing each exercise, as well as a 21-day program that you can follow. At a price of just under $30, this is an excellent tool for those beginning their fitness journeys.
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro offers an intense ab workout more suitable for advanced users. The exercises available require balance and muscular control. The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is miles ahead of other available ab wheels in terms of the features it offers. To begin with, the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro has a noticeable wider wheel. This provides additional balance while performing the challenging exercises. Another feature of the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is the angled handles, which are also foam padded for increased comfort. The angle of the handles is designed to transfer the bulk of the load of your weight from your shoulders to your triceps. Not only does this decrease the wear and tear on your shoulders, but it allows you to carve the muscles in your arms while also sculpting your abs. While the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is more suitable for advanced users, there is still the option to add resistance and make the exercises a little easier while you are developing your core strength.
Wonder Core Smart Total Core Workout
The Wonder Core Smart Total Core Workout system is designed to target your entire midsection. It offers six different exercises as well as the option of adjustable resistance to accommodate both beginners and advanced users. In addition to working your core, you can also utilize the Wonder Core Smart to work out your entire body. This system requires no assembly and folds flat for easy storage. The Wonder Core Smart comes complete with a guide detailing each exercise, a nutrition guide, and a 30-minute workout DVD.
Ab Circle Pro
The Ab Circle Pro is a unique and revolutionary way to target your abdominal muscles. Although it may closer resemble a child’s toy than exercise equipment, that is perhaps part of the draw of this product. The Ab Circle Pro offers a fun and innovative way to chisel your abdominal muscles while also working your cardiovascular system. Additionally, the Ab Circle Pro features the option of an additional thigh-blasting exercise. The knee pads and handles are padded with foam for increased comfort and the base is friction-resistant to provide you with a smooth, fun workout.
Important Things to Remember When Working Your Abs
Generally speaking, your core can be divided into three sections: upper, lower, and obliques. Some exercises target these portions separately while others engage your entire core at once. In order to achieve peak performance and the physique of your dreams, you must ensure that you train each section of your abdominal muscles. A key influence in achieving results quickly and safely is to make sure you are always performing exercises with the proper form. Without proper form, you may not be properly engaging your muscles and you are also increasing the risk of injury.
Additionally, it is crucial that you also work the muscles of your lower back in conjunction with your abs. The muscles in your lower back are the counterpart to your abdominal muscles. You create balance in your body by training complementary muscles. This safeguards you from injury. While it may be tempting to do thousands of sit-ups every day in hopes of quickly whipping your stomach into shape, you must remember that your body is essentially a machine. All of the muscles in your body work together every day to facilitate different movements, and it is therefore imperative to keep all parts in working order.
When it comes to exercising your abdominal muscles, there is a plethora of body weight exercises you can utilize to achieve the abs of your dreams. As you develop core strength, however, you will need to perform these exercises in extremely high repetitions in order to continuously feel their effects and further develop strength in your core. One way to mitigate the need to spend increasingly lengthy amounts of time cranking out crunches is to continuously vary your routine. By routinely switching up the exercises you are performing, you are constantly challenging your muscles and will see continuous development in your abdominal strength. Some have found using ab belts has greatly assisted their core strength.
Different Types of Ab Machines
Another option for amplifying your abdominal training is to enlist the assistance of ab training machines. There are many options on the market, including inflatable stability balls, ab wheels, ab benches, assisted crunch machines, and much more.
Ab machines are a great way to diversify your workout routine. They provide unique and challenging ways to work your core. Many of the best ab machines offer the ability to add resistance to your exercises, which leads to greater increases in strength. Furthermore, they can assist you in guaranteeing that your form remains flawless even as you tire. Many ab machines also provide support for your back, neck, and shoulders. This decreases the strain on those muscles and allows you to focus your efforts directly on your abdominal muscles.
Another benefit of ab machines is that they are typically designed to target your entire core. This takes the guesswork out of determining which exercises you should be doing to make certain you are completing a well-rounded routine.