The fitness industry has seen a proliferation of home exercise equipment released onto the market in recent years. The vast majority of it is targeted toward just one body part: the abdominals.
The obsession with obtaining six-pack abs has seen late night TV channels, websites, and chain department stores selling all manner of devices. Many of them are questionable at best.
Yet, there are some genuinely effective ab machines out there. When combined with cardio exercise and a sensible nutritional plan, they will give you the results you desire. In this article, we will identify and review the devices available on the market to help you find the best ab machine for home suited to your needs. We won’t include the ab roller wheels as we’ve got a dedicated article that concentrates exclusively on the best ab roller wheels on the market.
Summary: The Best Ab Machines for Home
Do Ab Machines Work?
Many ab machine advertisers claim that using their piece of equipment will melt fat off your waistline. They even use scientific studies to back up their claims. The truth is that it will not.
It is not possible to spot reduce fat from any area of your body. That means that it is not possible to do exercises that target your abs and lose fat from that area. Abdominal exercises will strengthen and shape the abdominal muscles. However, if you have a layer of fat that is covering your abs, ab machine exercises will do very little to remove it.
The most effective way to lose body fat is to burn it off. That means doing cardiovascular exercise that will get your heart and lungs pumping so as to consume energy. If you combine cardio exercise with targeted ab machine exercises and a good diet, you will be able to burn off the covering body fat and reveal the toned and tight abs lying beneath.
One of the most effective forms of cardio exercise to burn fat from your body is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT involves performing an aerobic exercise, such as running, at a very hard and fast pace for a short period of time (typically twenty seconds) and then resting for an even shorter period of time (ten seconds). This is done for multiple repetitions.
Types of Ab Machines
There are a few basic types of ab machines on the market. Here is an overview of the most common ones that you will come across:
- Ab Roller – Ab rollers consist of a small wheel that rotates on the floor as you push it out in front of your body. This movement gives an outstanding stretch and contraction to your entire core, but particularly your abdominals.
- Ab Belt – Ab belts use electronic stimulation to allow you to work your abs without your active involvement. When they first came out, their manufacturers made a lot of over the top claims about their effectiveness. This has led people to view these machines as nothing more than quackery. However, there are some good ones out there.
- Ab Glider – Ab gliders involve movement along a pre-set track that moves the abs either up and down or to the sides, or a combination of both. Some machines allow for movement through a 180-degree range of motion.
- Other Machines – Some machines, such as the Ab Rocket Twister, allow you to get a targeted ab workout while your lower back is in a prone position. Other machines use a handle and foot stirrups by which you are able to push down on the handle to compress your abdominal muscles.
Ab Machine for Home Reviews
The Sela Fitness Total Core Ab Machine offers an effective core-centric workout unit that provides dual resistance to double your training effect. This is a very well priced option for people who are after the negative resistance training experience.
The Sela Fitness Total Core Ab Machine is an upper, lower ab, and intercostal focused training device. It combines six different workout products into one design to provide an effective core-centric training regimen.
This machine provides variable resistance adjustment that is capable of producing between 10 and 21 kgs of resistance on each side of the body. The spring-loaded design of the unit allows for resistance on both the positive and negative part of each repetition.
Value for money
The Sela Fitness Total Core Ab Machine retails for around $65. This makes it nearly half the price of the Wonder Core Smart, although it doesn’t have quite as many exercise options. It comes with a video training guide.
The Sela Fitness Total Core Ab Machine provides a simple design and is made from light, durable materials. Assembly is easy and the machine can be collapsed for easy storage.
The Wonder Core Smart provides an impressive range of targeted core movements that effectively isolate the working muscle group. The dual resistance effectively doubles the effectiveness of each repetition. However, this unit is quite a bit more expensive than competing brands.
The Wonder Core Smart is an ab training device that looks somewhat similar to an ab crunch frame. It provides a spring-loaded dual resistance system, which gives you resistance throughout both the positive (up) and negative (down) part of an exercise.
