Abdominal Fitness Machines – The Best Ones Are Not The Ones You Think
When it comes to getting an abdominal fitness machine, there are four types of people:
- people who’re in good / great shape who want to chisel their abs
- people who’re in average shape who want a flat stomach, with a hint of abs, maybe
- people in poor shape who want to lose some weight, without flat stomachs / six-pack abs being the declared goal
- people who’d love to lose weight but aren’t gonna (too lazy, too easily distracted, or, in other words, not sufficiently motivated).
The Perfect Abdominal Exercise Machine for Each Group?
I mean, ab machines can be divided into groups too:
- ab machines proper
- workout equipment for abs
- workout equipment for abs too.
No, not kidding you. Bear with me.
Ab Machines Proper
Exercise machines that are built specifically to exercise the abdominal muscles only are a new(ish) phenomenon (as in, neither the Greeks nor the Romans nor anybody till the late 1900’s had one). In this group you have equipment pieces like ab loungers and Ab Circle Pro, Ab Rocket Twister Abdominal Trainer, Ab Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer, Ab Coaster PS500, ProForm Ab Glider, ab belts, and so on.
Some were first built to help people who could not move get some exercise. The rest were built out of greed and marketed as an easy solution to the weight problem we’ve seen in recent years and the ‘too-busy-to-exercise’ life.
They are meant to target a human being’s abdominal muscles; and they do, with more or less success. But, even the best of the best, don’t do much for a healthy person’s abs. (Though, if such a machine is the only way you can exercise, such a machine becomes a great thing; something is better than nothing.)
Workout Equipment for Abs
Here I’m talking about exercise machines that were meant for abs but can be used to do exercises for other parts of your body or which exercise intensely other parts of your body while you exercise your abs, such as ab benches, ab rollers, power towers, exercise balls.
Speaking of exercise balls, they’re about the best exercise equipment for abs, as in, doing crunches on an exercise ball engages your abdominal muscles more than doing any other kind of exercise that specifically targets the abdominal muscles. Way more than any and all the ab machines proper at a fraction of the price.
Workout Equipment for Abs Too
Here you can include all other exercise equipment you can think of (exercising any part of your body helps your abs too).
However, I had in mind exercise equipment that greatly helps with getting a flat stomach, even six-pack abs. I mean cardio exercise equipment.
I’m partial to rowing machines, as they engage a lot of muscles, use up a lot of energy, and get you a flat stomach, if getting one is possible.
Why if getting one is possible?
Because, sometimes, it’s not. The trick to getting six-pack abs, or even a flat stomach, is to control what and how much you eat. If you fail at that, you may forever carry six-pack abs under a few inches of fat.
But, if you don’t like rowing machines, elliptical machines, treadmills, bikes (recumbent or not) are great at getting you a flat stomach and even at removing layers of fat to reveal six-pack abs.
Best Abdominal Fitness Machines, Then?
That depends on where you are.
If you already have a great mid-section and just want it to be greater, a ab roller or an exercise ball would do.
If, on the other hand, losing a few pounds to get to a flat stomach is where you are, I’d go for a cardio machine. The same if you’re completely out of shape, a ball of fat, but can actually move.
If you run out of breath from going up one flight of stairs or can’t move, then, and only then, you should get an ab machine proper. And I’d stay away from Ab Doer Twists. I’ve tried one and found it did nothing for my abs. I’ve tried it like the maker said it should be used… The spring was helping too much.
If you need some help, it’s okay, but your stomach muscles should still be doing some work.
As for the other ab machines proper, I haven’t tried them. I suggest you read lots and lots of reviews and think about how the abs actually work in real life (and find yourself a machine that mimics that).