Ab Machines: 7 Best Exercise Equipment for Ab Workouts & Core Strengthening

woman on abs machine

Crunches work those abs into shape, yes. But they can only take you so far in your quest for a strong core and toned abs.

To engage and train your core muscles, you also need to make room for exercise equipment in your routine. We’re not talking about those ab machines that claim to be the key to getting six-pack abs in no time.

Fact is, there is no single or ultimate solution. But there is a number of exercise equipment that together can bring you closer to your #abgoals and get you ready for stand up paddle boarding season.

Best Ab Exercise Equipment For Home Gyms

Certain machines target specific muscle groups, including the rectus abdominis and obliques. Some of these exercise machines for stomach toning allow you to increase the resistance for a more intense workout.

Others are extremely versatile, designed for performing different types of ab exercises. What you must figure out then is which set of equipment will benefit and suit you the most. So which ones stand out and are worth considering? Here’s a roundup.

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1. Captain’s chair or power tower

If you want to work on your obliques and rectus abdominis, get on a captain’s chair or power tower. With its pull-up bar, plus dip sections, this equipment is perfect for doing hanging leg raises—one of the most beneficial ab exercises.

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower Workout Dip Station for Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower via Amazon

Begin by placing your forearms on the padded bars. Then grip the handles on the sides. With your feet dangled and body stabilized, you can raise your hips and lift your knees so they’re parallel to your shoulders and close to your chest. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 15 times for two sets.

Our recommendation for the best power tower for the money: RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower Workout Dip Station for Home Gym Strength Training Fitness Equipment Newer Version
  • 💪【Safety Locknut】In order to prevent the nut from falling off in case of vibration, we adopt the locknut to keep the screw to be tightened.
  • 💪【9 Levels of Height Adjustment】The height adjustable range is 58.5-89''. The lowest level is designed for children and the power tower is suitable for the whole family workout. Its convenient for different age, shapes and sizes.
  • 💪【4 Levels Backrest Adjustment】The back cushion can be easily adjusted to your workout comfort, The adjustable range is 7-9.6 inches.
  • 💪【Multifunction】The dip station can support many kinds of exercise routines. Build triceps, chest and shoulder muscles along with incredible upper body strength. Easy to use. Suitable for all fitness and strength building workouts.

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 03:56 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Adjustable sit-up benches

The sit-up bench is a quintessential favorite. A staple in gyms, this tried-and-tested ab machine comes in an adjustable design that lets you change the angle of the board to increase or decrease the resistance based on your needs.

XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench for Sit Up, Crunches, Abdominal Muscles Exercise, 12-Position XM-7608
XMark 12-Position Adjustable Ab Bench via Amazon

It’s also a great choice if you like mixing things up. The sit-up bench can be used for a variety of ab exercises, from sit-ups and crunches to leg raises and twists.

You can even incorporate weights to strengthen your core further. Just remember to opt for units that are wide and long in order to avoid straining your back.

Our recommendation for the best adjustable ab bench for the money: XMark 12-Position Adjustable Ab Bench

XMark Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench for Sit Up, Crunches, Abdominal Muscles Exercise, 12-Position XM-7608
  • ADJUSTABLE: With 12 levels of decline adjustment on a 43 inch rail using a pop-pin and a leg holder, this XMark top-of-the-line Adjustable Ab Bench will target your ab muscles and challenge anyone from fitness novices to the most dedicated athletes
  • CONVENIENCE: Features a bullhorn handlebar for easier and safer mounting and dismounting of the ab bench. Rear transport wheels make moving this bench a breeze. Easily position it in any area of your workout space or roll it out for easy storing
  • STABILITY: Sports a heavy-duty 11-gauge steel mainframe construction and a 2 inch by 3 inch back support, making it extremely stable, all coated in a baked scratch-resistant powder coat finish
  • COMFORT: Extra thick, double stitched sweat and tear-resistant Duraguard vinyl cushions and oversized 4.33 inch foam rollers on the leg holder will ensure your exercise routine is a comfortable and enjoyable experience to help maximize your workout

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 03:56 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Ab roller

It may look simple, but the ab roller packs a punch. It trains not just your upper and lower abs but also your arms, back, chest, hamstrings and shoulders. All you need to do is to roll it in and out.

The catch: It’s easier said than done. With the ab roller, you’ll only see results if you use it properly and efficiently. And to do that, you must already have a solid core. So if you’re new to the game, this may not be the best fit.

Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller for Core Workouts
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller via Amazon

What’s the key to getting it right then? For your starting position, kneel and grab both grips of the ab roller (remember to keep your knees slightly apart). The wheel should be placed between your knees, a couple of inches from the center.

Next, stretch out your arms, roll the wheel forward and lower your body until it’s close to being fully extended. Raise your body to return to starting position and then repeat.

The right way to use an ab roller:

the right way to use an ab roller
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller via Amazon

One of the benefits of an ab roller is that it strengthens more than your core muscles. In fact, an ab roller can improve your balance and strengthen your arms, which is great news for rock climbers.

Our recommendation for the best ab roller for the money: Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller

Sale
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller for Core Workouts
  • Ultra wide ab roller with built in resistance and ergonomic handles to help maximize results of ab roll out exercises
  • Interior kinetic engine uses a carbon steel spring to provide resistance and  amplify abdominal and arm workout
  • Ultra wide wheel tread offers  stability when carving left, right or center for targeted work on obliques.DO NOT use if you are over 300 lbs
  • Ergonomic hand grips are angled to activate arm and core muscles; Handles are removable for easy storage and transport

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 03:56 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Roman chairs or hyperextension benches

You may have been working all your abdominal muscles. But that doesn’t mean you’ve covered all your bases.

