Abdominal exercise equipment: what is right for you?


Abdominal exercises are popular and there is a wide range of abdominal exercise equipment available to help you turn your beer belly into a washboard. Buying exercise equipment can be a sizable financial investment, so it is important to understand what particular machines can do and how they will help you achieve your desired results. Regardless of your budget, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to abdominal exercise machines!

A floor mat and Swiss ball are two of the cheapest options when it comes to the abdominal exercise equipment range. The number of abdominal exercises you can do using a Swiss ball is astounding – these balls cost as little as $20 and are excellent if space is limited. Likewise, you can use a floor mat to do sit ups, bridges and crunches. Use a floor mat or Swiss ball in combination with an instructional DVD or video, to find a routine that will help you firm up your abs.

There is an abundance of abdominal exercise equipment that effectively assists you to perform abdominal crunches. Using machines such as the “Ab Crunch” or “Ab Rocker”, which are shaped to rock gently on the floor, allow you to undertake abdominal exercises without putting excessive strain on your back and neck. These machines are great for older exercisers or for those who have a pre-existing neck or back injuries. Other machines, such as the “Ab Slider”, use a sliding mechanism that requires you to apply resistance using the strength of your abs. Typically, both of these types of machines can be folded up and packed away into a cupboard or under the bed.

More expensive abdominal exercise equipment, similar to machines you might find at a gym, can also help you to flatten your stomach. A popular machine is the “Roman Chair” – a tall machine, with two padded armrests. The idea is for your feet to dangle above the ground, and to use your abdominal muscles to slowly lift your legs towards your chest. A more expensive home gym may include an abdominal workout station that allows you to work your abs against fixed weights. Keep in mind that a home gym is usually bulky and expensive and if you wish to target your abdominals, there may be cheaper abdominal exercise equipment options for you.

Quality of abdominal exercise equipment can vary dramatically. As with many things, more expensive brands and models tend to offer more sturdy construction and will probably use higher quality components. Good quality equipment will tend to be made from round or square tube at least two inches in diameter, have a high gloss chrome or enamel finish and have adequate padding for your arms, back or neck as appropriate.

It is worthwhile noting that even with the most expensive equipment, you may not achieve the washboard stomach you desire unless you are consistent with your exercises and combine them with a well-balanced, low fat diet. Not even the most expensive abdominal exercise equipment will help you find your abdominal muscles if you finish every work out with a take-out pizza and beer!