When designing this newer generation of the Ab Lounge abdominal exercise machine, the designers made it look less like a cot and more like a chair. Along with adjustable pedals and something called a “focus strap” (I’m not exactly sure what that means), the XL model comes with an ab workout DVD. Other than that, the principle is the same as the original.
The AbLounge XL, like the original, is an abdominal exercise machine that assists the performance of a “jackknife” crunch motion by supporting the body from hyperextension to super flexion of the abdomen. The signature claim of this particular piece of equipment is that it allows you to extend (the backward motion) beyond the 180 degree flat position associated with most crunches and crunch machines.
When fully assembled and set up, the device takes up slightly more room than a regular chair. For storage purposes, it folds flat to slide into a closet or under a bed. No matter how easy it is to set up and break down, equipment that takes up too much room to leave assembled regularly is not equipment that I’m very likely to use on a regular basis.
The goal of this piece of kit is simple: to support your body in every degree of the “jackknife” crunching motion (which brings the upper and lower body together simultaneously, rather than moving one at a time). It is effective in supporting the head, neck, and shoulders: areas in which many people experience strain or tightness during regular crunches.
Is the AbLounge XL a necessary piece of home fitness equipment? I would say not. It’s does provide effective support during crunches, and if you’re the type of person who simply won’t exercise without some sort of equipment to help then maybe this or something like it is a good idea. But as always, remember that no toy, video, or highly touted system will do any good unless you use it.