An abs machine is a fitness tool that targets the core muscles. It works to tone out the muscles and define the core, which is commonly known as abs. Ab machines are of different types and, the sole purpose of these machines is to tighten and strengthen abdominal muscles.
Where to Buy an Ab Machine?
Like other gym equipment, Ab machines are available to buy online or in physical stores. However, online purchases have become popular, and with the convenience they bring, it is certainly the best option.
However, when buying online, you lose the opportunity to evaluate the machine before purchase. The good thing is that there are credible sites with original and high-quality equipment. eBay, for example, has a variety and you can find a suitable one at your budget.
Another credible place to buy ab exercisers online is Amazon. Here you will find different types from renowned brands such as Perfect Fitness. Amazon, like similar sites, features reviews from previous buyers so you can evaluate the functionality of the equipment.
In Australia, Gym Direct is known for its high-quality gym equipment. It operates nationwide and can deliver to any location within Australia. The best thing is that you can pop into any their physical shop and select from their range. Also, you can order online and request for a delivery to your gym or home.
If you are thinking of building a home gym, Gym and Fitness is the best choice. They have a variety of gym equipment and essentials. Also, they stock machines and other fitness items in categories so you can easily find what you are looking for. One thing that stands out with this company is that you can shop from specific brands.
Types of Ab Machines
There are many types, and as a beginner, you may find it challenging to determine the best one for your needs. Here is an explanation of the most common types and how they work.
Sit Up Benches
Benches are common and some of the regularly-used equipment in the gym. Commonly known as abdominal benches, these are suitable for both beginners and advanced users. They help strengthen the core muscles with enhanced sit-up exercises. Additionally, they are useful for other powerful core exercises such as crunches, leg raises, etc.
The best abdominal exerciser should be adjustable, to change the angle of the board. With this feature, you can increase or decrease resistance. However, with this machine, you have to be careful to prevent lower back can strain with poor posture during exercise.
Ab wheels are portable and can work well for people training at home. The design features two handles and a wheel at the centre. You only need to kneel and move the wheel back and forth. Using this seems easy but requires a strong core to push through.
An example is the Perfect Fitness ab carver pro that not only works on your ab muscles but also your upper body. Ab wheels vary from basic models to more advanced ones with unique technology. This machine is easy to use, however, with the core strength it requires, it is not the best for beginners.
An ab coaster engages the entire core by working on all the abdominal muscles. It works just like hanging leg raises and although simple to use, can be tough for beginners. It is one of the most effective equipment and delivers more than a crunch would do.
Hyperextension Machines/ Roman Chairs
The roman chair is ideal if you want to train your lower back. It allows you to engage in hyperextension exercise. It is one of the best ab machines for strengthening the back and abdominal muscles. For people that sit a lot and strain the back, this ab machine is the best.
This type is certainly not the most effective for ab workouts. However, there are a few models that work but on a low impact level. It has a unique design that stimulates the crunch. The machine controls the entire movement; hence, the reduced level of resistance. In addition to training ab muscles, it works on the shoulders and the back.
While most ab equipment work on the lower muscles, ab rollers target the upper part. The design supports the neck to prevent strains and ensure proper movement. If you struggle with crunches and straining the neck, this ab exerciser is a great option. This machine is ideal for beginners and the elderly but might not suit advanced trainers seeking complete core training.
Upper Ab Workouts
These ab workouts target the upper part. A common one is the dumbbell crunch. It requires you to lie on your back, hold a dumbbell across your chest then raise your torso and lower it.
The tuck and crunch ab workout is also common and requires you to lie down with your hands by your head and your legs up at a 90 degrees angle. You then need to raise your torso and lower it drawing your knees towards your chest. This workout is a modification of the regular crunch where you keep your feet on the ground.
The modified V-sit requires you to raise your legs and keep them parallel with the floor. Your arms should be by your sides and off the floor. Then raise your torso keeping the arms straight and lower it back. With this workout, your chest meets the knees at the top of the move.
Lower Ab Workouts
These exercises target the lower abs and require more use of your legs than the upper body. One of these is the hanging leg raise where the legs are straight with knees and ankles touching. Keeping them together, you then need to use your lower abs to raise the legs.
The hanging knee raise twist requires the legs to be straight and the knees together. You should then twist your body and raise the knees to one side then return to the start. This ab workout is ideal for beginners but requires lower ab strength.
The Garhammer raise requires the knees up to around the midsection. In this position, you should then lift the knees as high as you can and lower the back to the start. This workout keeps the abs engaged all through the movement.
Oblique and Core Workouts
If you are looking to tone the sides of your midsection (love handles), these exercises are useful. A simple plank is an effective exercise as long as you hold the position for long. It targets the hips and glutes in addition to the oblique muscles.
A declined plank is quite intense but highly effective. You need to get into a decline position by positioning your legs on a raised surface such as a workout bench or a chair. Then support your body with your forearms. In this position, lift one foot off the bench and move it sideways to touch the floor.
Another common workout is the bicycle crunch. In this workout, you should lie on your back, raise your legs and keep the knees at a 90-degrees angle. You should then bring your knee up to your chest as you raise your torso. Twist so your opposite-side elbow meets the knee. This workout works on the sides, and if you do it consistently, you can tone down and strengthen the core.
The best ab machine should be easy to use and provide resistance for effective use. You can use adjustable sit-up benches and rollers. A good example is the Perfect Fitness ab carver pro. It is portable and allows you to use your body weight as resistance. You can also use a rowing machine that combines cardio workouts with burning fat around the mid-section.
To lose belly fat, you need to engage in cardio and midsection exercises. One of the machines you can use is the ab coaster. It targets your entire body, and you can feel the resistance on your midsection. With consistent use of this machine, you can burn belly fat among other benefits.
Ab stimulators may or may not work depending on your overall goals. If you are looking for muscle activation and stimulation, you will be happy with the results. But, if you are looking to lose a few inches off your midsection, these might disappoint you. Ab stimulators do not offer the benefits of doing crunches and other ab exercises.
The Bottom Line
The question of whether ab machines are good for you or not entirely depends on your specific goals. If you are looking to lose belly fat, you can make use of them and adopt a healthy nutrition plan. This article can help you evaluate the best ab machine for you, and the exercises you can do.