There are lots of different ways you can work your abs (and also a lot of wrong ways), whether you want to sculpt your body into a perfect specimen – or just want to lose your flab and tone your muscles. Doing crunches on an exercise floor mat, or sitting on/lying on a balance ball will do a lot for your core, not to mention your posture.
However, there are lots of ways to kick things up a notch (as someone who could really use some ab work, Emeril Lagasse, would say) – for example by buying the best ab machine to meet your needs.
If a mat, ball or pull-up bar isn’t going to be sufficient for where you want to go, there are now some amazing home ab machines available to help you get the 6 pack (or more) that you desire.
Let’s get cracking (or crunching?) – here is the best home ab machine list for you to consider.
1. XMark 12 Position Adjustable Decline Ab Bench XM-4416
One of the most common recommendations you hear from exercise experts when you ask about ab exercises is to get an ab bench for your crunches, situps, and other workouts. The XMark XM-4416 is the best Groom+Style found.
It’s made from 14-gauge 2-by-3 inch steel, so it’s exceptionally strong – strong enough to handle 400 pounds. The large, four-inch leg rollers are ergonomically positioned to maximize the benefits of your exercises while preventing back strain, and the vinyl covering on the bench is tear-resistant yet comfortable.
There are twelve different vertical height adjustments you can make on the Xmark bench, letting you change the angle of your ab workouts for maximum effect. There’s even a convenient support handle that lets you get on and off the bench when you’re hanging at an extreme angle (you can get as much as 45 degrees out of this baby).
One warning: if you’re taller than about 6-3 or 6-4, you probably won’t fit without your head hitting the ground.
|An ab bench doesn’t have a zillion moving parts or details to consider; you want it to be comfortable, fully adjustable, sturdy and effective. The XMark XM-4416 checks off all of those boxes.|
Key details of the XMark 12 Position Adjustable Decline Ab Bench XM-4416:
2. Ab Coaster CS1500
If you’re ready to make the commitment to a high-priced machine to help you finally lose those love handles and get your abs into shape, the Ab Coaster is worth a serious look.
It’s commercial grade and the same quality as the ones you’ve probably seen at the gym, made from all steel (with steel bearings and stainless steel rails), and its gliders are made from super-smooth nylon (much better than the sub-standard material they used up until a few years ago).
Using the Ab Coaster is easy (even though it’s hard work at first); basically, you’re doing hanging leg raises, which is the best way to work your lower abs. You’re just doing them without the pull-up bar – and without the back and neck pain, you usually feel.
From a kneeling position on the machine’s seat, you use the grips and your stomach muscles to pull yourself up, as the seat coasts up and down the track. If you want to work your obliques, just position yourself at an angle. You can even add another 30 pounds of resistance with optional weight plates. A DVD showing recommended workout programs is included.
|You’ll definitely feel the burn when you start your workouts on this machine, but that’s because the Ab Coaster works. This machine might cost more than you are willing to spend to get perfect abs, which is why the review team didn’t make this the best ab machine on our list, but it’s a terrific product.|
Note – there is an entry-level model PS500 available at around half the price – but with a lower quality of build.
Important specs for the Ab Coaster CS1500:
Workout warriors may be willing to spend hundreds of dollars for a high-end home ab machine. But the Grom+Style review team thinks that beginners who aren’t in the best of shape, or those who simply want to do some ab toning exercises when they get the chance, will find the Core Max more than enough machine at a very attractive price level.
This lightweight unit comes fully assembled with a mat and two arms, and it folds virtually flat so it can be stored under a bed or couch. The machine is designed to let you do eight different exercisesranging from sit-ups, push-ups and bridges, to tricep and pec extensions, in a very small space. A DVD comes with the Core Max, showing you in detail how to do each exercise.
The ab workouts allow you to target your upper, middle and lower abs as well as the obliques, thanks to power-assisted springs in the arms which provide resistance and support in both directions. It’s a pretty well-built machine that offers three selectable levels of resistance. Even the “advanced level” may not be much of a challenge for regular exercisers, but if your fitness level makes tough to do more than a few sit-ups without taking a nap, the Core Max is just what you’re looking for – for the price of a decent meal.
|Will the Core Max give you the “sexy abs in just 8 minutes a day” that the manufacturer advertises on TV? Of course not. It’s not going to satisfy regular gym-goers, either. But it’s a very good starter machine for people who’ve decided that it’s finally time to do something about those abs.|
Looking further at the Core Max Ab Machine:
4. Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
Groom+Style are not quite sure whether you’d call this ab wheel a machine or not. We just know that it’s a tremendous way to work your core for ripped abs and powerful arms.