The machine offers you eight different workout options. The resistance level is adjustable (24 to 48 lbs) to accommodate beginner, intermediate, and advanced trainers.
Value for money
The Wonder Core Smart is available online for under $110. This puts it among the higher cost end of the ab machine market. When you purchase this device, you also get a training DVD and instruction manual.
The Wonder Core Smart is a lightweight unit that is well constructed but not overly sturdy. It will accommodate people up to a weight of 260 pounds. The unit comes fully assembled and can be folded up for ease of storage.
The Ab Circle Pro effectively targets the ab muscles for an effective workout. However, it will not do a lot to burn off body fat. Combine your workouts with regular aerobic exercise and you will see results.
The Ab Circle Pro is a large disc-like unit that you sit upon and rotate. It features handles and knee pads for comfortable positioning. The machine is supposed to provide an ab workout and a cardio workout at the same time. However, the limited range of motion will not provide you with enough of a calorie burn to constitute a serious cardiovascular workout.
There is no back support with this device. People with a pre-existing back condition may experience discomfort.
The Ab Circle Pro offers three resistance levels, making it suitable for all fitness levels. The unit folds up for easy storage when not in use.
Value for money
The Ab Circle Pro is available for around $60.
The Ab Circle Pro is constructed from robust materials and feels secure when you sit upon it. It has a maximum user weight of 275 pounds.
The Ab Rocket Twister provides an effective workout, particularly to the sides of the waist. However, it does not allow for custom use, meaning that some people simply may not fit the unit.
The Ab Rocket Twister has the appearance of an upmarket padded chair. The chair swivels and twists to allow you to work your core through a range of movements. The backrest features padded massage rollers that move with your body. There are handle grips at the sides for support.
The Ab Rocket Twister provides you with three levels of resistance, which are color coded for your convenience.
The movements that you can do on this machine are simply rocking and twisting.
Value for money
The Ab Rocket Twister can be purchased for under $80. With your purchase comes a workout DVD.
The Ab Rocket Twister is made from lightweight, durable materials. It is easy to put together.
The Perfect Fitness Crunch provides effective isolation of the abs during the crunching movement. It also gives good support to the upper spine. However, people over 200 pounds may find that this unit does not provide enough stability.
The Perfect Fitness Crunch is a guide machine that allows you to perform the crunch exercise more effectively. It provides a frame to grip onto and has a headrest to support your neck and spine. In these ways, it reduces the strain on these areas.
By flipping the unit over, you can perform such additional exercises as push-ups and dips. The push-ups and dips that can be done on the Perfect Fitness Crunch allow for a full range of motion. This is due to the height of the device when it is reversed.
The headrest features a durable mesh canopy. This breathable canopy cradles the head in just the right position to allow for an ab-focused workout while relieving spinal pressure.
Value for money
The Perfect Fitness Crunch can be purchased online for under $30. This puts it among the lower cost end of the ab machine market.
The Perfect Fitness Crunch has a lightweight frame. The head canopy is constructed from a mesh material. The unit feels secure for users who are under 200 pounds. People over that weight may find that the machine feels somewhat rickety.
The handgrips are of very good quality, allowing you to perform the exercises safely and comfortably.
Amidst the plethora of cheap and nasty ab machines flooding the market, there are some real gems. The best ab machines for home use have been reviewed above. These devices do a good job of isolating and targeting the upper, lower, and side abdominals. However, despite what the marketers continue to claim, none of them will burn off the spare tire that is covering your abdominal wall. Only regular cardiovascular exercise and a good diet will do that.
When you combine cardio and ab specific training with proper nutrition you will get to your goals quicker. Reduce your food intake by 500 calories below your maintenance level, avoid processed and sugar laden foods, and try to fill your plate with complex vegetable-based carbs, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Just as working your biceps muscles will make them thicker and stronger, working your abdominal muscles will tone and strengthen them. And having strong, toned abs is an essential element of overall health and wellbeing.