The 10 Best Ab Machines
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in September of 2015. There's no need for an expensive gym membership if you want to get fit and tone your core. With one of these efficient and effective ab machines, you can do that right from the comfort of your own home, and at whatever time best suits you. We've selected a variety of models at various prices, so no matter your fitness level or budget, there should be an option here for you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 10, 2020:
While it is important to workout all your muscle groups, few are as vital for injury prevention as those responsible for core stability, which are the glutes, abdominals, and lower back muscles. Because of that, we highly recommend you get yourself one of these ab machines that allow you to strengthen those muscles any time you want, and in the comfort of your own home. Not only will your body thank you, but your wallet just might too, since, if you pair one of these with some other home gym equipment, you can stop paying for that costly fitness facility membership every month.
On our most recent update, we decided to replace the Ab Coaster CS1500 with the Tristar AbCoaster Max. Both of these machines offer very similar benefits, as the exercise motion is essentially the same, but the latter is significantly more affordable than the former. If you are buying something for home use, there really is no reason to spend so much more on the CS1500 when the AbCoaster Max will provide you with the same workout. The Stamina 3-in-1 Core Training System is another new addition to the list. While it is slightly less sturdy than the Tristar AbCoaster Max, it has an incorporated bench that allows for more workout versatility.
If you don't have a lot of room to spare in your home for a large machine and would rather get something you can store in a closet when not in use, the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro, Perfect Fitness Crunch, and Wonder Core Smart all make suitable options. Of these, our favorite is the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro since it is the most compact, affordable, and allows you to easily target the obliques without having to adjust your starting position. The Wonder Core Smart might offer the most versatility in regards to which muscle groups you can hit, but many of the workouts it allows for aren't super challenging, so it probably wouldn't be suitable for somebody who is already in good shape.
Of all the options on our list, the Ab Circle Pro is the only one that combines cardio and resistance training, which can be very effective for toning.
June 06, 2019:
Ab machine is a rather loose term. Because of this, you'll find a wide variety of models on our list, which includes everything from small rollers to large, plate-load units. For people who have a home gym with room to spare, the Ab Coaster CS1500 is the best option. It hits the upper and lower abs, and the seat can be pivoted to hit the obliques. Unfortunately, the cost may put this model out of reach for many consumers, which is why it didn't snag our top spot. That honor went to the Body Solid Cam Series GCAB360, which is high-quality unit that can withstand constant use and allows you to achieve a total core workout. For those who have no floor space to spare, we have included the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro, which is essentially just a wheel with two handles attached, but offers an impressive ab workout. Also, its handles can be removed for compact storage. Be warned though, beginners may find it very hard to use until they build up some core strength.
The Perfect Fitness Crunch works on the same concept as the crunch benches found in commercial gyms, but offers a little more versatility than them, as it can be flipped over for push ups and dips. For those who want to combine cardio into their ab routine, we have included the Ab Circle Pro Home. This innovative option hits the obliques hard, but some may find it not challenging enough for their upper abs. The Stamina Pro Hyper Bench is worth mentioning because it can serve multiple purposes in your gym. In addition to allowing for ab and back hyperextensions, it can be used as traditional weight bench to perform a variety of other exercises.
Hoist Roc-It RS-1601 Utilizing dynamic adjustment, this innovative machine should help you squeeze out a few more reps, getting you closer to that six pack. It features a pivoting seat that can be secured into position, or left unlocked to add an additional challenge to your exercise and activate those small stabilizing muscles. Though it is probably overkill for the average home gym, if you are outfitting a commercial facility there are few better choices. hoistfitness.com
TechnoGym Ab Crunch Bench PA10 If you've spent any time at your local gym, then you are probably already familiar with this unit, as it is a staple in almost every facility. It provides neck and back support throughout the entire crunch motion, minimizing the possibility of injury, and users can increase the resistance as they get more fit by adding weight plates. technogym.com
The Benefits Of Using An Ab Machine
The muscle needs to be challenged in order for it to recover and grow bigger.
