The Ab Lounger phenomenon has taken off. This is the latest abdominal exercise machine to hit the highstreet and online stores, and it’s become extremely popular very quickly. In all honesty, it’s not a bad piece of kit. It works your abdominals through a complete range of motion, and hits the upper abs as hard as the lower abs.
I have my doubts though. It does seem marketed at the oxymoronic (and that’s not an insult) “lazy fitness” brigade – the stay-at-home moms who want to shed pounds “lounging” in front of the TV. Anyone with any long-term track record of fitness habits knows that that’s just not sustainable. Sorry, but if you want to get in shape, you need to develop the habits of effort and nutritional discipline. Our bodies are quite resistant to change, and a couple of light sets on the ab lounger twice a week is not going to really do anything for your physique.
However – it does have value, and it might be the best piece of abdominal exercise equipment on the market. As I said it works all six of your abdominals hard, through a full range of motion. The “jackknife” exercise is pretty gruelling if you’re pushing your sets to near-failure.
I do wonder how hard it works the abdominals at the peak of the contraction, however – I must confess I haven’t tried it, but just looking at the biomechanics, it seems like the hips are more active at the top of the movement than you’d like from an abdominal exercise. This can take the stress off the (upper) abdominals at the peak contraction. In this respect it might be a good idea to throw a couple of sets of crunches in after your jackknives to make sure you’re really hammering the abs from all angles. Regardless, I think the ab lounger has much potential, and it does get me all excited inside. If I saw one at a friends house, you’d be hard pressed to keep me from jumping on and “lounging” out a few reps.