For a firm core and a slim waist, you also need to train your lower back. And for the best results, use a roman chair.

Body-Solid Powerline PCH24X Adjustable Hyper Extension Roman Chair for Ab, Core, and Back Workouts
Body-Solid Powerline PCH24X Adjustable Hyper Extension Roman Chair via Amazon

On a roman chair, besides dips and sit-ups, you can perform the hypertension exercise, which includes movements designed to strengthen your lower back as well as your hamstrings and legs. By developing your lower back, you can worry less about lower body pain and injuries.

A pro? You can also do advanced core exercises on a roman chair. But if you’re prone to back pain, check with your doctor first.

Our recommendation for the best ab roller for the money: Body-Solid Powerline PCH24X Adjustable Hyper Extension Roman Chair

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 05:30 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Ab Coaster or Glider

With this type of machine, you balance on your knees, instead of your feet, on a padded platform. As you reach to grab the handlebars and pull yourself toward them, you are basically doing a crunch while being upright.

Ab Coaster PS500 - Original Ab Coaster, Ultimate Core Workout, 6 Pack Exercise Machine For Home
Ab Coaster PS500 via Amazon

Ab gliders and coasters are good for beginners since they take some of the strain off your actual abs. But it still strengthens them, which is exactly what you want.

Our recommendation for the best ab coaster or glider for the money: Ab Coaster PS500

Ab Coaster PS500 - Original Ab Coaster, Ultimate Core Workout, 6 Pack Exercise Machine For Home
  • The ORIGINAL Award Winning Abs Workout Machine - Beware of knock-offs - For over 10 years, The Ab Coaster has been used in millions of homes around the world to Change Lives From the Core
  • GET A COMPLETE CORE WORKOUT - Target hard to reach lower abs with bottom up motion. Freestyle swivel seat allows you turn and work on troublesome love handles
  • PERFECT FOR IN HOME USE - The sleek design allows it to fit in a compact space. Easy assembly and detailed instructions will have you set up in minutes
  • HIGH QUALITY AND DURABILITY - All Steel Construction, 1.5" Rails, Steel Bearings, Vinyl Covered Molded Foam Pads, 300 lb Weight Capacity

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 05:30 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Medicine balls

Medicine balls come in various sizes and weight, depending on how intensely you want to workout. It lets you perform different moves and workouts, plus it allows for extra resistance.

But the medicine ball is not just versatile. It’s very efficient too, especially when you use it to develop and strengthen your ab muscles.

Cap Barbell Medicine Ball
Cap Barbell Medicine Ball via Amazon

Targeting your obliques? Do the medicine ball tap. Stand with your back facing a wall, knees bent slightly, feet apart, arms stretched out in front, and hands holding the medicine ball.

Next bring the ball to your side by bending your arms and rotating your waist to the right until the ball touches the wall. Go back to the center and do the same movement on your left side.

Aim for two or three sets, with 10 to 15 repetitions per set.

Our recommendation for the best medicine ball for the money: Cap Barbell Medicine Ball

Sale
CAP Barbell Rubber Medicine Ball, 10-Pound, Red
  • 10 Lbs.-Red/Black
  • Tacky grip for safe exercising

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 05:30 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Exercise ball

Don’t underestimate the power of an exercise ball, especially when it comes to abdominal training. Working out on this large, lightweight and bouncy ball requires keeping your balance and staying in control of your movements.

That means you get to engage and strengthen several muscles at a time. And that in turn makes it an efficient option for doing sit-ups, crunches and planks, among other exercises.

Exercise Ball - Professional Grade Anti-Burst Fitness, Balance Ball for Pilates, Yoga, Birthing, Stability Gym Workout Training and Physical Therapy
ProBody Pilates Exercise Ball via Amazon

Say you want to try modified crunches. Begin by sitting on the middle of the ball with your feet on the ground. Then lie back with your thighs and torso parallel to the ground.

Next, with your hands behind your head or arms criss-crossed over your chest, raise and lower your torso as you would do during normal crunches. Do two sets consisting of 15 to 20 repetitions.

Our recommendation for the best exercise ball for the money: ProBody Pilates Exercise Ball

Sale
Exercise Ball - Professional Grade Anti-Burst Yoga Fitness, Balance Ball for Pilates, Yoga, Stability Training and Physical Therapy (Silver, 55cm)
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE exercise balance ball. The ProBody Pilates ball is intended for core strength balance back rehabilitation and for toning and sculpting the upper body. The large balls are also used to aid pregnant women in delivery.
  • INCLUDES ACCESS TO STABILITY BALL EXERCISES, as well as extra ball plugs, a remover and pump. The Swiss ball helps to focus on thighs, butt, ab workouts, pelvic floor, balancing, and other specific muscle targets and aerobic exercises. Use big sizes to remain active at work or home when used as a seat.
  • SUPERIOR LOW-ODOR MATERIAL that is free of the six common harmful phthalates: DEHP DBP BBP DINP DIDP and DNOP. Non Rubber PVC, considered antiburst up to 600 lbs.
  • RECOMMENDED BY TRAINERS AND PHYSICAL THERAPISTS and for good reason. Exercise balls are perfect to increase balance, abdominal strength, and flexibility. Not only for crossfit but also good for active sitting as a desk chair in an office home or seating in a classroom.

Last update on 2020-04-07 at 05:30 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

Selecting the right exercise equipment for your needs may help you start off on the right track. But you must also learn how to use them properly to get results.

Throw in hard work and persistence to the mix, and the strong core and abs of your dreams will be well within your reach.

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