Well-defined abs are one of the signs of optimal health and fitness in the human body. Defined abdominal muscles may also indicate biological viability, and may trigger primordial signals in the brain of a possible mate. Properly working out the entire core muscle group can be difficult without access to a full gym. For those looking to strengthen their core at home, there are ab machines. Modern ab machines are designed to reduce strain on the body while optimizing the workout achieved through their use. This creates noticeable change in the body in many ways.
Anyone using an ab machine is automatically accessing a larger range of motion than provided by simple exercises like crunches or planks. This full range of motion ensures that every muscle possible is engaged in the exercise. Ab machines also maintain proper form in the body. The entire muscle is active for the entire exercise, which provides the best workout. Ab machines are also extremely comfortable. Most machines are designed ergonomically to challenge the core while allowing the rest of the body to relax, which is considered the perfect ab workout. Ab machines also reduce the stress to other areas of the body during exercise, such as the lower back.
Individuals using ab machines also notice improved muscle gain due to proper muscle fatigue. If the body is well adapted to simple crunches, it will likely not be fatigued by them any more, and is less likely to experience new muscle growth due to these exercises alone. The muscle needs to be challenged in order for it to recover and grow bigger.
Ab Machines Give You A Strong Core
The most important reason to use an ab machine is ultimately to strengthen the core. A strong core provides many benefits to the body. A strong core means a strong lower back, as the muscles are closely related and in many cases, intertwined.
In addition, core strength keeps physical stress away from your spine and hips, as it promotes proper posture throughout the day.
Those using ab machines to strengthen their core are therefore less likely to experience debilitating back pain, which is the highest ranking disability on a global level. Back pain is also influenced by poor abdominal engagement and slouching while seated. Luckily, these habits can be corrected by regularly strengthening the core muscles.
Core strength is determined by engaging the muscles of the deep core just as much as the abs. Using an ab machine to access all areas of the core is highly beneficial. Many benefits are noted by simply including deep core exercises, including lumbar support and relief from respiratory ailments.
A strong core also helps avoid workplace injury and improves balance and stability. In addition, core strength keeps physical stress away from your spine and hips, as it promotes proper posture throughout the day.
Dietary Changes To Support Defined Abs
Simply doing abdominal exercises is not enough to reduce belly fat. As the adage goes, abs are made in the kitchen. Dietary changes are required to create lasting change in the body, but they are not as drastic as many believe.
Fast food, beer, soft drinks, and sauces should be considered off limits.
One simple rule for defined abs is to trust the body's natural cycles. The three circadian cycles of the body are the way in which the body has evolved over millions of years to adapt itself to nature. As such, our body is just as influenced by the natural world as our ancestors' were. The circadian cycles are said to follow the Sun, and are affected by the light and dark cycle of the day.
In the first part of the day, the Sun slowly rises over the horizon, pushing the last part of night away and starting to warm up the Earth. In the body, this corresponds to the elimination cycle from 4am until 12pm. During this time, the body is focused on detoxification and warming up to the day ahead.
At 12pm, the sun is at its brightest, most powerful position in the sky. This corresponds with the appropriation cycle in the body. This is the time of day from 12pm until 8pm, and is the most active time in the body. The largest meal should be around 12pm, when both the Sun and the body are brightest. The period between 8pm and 4am is the assimilation cycle. This corresponds with the Sun's time to rest, and is usually when our bodies are winding down. Foods eaten at this time may be poorly digested or metabolized. This can turn glucose and lipids directly into belly fat, which can ruin even the most perfect ab definition.
In addition to allowing the body to get back into harmony with its natural rhythms, there are some foods to completely avoid if you are really trying to get defined abs. Foods like potato chips, baked goods, chocolate, and anything deep fried are loaded with empty calories which are turned into fat if left unused. White rice, pasta, and bread should also be avoided. Fast food, beer, soft drinks, and sauces should be considered off limits. The results are noticeable after a short period of time.