Best Ab Workout
When most people think of abs, it’s the ubiquitous six-pack; however, there’s also the oblique muscles to consider with both sets of muscles worked in multiple directions. While this is great for your beach body, it makes choosing the right ab workout machine a difficult task; each is different, though they all claim to provide the same benefits. If you’re confused as to which ab machine is best for you, check out our buyer’s guide listed below.
Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer
Ab Rocket Twister Abdominal Trainer
Powerline PAB21X Ab Bench
AB Dolly Plus
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
Ultimate Body Press Ab Wheels
TDS Mega Torso Head
GoFit Extreme Ab Wheel
The Ab Doer Twist may look like nothing more than a strange chair with handles, but it’s actually a safe and comfortable way to get a decent workout. The Ab Doer Twist allows you to sit up while doing your exercises which reduces the strain of having to stand up and lay down between sets and keeps your body in a more natural and safer position.
The special torsion flex back allows you to move in every direction working your entire core as well as your lower back, and even your arms get in on the action. It’s not just the torsion flex back that works either as the seat spins for a deeper oblique workout. The Ab Doer Twist comes with a DVD offering beginner, intermediate, and pro workouts.
The Ab Rocket Twister is like a traditional ab rocker on steroids because of its unique design that covers the entire core. It offers resistance in both the eccentric and concentric movements of the crunch making it dually effective at working the rectus abdominus while the seat swivels to make it an oblique obliterator.
The unique padded roller design offers comfort and support over your entire back and neck, and keeps you in the proper form throughout your movements. The Ab Rocket Twist is a great machine for those who are limited on space because it folds up small enough to fit under a bed and has a pretty small footprint even when not folded.
The joints of this machine are really cool too because they click to let you know that you have reached the best spot and should start moving in another direction. The machine itself does not offer a lot of support for other muscle movements but the company sends bands and workout DVDs with the machine to complete your workout.
The Body Solid Ab Bench is an awesome addition to any home gym that has the room for it. Unfortunately it’s a little bigger than some other ab machines, but it also offers nearly unlimited potential. The bench gets users off the ground and into a more comfortable seated position but still mimics the movement of a traditional sit up. The harness is connected to a device allowing you to add a nearly infinite amount of weight plates as well as allowing free movement to work core muscles in every way fathomable.
The benches unique freestyle design lends itself to other movements as well, meaning it can be used for all kinds of exercises, not just core workouts. The padded bench comfortable, but its thin style keeps you aware of where your body is at all times which helps maintain proper form.
The AB Dolly is made of strong molded plastic parts with metal bearings for smooth rolling and can support up to 300 pounds. The unique design allows for multiple grip positions which means more exercise options and a safer, more comfortable grip every single time. The Ab Dolly also offers a knee pad for lower body safety and comfort.
The Ab Dolly’s unique design allows you to strengthen your core unlike any other ab wheel because it allows flawless movement in any direction meaning no awkward turns when trying to work your obliques. Because of its shape and design, the Ab Dolly works the core and can be used as a total body exercise device as well. This device comes with a full color exercise booklet to guide you through use and proper form when performing your core workout.
The Ab Carver Pro is a monster of an ab wheel made out of thick, durable plastic and rubber on the outside with carbon steel springs on the inside. The wheel is wider than almost every other ab wheel meaning more weight support and added stability when moving in any direction. The rubber coated handles are ergonomically designed to put less stress on the wrists while offering a steady and comfortable grip for the palm.
The Ab Carver Pro offers knee pads for safety and comfort during your workout but what really sets the Ab Carver apart is the carbon steel springs. They create resistance during the rolling out portion of the exercise and assistance during the return portion of the exercise. This resistance not only provides more work for the abs, but it activates the arms as well for a closer to total upper body movement.
The Ab Wheels from Ultimate Body Press split the traditional ab wheel into two separate wheels. By splitting the traditional ab wheel into two separate devices with wheels on either end, it accomplishes two things at once. First, you have better stability and the second is enhanced range of motion. Though they are small, these ab wheels are made out of highly durable plastic and metal ball bearings capable of supporting up to 300 pounds. The thick handles are covered with foam padding offering comfort to the hands without sacrificing any grip. The fact that this unit is actually two different pieces really opens up your options for upper body strengthening and allows for effective body weight fly movement.
The Mega Torso Head may not be pretty, but it supports a staggering 1,500 pounds. Each one of the wheels supports up to 750 pounds and the solid steel construction featuring two inch roller bearings make it the most durable ab wheel you’ll ever find. Dual wheels not only make it more durable, it also helps with stability and control when rolling and turning.The handles aren't the most comfortable in the world but they’re by no means unusable. They do offer a superior grip because of their texture and the thickness of the handle. The length of these handles let you grip them either wide or tight to adjust the level of difficulty as well as the muscles being worked.
Go Fit finds its way on to many best lists because they’re usually thought of as a more budget friendly company, but their ab wheel breaks that mold. The wheel on this device is slightly taller than other ab wheels which offer more support and control, but not any extra stability. The skeleton of this device is made of durable plastic while the outside is covered with a thick textured rubber offering grip and support while protecting your surfaces.
The handles are covered with a thick textured rubber for a sure grip that is easy on the palms along with Velcro straps that can be used to strap in your feet to double your workout options. This ab wheel comes with a handy exercise guide too with scannable QR codes that will take you to a workout video detailing proper form for each exercise.
Ab Workout Buyer's Guide
There are multiple types of ab machines out there including rockers, rollers, twisters, gliders, and even a few heavy-duty weighted machines. Most ab machines are body weight only, but you may need to decide on resistance depending on the machine which you choose. As long as you have the room for it, an ab machine is a great addition to any home gym.
Strengthening your core not only makes you look better, but leaves you feeling stronger overall. It’s vital to get one at your skill level while featuring a movement you’re comfortable with; to help with the decision making process, we’ve compiled the following buyer’s guide.
Ab Machine Types
Ab rockers are one of the oldest forms of ab machine and work by assisting you in the traditional crunch movement. They aren’t the most effective form of ab machine, but are great for use by beginners or individuals involved in some form of physical rehabilitation program.
The twisting movement is a popular with many ab machines because it works the often overlooked oblique muscles. These machine usually have you one your knees on a rotating platform which allows you to twist back and forth at the waist. These ab machines are surprisingly effective despite how gimmicky they appear in both form and function.
Another popular form of ab workout is the ab roller, known for being an incredibly effective option. While not for everyone, ab rollers are a more advanced piece of equipment, capable of targeting your entire core and delivering the type of results most individuals are looking for.
A relatively new form of ab machine is the glider which works by allowing you to glide up and down and/or side to side on a set of tracks. This allows you to work both your rectus abdominus and the oblique muscles in a more natural movement while being assisted by the frictionless track.
These aren’t nearly as common as the other options for home ab machines, but they do exist. In a gym setting you may find a weighted machine solely for the purpose of ab work, but most home gyms have an attachment which allows you to perform weighted crunches.
There are really only two types of resistance methods when it comes to ab machines and both are effective if you use them the right way. Most ab exercises use body weight resistance which is more than enough for most people who will increase reps when the work gets too easy.
There are some ab exercise machines which use weights but these are usually standalone machines you see in the gym or as an optional attachment for your home gym’s weight stack. While these are fairly effective, they aren’t going to be very useful unless you’re a body builder or expert exerciser.
There are few ab machines which have consoles as part of the package, but enough to warrant a mention. These are almost always the most simple of consoles and only offer key metrics like time and reps.
Warranties come pretty shallow with these types of machines, but it is always a good idea to know what you are working with. You want to make sure that your warranty goes out 90 days at the very least.