Fitness and Health Exercise Equipment
                                 An informational guide to selecting high-quality fitness and health exercise equipment.

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Ab (Abdominal) Exercise Equipment

Choose the Correct Ab Exercise Machine

    There are many different types of ab exercise equipment and ab workout machines available today. All of them have the same objective--flat looking stomachs---but have different ideas and methods of achieving it.  Ab exercise equipment is available is many different forms and functions. Ab workout machines come in small easy to use configurations to large full-on exercise machines.  Some of the most common types are ab rollers, ab wheels/sliders, and even electronic ab belts. You will find a wide range of ab Training Products here.

 Before deciding on the best ab workout machine for you, consider what your goals are. Consider these questions:

  • Should the ab exercise machine be portable?
  • Do you want to store the machine out of the way--like under a bed where it is hidden?
  • Do you want your ab exercise machine to do only one thing--just work on your abs.

    If you want to just work on the abs, then getting an ab exercise machine like a roller or slider. These easily are stored in your home also.

    If you want something more versatile, you may consider a home gym. The home gyms today can provide a vehicle for working out your entire body.



    A recent study lead by Peter Francis, PhD, director of the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, looked at a variety of common ab exercises in order to determine what really works. The study looked at 13 ab exercises, ranging from the traditional crunch to more complicated activities, using at-home and gym equipment.

    Each of the 13 exercises was ranked for muscle stimulation (measured with EMG) in the rectus abdominus (the long, flat muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen) and the internal and external obliques (the long, flat muscles extending along the sides of the abdomen at an angle).

The top three ab exercises were:
  • Bicycle maneuver
    Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands beside your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Breath evenly throughout the exercise.
  • Captain's chair
    This was one of the few on the "most effective" list that involves gym equipment. Start with legs dangling and slowly lift your knees in toward your chest. The motion should be controlled and deliberate as you bring your knees up and return them back to the starting position.
  • Crunch on an exercise ball
    Sit on the exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor. Let the ball roll back slowly and lie back until your thighs and torso are parallel with the floor. Contract your abs raising your torso to no more than 45 degrees. To work the oblique muscles, make the exercise less stable by moving your feet closer together.

These ball exercises will challenge your balance, increase your ab strength and stability.

  • Warm up with 5 minutes of light cardio
  • Perform each exercise as directed, clicking on the pictures for a closer view
  • Steady the ball against a wall or chair for extra stability in some exercises
  • Do this workout 3 or more times a week with a day of rest in between.
  • Combined with regular cardio exercise and strength training, this workout can


Ab Roll

Ab Roll

Place arms parallel to one another on ball. Pull belly button towards spine, roll forward until your chest touches the ball. Pull body back using arms/abdominals. Don't arch back! Repeat 8-10 times

Balance on Ball

Balance on the Ball

Lie facedown with ball under hips/abs, hands on the floor, legs straight out. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 10-30 seconds.

More Difficult: Slowly raise right arm out to the side while keeping body stable. Lower and switch arms. Repeat 4 times on each side, touching your toes on the floor for balance if needed.

Rotation on Ball

Rotation on Ball

Lie face-up with ball under shoulders/mid-back. Tighten buttocks to lift hips in a bridge position and straighten arms over chest with hands together. , arms straight up over chest, hands together. Twist the body to the left, concentrating on the abs, and bring arms parallel to the floor. Repeat to the other side. Do for 10 to 20 seconds, rest and repeat.

Twist on Ball

Twist on Ball - *This is an advanced exercise

Lie down in pushup position with feet propped on either side of the ball (hugging the ball). With body straight, twist the ball to the right, keeping torso and hips straight, then to the left. Don't sag in the middle. Do for 10 to 20 seconds, then rest and repeat.


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