There are four types of exercise machines that are most commonly used in the average home or home gym. They are the treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine and elliptical. You will often see companies selling these machines to consumers as the ideal way to get a full-body workout. This typically means that they have some form of dual motion that lets you target a few areas at once. Elliptical machines have moving handlebars for arm and shoulder exercises while you make those strides. Rowing machines push the arms and legs simultaneously for a strong cardio workout. There are even new exercise bikes that have resistance cords for arm exercises.
It is all about engaging as many muscle groups and possible at once. But, what about the abs? Are they overlooked here? Can you still tone them with these traditional machines or are you better off getting something else to really target those areas? Let’s start with the impact that those machines can have on your ab workout.
Using common exercise machines for ab workouts
There are some benefits in elliptical machines because the posture allows you to build a strong core here and make gains from there. Over time, this could help with toning and your overall appearance. However, there are no deliberate ab exercises with this machine. Exercise bikes aren’t all that functional in this area because of the focus on the legs and the same is true of the treadmill.
However, the rowing machine can be a better choice here. First of all, this machine does offer the right motion to target the muscles in this area. It isn’t quite the same as doing crunches or bicycle kicks on an exercise mat, but it is a start. If you feel that this product is not quite enough for your abs workout, there is an alternative way of using the machine to engage those machines. A word of warning here is that it helps to already have some core strength, arm strength and balance here to do this. Act as though you were going to perform a plank off the back of the machine with your legs resting on the seat. Then use the motion of the seat on the rail to push your legs back and forth. This is a great way to build the muscles and tone the core area and gives the machine some extra purpose.
This might feel a little awkward at first – and get some odd looks in the communal gym – but there is no reason you can’t try this as home with the right safety precautions. This is a great idea if you don’t want to buy any new fitness equipment. Perhaps you don’t have the space for anything too excessive in your gym or much in the way of disposable income right now. It is always best to use every part of an existing machine to its full potential. Just because something isn’t the traditional way that doesn’t mean that it is the wrong way. Still, there will be some people that say that this approach doesn’t go far enough. That is where it can help to buy in some additional equipment to push your workout even further.
Specialist tools for ab workouts for the home
The following four items could be a great fit.
1) The ab bench
The first product to mention here is the ab bench. These systems can look a little daunting to those that haven’t used them before because you do have to hook your feet and allow gravity to add to the resistance. You can adjust the incline to change the difficulty and make sure that you are safe and comfortable with a sturdy, padded model.
2) Pilates reformers
Then there are the reformers. This is a different approach where you can use a Pilates system to strengthen the core and perform different exercises. They are complex contraptions that are more beneficial than they look. Once you get the hang of the poses and the different parts, you may be converted for life. You can see a lot of other benefits with tone, postures and flexibility too.
3) Ab machines
Next up are the ab machines. These devices are quite small and consist of little more than a frame and lever system. It is a good support system for those that hate doing crunches or that struggle to pick up the technique. It is a great tool to pull out while watching TV as you can really lose your self in the rhythm and make great gains.
4) Ab wheels
Finally, it is important to mention the ab wheel because even though some people dislike the movement and find them unreliable, they can be of help for those that have absolutely no space for large equipment. This is another item that is deceptively simple and can help when you choose a strong wheel and use the correct form.
Choosing the best piece of equipment for your needs
Those 4 pieces of exercise equipment for ab workouts are just some of the different tools that you can use to try and get your ab regime back into better shape. There is a nice range here in terms of the intensity of the systems, the size of the device and the cost. The larger reform and bench will take up a lot more space and this could be an issue for all those that are lacking space, to begin with. But, these machines are arguably the most reliable for ab workout because of the options, the security and the way that you can be sure of your form. The ab machine is more affordable and compact while the wheel is cheap and takes up no space at all.
Whatever you preference when it comes to creating a fitness regime, find the option that suits your need, space and budget. When can add the best tool to your arsenal you can begin to see better results and a true full-body workout regime at home.