An Ab Machine Can…
One Ab Machine? Two Ab Machines? No Ab Machines?
Ab machines are not necessary for either weight loss or for getting a sexy belly, the 2 main reasons people buy this type of exercise equipment for.
True, some of them can help. But they’re not necessary.
So, When Is Buying an Ab Machine Not a Waste of Money?
1. You’re wasting your money if you’re buying an ab machine to lose weight around your waist.
Weight loss occurs according to what your genes dictate; and they dictate you lose weight all over your body or not at all.
If you’re to lose weight, you must put less and better quality food in your mouth and exercise.
Most of it is from diet changes, not from exercise. Actually, it’s possible to exercise like crazy and gain weight.
I know because I’ve done it.
I hopped on a treadmill or elliptical machine for 1 hour 3 or 4 times a week, spending in excess of 1,000 calories. Then, I did weights. With dumbbells and barbells, on gym machines and on the floor, on incline benches, exercise balls, flat benches and roman chairs, exercises for the chest, exercise for the backs, leg curls and biceps curls, triceps extensions, squats and pull-ups and pushups, and all other kinds of ups.
I gained 3 pounds in one year.
Because I ate too much and too much of what I ate were creamy sweets.
2. You’re wasting your money if you buy an ab machine because you think exercising your abs with the help of such equipment by itself will get you six-pack abs or a sexy waist.
The good ab machines do get your abs to look great. But if you have a fine layer of fat on top of your abs, you don’t see the abs.
So, we’re back to: to have great abs, you must reduce body fat. You reduce body fat by changing your eating habits and by exercising your entire body.
I mean, you could exercise only your abs and end up spending a lot of energy. But it would take a lot of time.
Big muscles use more energy than small muscles. Exercises that involve many muscle groups use more energy than exercises that involve few muscle groups. Isolating muscles is a good strategy when you’ve already gotten rid of fat and got good-sized muslces.
3. You’re wasting your money if you buy an ab machine and don’t fix your mental game. The main part of getting in shape, staying in shape, losing weight is about thoughts and habits.
Buying a treadmill, using it for 3 weeks; then buying an ab coaster 6 months later, using it for 3 weeks; then buying a set of fine dumbbells 4 months later, using them for 3 weeks, etc. will get you nowhere from a fitness / looking good point of view.
Better than not exercising at all, but not great.
Which means, buying any fitness equipment, using it once or twice, then forgetting about it – I know a few people who’ve done that – is worse.
They hear about a new ab machine, get all excited about losing weight or getting the stomach they’ve always wanted, buy the machine… Old habits are always stronger than the excitement good commercials generate.
And there are a lot of good commercials out there.
4. You’re wasting your money if you’re buying the wrong ab machine.
The best machines for getting you great abs are not ab machines, they’re cardio machines. If you don’t jump on one and go on at a steady pace all the time.
Treadmills, elliptical machines are the best for burning up the most calories. And you get the best results if you do interval training. Interval training is when you have bursts of very intense exercise thrown into your routine.
Interval training is best done without exercise equipment.
On a treadmill, for instance, you’re limited by the speed of the machine and hampered by the fact that you have to play with buttons. So, the best thing here, is to pick one of the routines that goes now slowly, now faster.
Though treadmills and elliptical machines are the most effective calorie burners, row machines might be a better choice of many: you get to exercise a lot more muscles on a rower than on any of the other cardio equipment.
If you’re where you actually need an actual ab machine, roman chairs and exercise balls are your best choice. According to a study done a 2 or 3 years ago, exercises done on these 2 are most effective at engaging your abs and obliques.
The best exercise for engaging the abs remains the bicycle. That’s when you lay on your back, lift your legs and pedal while holding your hands behind your back and trying to touch or touching, if you’re sufficiently fit, opposite elbow and knee.
(Lie on your back with hands behind your head.
Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.
Rotate to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee. At the same time, stretch out your left leg.
Switch sides, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee.)
So, why do you want an ab machine?
Once you’re clear on why, you are better equipped to pick the right type of exercise equipment. Whether you end up wanting a proper ab machine or some other kind of fitness equipment, you’ll have the same problem to solve:
You’ll need one that performs and doesn’t cost more than you care to spend for one.
Both can be solved by reading of other people’s experiences. I mean reviews. You to your favorite search engine and type the name of the product you’re considering and the word “reviews” together and have at it.
Reviews on sites the maker or seller don’t control are better. In other words, Amazon.com and Yelp.com are more likely to give you accurate reviews. The more reviews, the better. Amazon.com rates reviews too and they tend to give the reviews most people found useful at the top.
Apart from that, with all fitness equipment, you need sturdiness and, if there are movable parts, they need to move smoothly and have either cheap and easy to replace movable parts or sturdy ones.
Before you make your final decision for expensive items, go to a gym or a store that sells what you propose to buy and get on that ab bench or roman chair or whatever and see how it feels. It doesn’t have to be a long time, just enough to see if it’s sturdy, if you fit properly (some ab machines are not meant for people over 5’ 7”, for instance; they could be used by taller people but not too comfortably).
For cheap items that cost no more than you mind losing, do whatever you want.
Ab machine exercises
A lot of the abs exercises I see don’t take into account how your abdominal muscles (abdominalis rectus, , and ) work.
Ab machines are not a necessary piece of equipment; you don’t need a ball or a bench to do crunches.
Yet there are lots of ab machines out there, and every year, it seems, someone invents another one, and each new one is marketed like it’s the one that will give people the kind of belly they want with little effort.
So, if they’re not necessary but there are tons of them marketed at people like you, they must be doing a lot of good, right?
Well, some do, many do not. And a lot of them do not do what the companies selling suggest they do.
What are ab machines good for?
Most of the people I know do not exercise. Yet many want to lose weight. They want to lose weight to look sexier, a few also because they want to feel stronger, be healthier. ‘Sexier’ tends to mean six-pack abs for men, flat stomach, trim thighs and buttocks for women.
Like so many in the country, some of them go about losing weight all wrong, they buy an ab machine and start going. After a while, they stop using their ab machine… Because they did not get the six-pack abs or flat tummy.
A few months later, they buy another ab machine and start the cycle again.
Ab machines are meant to work out your abs. But
So, If You’re Going to Buy an Ab Machine…
If you must have an ab machine, don’t be an idiot about it.
I mean, be aware that fitness equipment that’s been just invented is not necessarily better than the old and boring ones. It’s just new.
Every few months, there’s a new ab machine on the market, pushed by many sellers, with claims that it’s IT, the one and only. If you read the fine print, there’s that thing about results happening only if you use their machine in combination with a healthy diet.
In other words, if it works, it works just as well as the old ones that work. But it might not work at all. There are some of those, you know.
Getting in shape and losing weight are about good eating habits and constant, sufficient exercise. Good eating habits and sufficient exercise are about thinking, your thinking, your making some thoughts and actions a daily habit.
If it sounds like I’m against people using abs machines, let me make it clear: I’m not. I am just saying many of them don’t really work, and those that work have limitations:
1. They are not as powerful as bad eating habits.
2. They are not as powerful as advertisers suggest or imply.
3. They are limited by biology (you can’t exercise your abs and lose weight just on your stomach; if you lose weight the loss is distributed throughout your body according to what your genes decide).
As I mentioned, treadmills, elliptical machines and other cardio equipment are best for losing weight and getting you a flat stomach or even a 6 pack. (Because they use up a lot of energy as they engage more and bigger muscles.)
Ab machines proper are good for improving definition.
With all that said, if having a particular abs equipment piece is what’s going to motivate you, get it, use it. Because the best ab machine is the one you end up using constantly.