Traditionally, abs were targeted using exercises that employed body weight as the primary resistance. However, these exercises had limited options in customizability as they had very little scope to induce variable resistance.
However, that has changed in the last couple of decades. The rapid advancement of the health and fitness industry has brought in much-required innovation and has given the users a host of options to improve their overall workout experience.
This reform in the health and fitness industry has also introduced some very handy machines that should help you in building your core strength with higher degrees of precision. Along with that, these machines provide enhanced levels of protection to the back and the neck and thereby, reduce the risk of an injury.
Most of the machines are easy to use. However, care should be taken that one does not strain the muscles to an extreme limit as it could lead to a serious injury.
Let us dive in deeper and look closer at the five easy-to-use ab machines that you could use to build a perfectly sculpted abdomen.
#1 Adjustable Sit-up Bench
The adjustable sit-up bench offers loads of features and is quite handy to use as well. Working with a sit-up bench requires no previous experience, and one could get started right away without any additional fitness equipment.
The sit-up bench targets the core section by suspending the upper body at a height that is lower than the hips. This causes additional load on the abdomen region compared to the regular crunches performed on a flat floor.
Addition of free weights in your fitness routine while working on a sit-up bench increases the efficiency of the ab workout drastically. The ability of the bench to adjust the inclination (declination) angle brings in much required variable resistance for improved customizability.
The ergonomic design of the unit aids in avoiding back injury. Moreover, with a compact and a foldable design, the sit-up bench is ideal for home use.
Next up: Pull-up Bar.
#2 Pull-up Bar
The pull-up bar not only strengthens the arms, shoulders and the back but also works on improving the abdomen muscles to strengthen the core.
Working with a pull-up bar is a breeze and is ideal for both beginners and advanced trainers. Moreover, the unit is economical and very versatile, making it an ideal partner for your home gym. One need not visit the local gym to take advantage of this equipment.
The adjustable door pull-up bar is a great tool for strengthening the abdomen, and one could tone their midsection with a whole range of workouts including leg raises, knee raises, hanging crunches and scissor kicks.
For added resistance, one could even train using a weighted vest.
Next up: Ab Wheel
#3 Ab Wheel
The ab wheel is a very effective tool to tone the abdomen muscles and improve the overall core strength.
Working out with the ab wheel is quite challenging and activates the muscles in the entire abdomen region and not just the rectus abdominis. Few studies have even pointed out that the exercises performed using the ab wheel activated and toned the muscles with enhanced precision compared to the regular crunches.
Like the pull-up bar, you need not visit the gym to train with the ab wheel. With an economical price point and the compact nature of the product, it is an ideal partner for your home gym.
One could perform a wide range of workouts using the ab wheel including planks, rollouts, and oblique tucks.
Next up: Ab Crunch Machine.
#4 Ab Crunch Machine
The ab crunch machine simplifies the motion of the crunch and also aids in targeting the core with enhanced precision. Using an ab crunch machine makes performing crunches easy as it locks the feet and the neck in the correct position to restrict undesirable movement.
The machine allows the user to add or remove weights for variable resistance, which ensures that the user has better stability and security during the training routine. Care should be taken to avoid overloading the weights as it could cause serious injury.
Also, read 4 Amazing Ab Workouts To Do At The Gym.
However, unlike other machines on this list, the ab crunch machine is quite bulky and does not fit well into the home gym.
Next up: Stability Ball.
#5 Stability Ball
A stability ball is technically not a machine but is a very effective tool in improving the abdomen muscle group and hence, has made this list.
It is highly versatile and could be used as a weight or even as a surface. Using the Swiss ball adds an extra degree of customizability to the workout as it extends the range of motion and thereby, activates more muscles in a single training session.
You could perform a multitude of exercises using the stability ball, making it a great way to add variety to the training routine.
However, plant your back properly and take adequate support while training with the stability ball to avoid injury.
What do you think is the best exercise to tone your abs? Let us know in the comments.