An ab wheel, in our view, is vastly superior to just doing reps on a mat; it removes the possibility of doing crunches or situps incorrectly and not gaining any real benefit. Instead, you focus your activity on exercises which will really benefit your abdominals. And the Ab Carver is vastly superior to cheaper ab wheels, because of its design and construction.
Most cheap ab wheels are made of plastic, which is why they usually wobble around a lot before they fall apart. The Ab Carver Pro has a carbon steel spring to power the “kinetic assist engine” (a fancy way to say it’s what drives the rubberized wheel, which is extra-wide to provide complete stability whether you’re “carving” straight ahead or to either side) along with angled, ergonomic hand grips designed to work arm muscles as well as core abdominal muscles.
|The Ab Carver comes with a complete 21-day digital workout plan showing you exactly what to do and how to do it. It is a high-quality ab wheel that will outlast any of the cheaper models.|
Key details of the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro:
We finish with another lower-priced alternative you’ve undoubtedly seen featured in infomercials for years. The Ab Circle Pro is built around – you guessed it – a circle; actually, it’s a large disc with two pockets to hold your knees, and handlebars above the disc. That design allows you to kneel over the device in order to do your workout. The review team didn’t find this position particularly comfortable, and your knees will start to hurt unless you add some padding to the pockets.
However, exercise isn’t necessary going to make you comfortable if it’s really working, and this machine does work– especially if you’re not already in shape. You might not quickly build the sleek six-pack promised by the Ab Circle Pro’s commercials, but you’ll definitely feel the effects on your side muscles a few minutes into your workout. That’s a sign that you’re doing the necessary exercise to build your abs (upper and lower) and core over time. You can choose from three different resistance levels, ideal for stepping up your workouts over time.
This is a solid device made from gym-quality steel and it folds easily to fit into the closet or even under a bed. In addition to building you abs, you’ll get a good cardio workout by using the Ab Circle for at least 3-5 minutes a day. But don’t expect (as the infomercials imply) that you’ll see body fat miraculously evaporating after just a few weeks. It will take the addition of a varied workout and healthy diet to achieve that goal.
|The Ab Circle isn’t a miracle worker, but it’s an effective and cost-effective way to get a strong ab workout in conjunction with a more complete exercise program.|
Looking at the specs of the Ab Circle Pro Home Exercise Fitness Machine:
ProForm Ab Glider Sport
This is the bonus 6th machine on the list as it comes in and out of availability on Amazon.
Yes, this is the same Ab Glider you’ve seen advertised on TV until you’re sick of even hearing the name. But guess what? It’s a nice machine at a low price, from a company known for its high-quality treadmills and other exercise equipment.
The Ab Glider is self-powered and effectively a lower-level Ab Coaster and Ab Circle in the same piece of equipment. Similar to the Ab Coaster, you simply kneel on the seat, grab the handlebars, and off you go. You pull yourself back and forth along the machine’s track to work your core, and can also swivel while you glide in order to work your obliques and other muscles (although the 180-degree rotation function can be locked out if you prefer). Your progress can be measured on the LCD monitor which keeps track of your workout. You’re not going to be able to do a workout for your abdominals without doing at least some work; the Ab Glider makes it as easy as you could imagine.
|The machine is made from solid steel and quite durable, and the seat’s cushion is comfortable on the knees. It’s designed to provide high resistance so that you get the maximum benefit from your workout, yet the exercising itself is low-impact so it won’t test your joints. And since it’s purely mechanical, there’s little chance that you’ll run into problems with your workouts, as long as you have the desire to tone those abs.|
Specifications for the ProForm Ab Glider Sport:
Perfect Fitness Perfect Situp
* Unfortunately, it looks like the Perfect Fitness Perfect Situp is not available on Amazon at the moment, please consider another product.
This one seems a bit strange when you first see it, but it’s amazing how something so odd can be so effective. In essence, this is a machine for everyone (we plead guilty) who has trouble getting their crunches done perfectly – you put yourself into the frame with your head in the comfortable headrest, your feet in the smooth foot clips, and grab the hand grips – and you’re ready to do effective crunches.
The way it works is that the frame “forces” your body to do both upper ab crunches and lower ab leg lifts at the same time, positioning you properly and applying resistance to the lower body. The design ends up working all four sets of your abdominal muscles (while supporting your neck safely) for an optimized workout. What’s also cool is that when you reach the full range of motion, the machine clicks so you know you’ve done the rep correctly.
|Is a machine like this necessary to work your abs? Of course not. But it’s a great way to make sure you’re working them effectively. Not a bad deal.|
Looking at specs for the Perfect Fitness Perfect Situp: