If you want to lose weight or want to tighten your abdominal muscles, you probably are thinking about buying an ab machine. Well, here you have the most extensive guide you can find on ab machines – all you need to know and more
It is common for us to hear the 2 most important steps in having a fit body and these are proper diet and of course, regular exercise. In other words, a good healthy lifestyle is all what it takes to have that gorgeous body you always wanted to have. But are these two significant tasks enough to have a hard body and a washboard abs?
When we talk about proper diet, there are also two main disciplines in this category and this is eating the right kinds of food at the right time and avoiding the fatty ones. In terms of regular exercise, it may mean going to the gym, jogging a lot, walking miles, swim a lot and everything you need to keep your heart pumping harder. These are really what health conscious people do and they reap excellent results with it. They can maintain themselves healthy and fit as long as they can make these activities their routine. But the abs, as we know are not easy to develop and really take a lot of help from abs training and using exercise tools such as abs machines to become rock hard.
There are actually 4 general abdominal muscles in our abs area with 2 of them in pairs which makes up to 6 muscle groups that support our postures and defining the form of our abs. These muscles are the following:
- Transverse Abdominus Muscles. These are located deep into the abdominal area and provide support to the torso and to the back. It is responsible in providing postural support to the spine.
- Internal Oblique Muscles. These muscles are located on each side of the torso. They are the next big muscles after the transversus and also help in providing back and posture support but they provide more flexibility with our bodies’ rotational and lateral movements.
- External Oblique Muscles. These are also a pair of side muscles on the torso and located near the internal obliques. They are superficial muscles but provide additional support to the internal oblique muscles.
- Rectus Abdominus Muscles. Literally, these muscles are what we call the muscle group that makes up the six-pack abs. It provides support to the other abs muscles. Because these muscles are on the surface and composed of 6 muscles, having these muscles developed can make one look super fit.
If you want to know more about the muscle groups of the abdominals, please read our article on the abdominals. Now, getting these muscles worked out are sad to say requires a hard job if without the help of the abs machines. Abs machines can be the man’s best friend in terms of utilizing tools that can solely target the core area. However, abs machines will be useless if you are not physically fit to do the work out or don’t have the motivation to get leaner and go on proper diet. For those who are overweight or obese, they must be ready to empower themselves with determination and discipline to make themselves leaner and fit before making their abs harder.
Some people say that if you are too fat or obese, an abs machine can be useless. This is not totally true because an abs machine can still help you with your workout depending on the structure, size and quality of the abs machine. Abs machines come in many varieties and you only have to look for the one that fits you right, don’t give you pain and its resistance levels can force you to exert your effort.
The Abs Machine
Abs machines are popular and they are some of the most featured gadgets seen on infomercials. They come in many types. There are the wheeled types, the spring types, the chair types, the twister types and many more types that promise good result with regular use. On the other hand, not all of these can have good range of motions to maximize your strength and flexibility as some of them may turn out to be pieces of crap just riding up with the trend. So it is really important that before you trust an advertisement, you have to understand the characteristic and best features of an ab machine.
Previously, most of the ab machines we see on different ad media are the wheeled devices and the roller types abs machines. These ab machine types require you to use their hand grips and with your body leaning forward, you roll the wheels back and forth and this can stretch and flex your abdominal muscles while also stretching your chest muscles. However, if you are overweight and do not have enough power in your biceps and triceps, these kinds of abs machines can easily tire you so it is likely that you will forget about utilizing them.
Fortunately in this age of innovation and technology, there came other varieties of abs machines that eliminate the painful way of flexing the abs muscles. For example, the chair or bench types will not oblige the user to use his body weight just to get that abs muscles flexed. With completing a range of movements, the same result with the abs rollers and sit-ups can be gained. The swing abs machine types are also very beneficial as they also eliminate the hard task of providing tension to other muscles in the body but only target the abdominal area.
