There are two main types of abs exerciser: static (also known as isometric) and dynamic. There are several criteria to consider when choosing between the two types, including your fitness level (are you a beginner or advanced?) and your fitness goals (are you trying to shape your outer abs, or tone your inner core muscles?). Following is some advice and tips on choosing the right abs exerciser for you.
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But first, why invest in an abs exerciser?
Purchasing an abs exerciser helps to ensure you will work out the entire abdominal region, including upper and lower abs, and the obliques.
An abs exerciser is generally used to work out the entire abdominal region, which is comprised of the upper and lower abdominal muscles and the obliques.
The benefits of such a workout are:
- Tone your stomach
- Slim and shape your figure
- Condition and strengthen your lumbar region
Holding the right position
Remember to contract your abdominal muscles and support your neck, lumbar and transverse abs while exercising. Take care that your movements are not too large; it's better to focus on smaller movements that are well controlled using your abs.
Those with back problems should be careful not to overdo, and should closely monitor their abs exercises.
Which exercisers for which use
Choosing the right abs exerciser means knowing which one is best suited to the way you intend to use it.
Abs exercise equipment is usually small and foldable, making it easy to transport. It's therefore easy to use, and places priority on comfort while exercising.
When choosing your abs exerciser, you should ask yourself the following two questions:
- What position do you plan to work out in: static (isometric) or dynamic?
- What is your fitness level?
Working your muscles statically or dynamically
There are two ways of working the abdominals: Dynamic exercises (muscle building), the goal of which is to shape the outer abs muscles, and static exercises (core strength) which tones the inner muscles (the muscles that support your internal organs) and protects your lumbar region.
Crunch type abs exercisers and benches will help you dynamically work out your abs, while "abdo gain" exercisers help you strengthen your core muscles.
Which exerciser to use for which type of workout
Beginner to advanced users: crunch exerciser (dynamic position)
A crunch exerciser is recommended for those who are getting started with abs toning exercises. This piece of equipment usually includes a padded head rest to help relieve neck strain while exercising. The machine rests on the floor and does not block your legs. Movement is achieved by performing sit-ups aided by your arms using the handlebars.
This piece of equipment guides your motion and helps you to maintain the correct position while performing abdominal workouts, reducing the risk of injury.
Beginner to advanced users: Abdo gain (static position)
Simply sit on the ABDO GAIN, lean back slightly, and hold one of the recommended positions. To protect your back, keep your abdominal muscles contracted during each entire repetition. Hold each position for 10 seconds and then return to the seated position (rest) for 30 seconds. As your fitness level improves, increase the length of your hold times and shorten the rest/recovery time between repetitions.
Advanced users: Abs bench (dynamic position)
Advanced users may prefer to use an abs bench (lying or flat crunch) for a fuller abs workout.
These benches are designed for performing sit-ups. Padded cylinders hold your legs and feet in place in order to provide stability and allow you to perform the exercise routines safely. An abs bench allows you to perform larger movements during your workouts. The angle of the bench may be adjusted (both the height of the foam cylinders and the incline of the bench itself) in order to increase the level of difficulty. Make sure to keep your abs contracted throughout each repetition in order to prevent injuries.