The most hyped piece of exercise equipment on the planet is the ab machine. They’re constantly being promoted on TV infomercials as the end all solution to a flabby, unattractive stomach.
The real question is, “Do ab machines work as advertised?” Or are we all living in a fool’s paradise, hoping to get six pack abs without putting in any effort?
- 1 How to determine if an ab machine will work
- 2 The Bottom Line
How to determine if an ab machine will work
There are some basic steps you can take to help determine if an ab machine will give you an effective workout. To be effective, an ab machine must:
Targeting The Ab Muscles (most important)
Be comfortable and (or) adjustable to fit your body
Provide a full range of motion for stimulation
- Not make any false promises
Be cost effective
Targeting the ab muscles effectively, does your machine fit the bill?
Before we dive into the rest of my ab machine guide, there is one crucial function your ab machine must perform, or you can take the rest of this guide and chuck it out the window.
Your ab machine must effectively target all of your ab muscles and obliques!
To get a good ab workout from your machine, it must target the upper abs, lower abs, intercostals, and oblique muscles. Your ab muscles will only get fully developed if all areas of your core are trained effectively with deep stimulation from multiple angles.
If the ab machine you’re considering does not target the entire abdominal region, cross it off your list and keep looking.
Is the ab machine comfortable to use and adjustable?
The comfort and adjustability of your ab machine should be the second item on your ab machine buyers checklist.
Most of the ab machines in my ab machine reviews faired pretty well in the comfort and adjustability department. There were a couple of exceptions though.
No matter how effectively an ab machine targets your abs, if it kills your back when you use it, you’re dead in the water. A good ab machine will fit your body type and strength levels, not lead you to a higher risk of strain or injury.
Look closely at the design and motion of the ab machine you’re buying. If you have to twist up like a pretzel to use it or put your body in an unnatural position that can injure your back – again, cross it off your list and keep looking.
Does the machine provide a full range of motion?
If the ab machine targets all the core ab muscles and is comfortable to use, only then should you determine if the machine will provide a full range of motion for exercise.
Getting a full range of motion (going from a full stretch to full contraction) is essential for developing your ab muscles.
If the machine you’re considering does not have a full range of motion, or you can’t determine if it does, you’re wasting your money and need to look elsewhere.
Does the ab machine make false promises or is full of hype?
I know you’ve seen all the ab machine commercials on TV, and maybe even thought about investing in one. It’s hard to resist the temptation of getting something for nothing – “Get six-pack abs in just minutes a day without dieting or any other exercise!”
Yeah right! If it were that easy to get washboard abs, everyone and their uncle would have them.
Have you noticed that the commercials for the Ab Lounge now talk about a “system” that includes a healthy eating guide and exercise plan? I wonder why they did that if you can get good abs by just using the Ab Lounge?
How much does the machine cost?
Ab machines tend to be relatively inexpensive compared to say treadmills or elliptical trainers.
With a low price threshold, people are more likely to make a bad decision and not do the due diligence they would if investing $1000 plus.
A good rule of thumb for ab machine pricing is to NEVER spend more $100 on any ab machine – and most good ab machines cost less than $50-75 dollars.
Also be on the lookout for the introductory pricing scam like this. “Try it out today for free (or something similar like $1) for 30 days, then pay for it later.
These companies know that you’ll order one now, put it on your credit card and never return it on time. Then they bill you for the full amount which is way more than the machine should cost in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Most ab machines on the market are crap, that’s just the way it is. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are few and far between.
If you’re expecting to get six pack abs by using a machine for 3 minutes a day and not changing your diet and exercise habits you might as well forget it.
The best ab machines are devices that target the abdominal muscles effectively, are comfortable to use, provide a full range of motion, do not make any false promises and are cost effective.
Here’s the best ab machine I’ve found that meets all the above criteria and delivers results second to none.