You cannot change channels today without tripping over an infomercial or two on “Ab Machines”. The claims they make are fantastic. The models they show, look amazing and naturally, the message they deliver is hard to ignore.
“Getting washboard abs is easy! A few minutes daily is sufficient to target every single abdominal muscle for a flat tummy and who can resist fabulously chiseled abs? A patented design and unique rocking motion makes crunches fun and easy without the added neck and back strain. Double the benefits for half the effort and time. Just give us a call today to book your Ab Machine today!” – Sound Familiar?
Television has ruined us into believing that beefing up without adding fat is easy. Calvin Klein ads showcase models with zero fat content. Movies like Baywatch pick up buffed actors with rippled abs and shoulders. Celebrities promote bare-midriff styles and liposuction. There are an ample number of examples around us of how ripped abs can make life easier. Regardless of the reason, everyone wants perfect ripped abs.
This got me thinking. If Abs machines are popular then why is it that more people do not have washboard abs? Maybe, people do not believe in the machines because they are sold on TV, or it could be that the machines themselves do not work as advertised. Or is it because of the human tendency to procrastinate? The only to find out was to begin a concentrated study on Abs Machines.
I have purchased a few so-called abs machines over the years, saw a few more at gyms and in my client’s homes. I was curious to compare all of them and find out which ones actually worked. So, I began making a few calls, dropping emails and researching until I finalized on the ten that I would prepare my list on. Please note that these products are in order of their rating, but the scores do not reflect the complete truth. Read through to get the whole picture.
→ The Best Ab Machines of 2017
|Model Name||Target Area||Portable||My Rating||Review Link|
|Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro||Complete||YES||9.2|
|Stamina Ab Hyper Bench Pro||Complete & Back||NO||9|
|Ab Coaster Max||Complete||NO||8.6|
|AB Circle Pro||Core & Obliques||NO||7.8|
|Ab Rocket Twister Abdominal Trainer||Complete||NO||7.6|
|Ab Roller Evolution||Upper & Lower Abs||NO||7.6|
|Odoland AB Roller Pro||Complete||YES||7.6|
|Wonder Core Smart Fitness Equipment||Upper & Middle Abs||YES||7.4|
|Ab Rocket Abdominal Trainer||Upper & Middle Abs||NO||7.2|
|Perfect Fitness Crunch||Complete||NO||7|
→What Qualifies as an Abs Machine?
In my opinion, there are way too many products online that promise washboard abs, but the majority of them are shams, poor ones at that too. The easiest way to check the authenticity of claims without spending a single penny is to carefully analyses the range of motion. If a machine does not work on the central abdomen muscles, it is a sham.
Secondly, a device must concentrate solely on the belly region. Yes, it can tone the shoulder or arm muscles but, maximum effort must go into the tummy area. Some machines are difficult to use. You feel great after just ten minutes using it, but for some reason, your belly flab keeps growing. Could it be your diet maybe? If not then the machine is targeting your abs superficially, wasting those calories you took in.
→How I Rate Abs Machine
Two weeks is the minimum time I spend with any ab machine before giving my verdict. Please note that my reviews are subject to change over time as I gain additional information on each item. As it stands though, almost all products have seen two weeks of severe tests or more.
I focus mostly on the design and usability of each product. Infomercial products are great at hoodwinking viewers. Their products look great on TV but are nothing alike in actuality. What you presume to be steel frame turns out to be aluminum at best. Such discrepancies are what I look for. Additionally, the products should be easy to assemble and use.
Effectiveness and Affordability are my last two considerations. An abs machine can be cheap and efficient at the same time. The alternative holds true as well. Some devices tend to be expensive but don’t do much for the betterment of your core muscles. My target is to find efficient, affordable and sturdy machines that do as advertised.
→Why Not Floor Exercises?
As a fitness trainer, I firmly believe that floor routines bring out the best results. Nothing comes close to the myriad exercises you can do on a mat. You can target every single muscle strand on an individual level using particular activities. In fact, without floor routines, you simply cannot get washboard abs. It does not matter how many machines you use!
So, why would I even be interested in ab machines? Well, a lot of my clients never exercised before. Some did back in high school but years of living a sedentary life have reduced them to couch potatoes. Floor routines challenge even the fittest individual, imagine how difficult it can be for my clients with zero exercise experience. Ab machines, in my opinion, are handy because they help beginners build resistance, improve their stamina and work on the abs too.
Here’s a list of reasons why I recommend Ab Machines:
Any gym rat knows that the recommended exercise to build abdominal muscles is the crunch. You start by lying flat on a mat with your knees bunched together and raised while keeping your feet planted on the floor. You then cross your hands across your chest or touch your head ever so lightly. From this starting position, you raise your body up by around 8 inches (only your upper torso) and lower back to the ground.