Ab Machine Buying Guide
Since we understand that not all ab machines are genuinely useful, we have to be very careful in choosing the right ab machine that can guarantee us success. Please read our article on what are the best ab machines. In this case, we have to have the abs machine buying guide which can help us pick the right tools. Here are some question guides to make you realize if you are really buying the right abs machine.
- Can it help you with your objectives? Remember that the role of the ab machine is to strengthen you core muscles and must tone your abs. If you tried it and you did not feel any tension in there, the machine cannot be the ideal one.
- Do you have any ailments or physical problems that can hinder you from using the machine? Doctors would usually recommend people with physical ailments light exercises but not to use ab machines as these require powerful effort to benefit from it. But if your problem involves only the neck or your back, you can still find abs machines that have features to support these body parts and still can get that well toned abs.
- Can it help you with your abs workout? Considering that you are already overweight or have an extra large body size which can take you longer to develop your abs structure, ask yourself if the abs machine you want can help you with your work out and can it support your body weight and size. If not, try other abs machines that can be suitable for your size. If you can’t find one, better enroll in a gym to make use of the larger machines that can suit you better. Then when you are slimmer, you can maintain and improve your physique with the use of the abs machine while at home.
- Does it have adjustable parts and are you comfortable in using it? Most machines are really effective in helping people form their rock hard abs. But on the other hand, some people fail to use their abs machines accordingly because basically these are not very comfortable to use. If you develop a pain in the back, or knees, or to the neck everytime you use your abs machine, surely you would not be able to continue using it. Usually, if the machine has an adjustable part, comfort of use can be at hand. But if the machine has an adjustable parts and still killing you, throw it out and look for a machine you will be happy to work out with.
- Can you afford to buy it? Most often than not, people buy home abs machines because these are generally affordable. Abs machines can range from $50 to more than $250. However, it does not mean a cheap abs machine cannot fare well with a $200 machine in terms of efficiency. In fact, there are cheaper abs machines that are more effective than the expensive ones. Remember that the materials are the basis of the price of the machine and even the abs machine has poor quality but have excellent design, still it can contribute positively to the user though it may not last that long . On the other hand, if you can afford to buy a good quality and reliable abs machine, better go for it because the machine would sure to last and will help you maintain good toned abs.
- Do you have the space for it in your home? Abs machine vary in sizes. The large ones which are usually more expensive have heavy large structures but these are not the very foldable types. The cheaper ones are smaller and more foldable and you can store it anywhere or leave it in a corner of your room for easy access. If you want the heavy structured abs machine, be sure that you have its own space for it.
So ask yourself these questions to give you great ideas if a machine is suitable for your needs. Now, ab machines may look perfect for anyone’s taste but with all the good and bad talks that have been said to most of them, this can really intrigue you more but at the same time can make you cautious which one to choose.
There are secrets in finding the fine details of an abs machine and you cannot hear or read these from the ads you’ve been watching and reading. You want to know these details? Just check these out and know some tips.
1) Size of the machine. Infomercials usually don’t tell people about the size of their machines if they have variety of sizes to suit anyone’s size. They only show you how to use it and continually showing their sexy models to whet your interest in buying the product. However, have you not observed that the models who are using the machines have almost the same size and already well-trimmed? How about if you have a heavy and long body structure? Can the machine accommodate you? Is it made of durable materials that you won’t wreck it? If you are not so large, can someone in your family who is sized extra-large use it as well? These are few of the questions you must know before buying an abs machine.
Tip: If you are on the heavy side or too tall for that matter and have an interest with an abs machine, you may want to inquire from the manufacturer or search in the Internet all about the machine’s specifications. In this case, you may also want to know if the machine has adjustable parts that would help you decide if you want to take the machine or not.
2) Resistance level. This is the criteria you must also always take in consideration because your health condition and body shape will be the basis on what resistance level you will need to undertake. For those who are really out of shape, they should look for ab machines that offer low resistance level to avoid muscle fatigue and harm. If you are already fit, toned or muscled, look for an abs machine that has high resistance level to make your abs firmer and well sculpted. But if you are on the heavy side, make it a priority in finding a machine that is very durable, has an adjustable parts and offer tough resistance levels. You can really use this machine with your regular workout including your cardio workout.
Tip: Most effective abs machine that use springs, rubber bands and hydraulic system have different ranges of resistance and this is good because as you go by, getting stronger and having firmer abs, you can strengthen the resistance level of the machine to make your abs feel more of the tension. But on the one hand, some abs machines have limited levels of resistance that render them useless over time. If you have one cheap but effective machine that does not meet your level of resistance anymore, passing it to someone who needs it would be nice. But if you are contemplating on buying a high-end abs machine, better check its resistance levels first or you may have a machine that cannot be a part of your good investment.
3) Quality of the ab machine. This is another priority in terms of having a machine that can last a long time. Considering that the machine you find is effective and giving you the tone you need, you have to use the machine regularly to maintain your physique and the quality of the machine counts in this event. Most cheap abs machine have low quality parts which tend to break under a year of regular use so you better choose a machine that have flexible and durable parts but still affordable.
Tip: Physical fitness experts say you can easily distinguish the quality of the machine with its physical characteristics. First, a low quality abs machine is usually light. These are made of thin stainless or aluminum metal carved out and covered with thick rubber pads to make them appear thick and strong. However, the usefulness may not be at stake with some cheap abs machines but only their durability. Heavy duty abs machines have heavy solid structures and can last for years.
Second, low quality abs machines usually have parts that can lose grip or resistance in such a short time. Especially those that you need to screw and unscrew the lever to come up with high resistance level, the screw tend to loosen its tread while the holes widen. Their rubbers and springs also tend to lose their elasticity and force. By checking on these parts, you will know that the machine won’t be reliable after months of use. Third, low quality machines can easily rust, crack, bend or twist.
4) Cost and charges. The new ab machines are made for general public access which means they are sold affordably. Though these cannot totally eliminate your visit to the gym since the gym have all the equipments you need for your total body workout, the commercial ab machine are specifically made to be portable, affordable and yet can be very effective for anyone’s convenience. However, if you want to buy via online or avail the trial offer of an ab machine, make sure there are no hidden charges whenever you want one delivered. Also, if the machine doesn’t suit to your needs and want to return it, clarify with the company who will shoulder the return fee. We have great information on cheap ab machines.
5) Warranties. Any product you buy especially with abs machine that are subjected to wear and tear must be under warranties. If an abs machine could not offer you a good warranty period, you would not like it when it breaks down in just few days of use without gaining anything from it so make sure you have all the receipts and warranty documents along with the item when you buy it.
6) Good customer service. Incidentally, there are the usual cases of complaints about abs machines being delivered lacking in parts, wrong model delivery, or malfunctioning parts. Even if you order the best abs machine but you got some parts missing or broken, it is always necessary that the customer service of the manufacturer can provide you the help you need. Bad customer service can spell bad products so better be sure that you get to talk to someone when the abs machine come to you in unusable condition.
Considerations before Buying an Ab Machine
Now that we have discussed the details on how to find a reliable abs machine, we must also tackle some considerations when choosing the right abs machine. This time you also need to know what type of machine you may want to enjoy using.
You can consider probably an ab roller, an inclined bench, cabled machines, an exercise ball or any type of machine that offers complete package. You can also think about adding other small equipments with your abs workout like the barbell, dumbbell, leg weights, ankle weights, medicine ball or the chin-up bar. You may need these if you want to develop not only your abs but other large muscles in your body and make your abs proportionally shaped along with other large muscle groups.
Effective Abs Exercises with Abs machines
People with great looking sexy abs don’t just rely with their abs machines only. They also use other equipments small and large though the abs machines are the ones that can really tighten the abs muscles. But with the use of other tools and abdominal exercises, these will enhance the quick formation of strong abs. But did you know that other than using tools and abs machines you can also include abdominal exercises that can many times over tone your abs quickly? Here are the exercises the fitness gurus suggest which can further support the use of your abs machine.
For the Lower Abdomen:
Hanging Knees to Chin and Head Raises
Hanging Abdominal Leg Raises
Exercise Ball Abdominal Pull Ins
Flat Bench Abdominal Leg Raises and Pull Ins
Abdominal Flutter Kicks with or without ankle weights
Decline Abdominal Crunches
Reverse Abdominal and Decline Crunches
For the Middle and Upper Abdomen:
Abdominal Crunches, Butt raises, Cable Crunches, Tuck Crunches
Exercise Ball Abs Crunches
Barbell Abs Rollouts
Exercise Ball Abs Crunches
Medicine Ball Crunches while on Exercise Ball
For the External Obliques:
Barbell and Dumbbell Side Bends
Elbow to Knee and Fingers to Heel Oblique Crunches
Seated Oblique Barbell Twists
Lying Oblique Leg Raises
Hanging Oblique Knee Raises
These are only few of the exercises you can include in your workout and when you want your abs get a quick tone the abs machine can finally do that job. Abs machines are like other exercise machines but because they are the portable type, they can have limited and repetitive ranges of motions which in the long run will not provide tension in your abs area even if you maximize their levels of resistance. Your muscles will get used to the repetitive motion that the machine’s tension will no longer be felt in the target muscle area.
In view of applying the above exercises, use other tools and try to innovate your exercise routine. We would also like to suggest the simplest abs machines than anyone can buy and all of these have been proven to be very effective gadgets that you can keep at home.
Without the abs machine, the exercise ball can be your very effective tool in making that abs feels the pain. You can do the ball crunch with it which is the most effective abs workout and with the use of weights such as dumbbells and medicine balls you can strengthen other group muscles with this ball. The exercise or stability ball can intensify basic exercises as it enhances your balance and coordination. While doing workouts or even watching TV or working on your computer at home, the exercise ball can strengthen your core and back muscles because you balance yourself with it thus correcting your posture.
Abdominal / Medicine Ball
Previously used in Physical Education activities and in physical therapies, the medicine balls are now available in different sizes and weights so you can hold it near your chest while doing the crunches or tossing it up and catching it while standing. You can also roll your back and abs onto it to massage and strengthen your back and core muscles.
The ab wheel is considered one of the most inexpensive but very effective tools for toning up the abs. It can be used by beginners and professional athletes alike. If you are a beginner, by just grabbing its handles and get on your knees while rolling the Ab wheel full forward and pulling back, you can create so much tension in your abdominal area that with just few pushes and pulls, your abdomen can get really tensed and hot. The Ab wheel is best in developing the Rectus abdominis, Transverse abdominis and the muscles of the lower back. If used by the advanced athletes that already have powerful arms and upper body strength, they can easily firm up their abs with the the Ab wheel and can easily create that 6-pack abs.
Some people think that the Ab Roller is the same as with the Ab Wheel but it’s not. The Ab roller is designed to make abs crunches easier because believe it or not, the crunch is the most effective way of tightening the abs muscles. This abs machine has its head rest and overhead handles. You lie down on the floor, put your head on the head rest and grabbing the handle with your hands you slowly rock forward much like you do when crunching. With repetitive crunching, this can stretches and flex your entire abs muscle group and make them stronger. On the good side, this machine is best in developing the Rectus abdominus muscles or the 6-pack abs.
If you have a back or neck problem or just want to feel more comfortable while doing the crunches, the Ab rocker can be your ideal abs machine. It can strengthen your Rectus abdominus and side obliques because it allows you to perform the crunch while your head will be resting and your back getting the massages from the rubber rollers. This machine is also ideal for older people, heavyweights, or somehow has physical disabilities as long as their arms and upper body is strong enough to pull the body upward.
There are lots and lots of abs machines out there that may get your attention and will be offering you instant results that choosing the right abs machine may get so hard on your part. But try to be a smart buyer and better understand the concept that is shared to you through this article. Remember that abs machines are very useful tools that can make good things possible to your health. But bear in mind that before you have that slim body with ripped abs, you must follow the three basic rules – proper diet, lots of workout and religiously using your abs machine.
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