Crunches are highly efficient in targeting abdomen muscles, but they are also hard on your lower body and neck muscles. Aggressive workouts can lead to neck and lower-back strain. This is a major concern for people just starting out as crunches without proper form has the capacity to strain neck muscles. Ab machines are designed to reduce or eliminate the strain felt by the body, allowing you to concentrate on the workout. That is why the majority of products use the same kind of design and motion.
Either a product is “U” shaped with a neck rest and handle or it uses a roller and knee pads to produce abdominal pressure. You target your abs using rolling or rocking motion.
Ease of Use
Ab machines are easy to use. Learning the correct posture for sit-ups, crunches, side lateral raises and other such floor activities takes time and needs an instructor. Not everyone can or want to go to a gym/hire a personal trainer. An ab machine teaches good form factor until the user is ready to practice floor routines without support.
I love ab machines that can grow in resistance as your body grows. Some use resistance bands, and other machines take doughnut weights. Any ab machine with this kind of scalability automatically makes it a better choice over the competition. Serious gym goers too can then use it for pushing their ab routines to the limit.
→Not All Great News
An ab machine works on your abdomen muscles much like any gym equipment targets specific groups of muscles. It is only natural to think that an abs machine would help cut down on tummy flab and help rip the region. Unfortunately, this will never happen.
What can happen through dedicated workouts on an abs machine is a flatter stomach with zero bulges anywhere. Infomercials tend to overstate the obvious, and with models and washboard abs splashed in the videos, we tend to believe that’s what the products are promising.
Rippled sexy abs take time and depend on a lot of other factors. With regular workouts, your abdomen muscles will tighten, and you will lose some fat, but unless you are devoid of fat entirely, your results will never be visible to the naked eye.
Speaking of fat, is it possible that ab machines can eliminate pent-up extra weight? Nope, these machines do an excellent job of beginning your weight loss, but they will not continue to reduce weight because spot reduction is just not possible. If you want to lose weight from your tummy, you have to lose it evenly everywhere. That is the secret to weight loss. Hence, proper weight loss regimes naturally give you a flatter stomach because they include muscle conditioning, aerobic routines, and strict diet measures.
What about the claims of abs every five minutes daily? Sorry, but this is an exaggeration of the truth. Yes, five minutes daily doing anything will culminate in some sort of result but the gains will be nominal and probably not visible. For washboard abs, you need to push your body to its limits. My advice is to increase your routine durations to at least 15 or 20 minutes daily. Remember, intensive ab routines are the key.
Figuring Out If an Abs Machine Will Work
The good news is that after reviewing all these products, I have found a shortcut method to finding the most effective abs machine. Here’s what I believe it must do to be effective.
- Exclusively Target the Abs – Any machine you get should always target all your ab muscles and even your obliques. For an intensive workout, the machine should engage the intercostals, lower abs, upper abs and oblique muscles. Unless each muscle group is involved from multiple angles, your core will not grow.
- Comfortable for Your Body – Almost all ab machines I reviewed faired pretty well in the adjustability and comfort department. There were some notable exceptions though. Remember that an abs machine should reduce the strain felt on your back and neck, not increase it. A sore back or neck hurts your workouts by introducing gaps in regular routines.
- Complete Motion Range – No matter the method of an abs machine, it should involve full contraction and full stretch.
- Real Claims – Abs machines tend to overstate the facts and exaggerate the truth, but some companies go beyond by spreading false claims and inaccurate data. Do not believe adverts claiming “six packs in five minutes daily!”
- Pay No More Than You Are Comfortable with – You have a budget, stick with it. The majority of ab machines cost less than $100, and naturally, they come with huge claims. Spend wisely and do not get suckered into “try now for free and pay later” schemes.
Speaking of infomercials, many manufacturers now draw customers by offering their product as part of a grander system. In this system, you get the machine, an exercise plan, and a healthy eating guide. Please, do not decide based on the extras. If it were so easy to stick with a diet plan, routine and time, your uncle would have a flat tummy!
→The Bottom Line
The majority of ab machines on the market are worthless, that’s just how the industry is. People are desperate, and companies know it. There are however exceptions to this rule, and it is those exceptions that I review here for the sake of my readers.
You can confidently pick any one of the products I review knowing the results are just around the corner, provided you give your best every single day. A word of advice, DO NOT ORDER ANY ABS MACHINE OVER THE PHONE, WATCHING INFOMERCIALS – USE AMAZON INSTEAD. When you order from Amazon, you are guaranteed of 30 days return that is backed by Amazon. Infomercials may suggest 60-day returns, but it depends entirely on the manufacturer’s desire to entertain refunds and returns.