|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
It's All About the Abs - Abdominal Exercise Equipment That Really Works
Abdominal Exercise Equipment That Really Works
There have been many studies and reports about how our society as a whole has grown heavier and chubbier. The stomach, in particular, has become a trouble spot for many people. This is due in part to the fact that many of us have desk jobs where we rarely use our stomach and abdomen muscles. For others, this is where the excess fat, brought on by the fast food and extra beers, settles in our bodies. Whatever the reason for our big bellies, there has been a host of abdominal exercise equipment and gadgets to help do away with stomach flab. Some of these techniques and equipment work better than others. This article will help you sort through the hype.
Before beginning a discussion of abdominal exercises and equipment, it is important to point out that even the best ab machine will not help you loose fat in your stomach area. Abdominal exercise equipment can tone and shape your muscles, but the only way to loose the fat is to consume more calories than you take in. Exercise will help you do this, but it is a total body process, not targeted to certain areas.
It is also important to note, that for many people, a flat stomach is not in their genetics, even if they are in good physical shape. Some stomachs have a small curve, and all the crunches in the world won't change that. However, the exercises and equipment discussed below will help tone, strengthen and define your abdominal muscles.
Abdominal Exercises & Equipment
There are many different types of ab exercisers and equipment. One of the most effective of these, the Roman Chair, is not strictly an ab machine. It is a common piece of equipment found at the gym but it can be used to perform a very effective ab exercise. The Roman Chair is a somewhat taller machine with two stationary, parallel arms and a straight, padded back. There is nothing to sit on.
When working on abs, the best way to use this piece of equipment is to place your forearms flat on each armrest, with your back firmly against the padding. You should have the Roman Chair set high enough that your legs dangle straight down when you are in position. Then slowly bring your knees toward your chest as far as you can go and hold for a few seconds before extending them to the beginning position. This exercise was number two in a San Diego State University survey that ranked the top abdominal exercises and equipment.
According to the survey, the best ab exercise is the Bicycle maneuver. Many of you are probably familiar with this fun exercise. We've been doing it since we were kids in gym class, and it turns out, the bicycle is one of the most effective exercises for working those abdominal muscles. To do the exercise correctly, lie on a mat and press your lower back flat. Put your hands beside your head. Tighten your abdominal muscles and bend your knees toward your chest until they are at about a 45-degree angle. Bring your right elbow in contact with your left knee. Then alternate with the opposite knee and elbow and repeat. You should feel it in your sides and abs.
Leg Crunches are similar to the Bicycle, but with crunches, your torso does most of the movement. Lie on the mat again with your lower back pressed flat. Place your hands at your sides or by your head, whichever is more comfortable. Be sure not to put any pressure on your arms or you will take away from the effectiveness of the exercise.
Lift your legs straight up above your head and bend your knees slightly. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and then lift your torso up off the mat toward your knees. Return to the original position with your back flat on the mat. Relax your abdominal muscles and then repeat. Remember to breathe during the exercise.
Crunches can also be done on an exercise ball and many feel it is more effective than standard crunches. You sit on the ball and place your feet on the floor about a foot apart. Roll back carefully on the ball until you are lying with your back fully extended on the ball. Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your trunk off the ball to about a 30-degree angle. Return to the extended position and repeat.
Exercise balls are one of the most versatile and effective pieces of fitness equipment relative to their cost. Another low cost equipment alternative is a stretch band. These are just what they sound like, a stretchy band made of lycra, nylon or sometimes rubber. Sometimes called resistance bands, they allow you to work one muscle group while the resistance of the band stabilizes the opposing muscles. It is good for stretching and strengthening muscles and is often used with beginners and those who have experienced an injury.
If you are looking for something a bit more high-tech, there are several pieces of equipment made especially to work the abs. There are the Ab Crunch Machine and the Back and Ab Machine. Both of these pieces of abdominal exercise equipment have been designed to support the lower back and the neck. They also come with adjustable resistance settings.
The Ab Slider, Ab Wheel, and Ab Trainer are other examples of equipment designed to target abdominal muscles. As with most types of fitness equipment, their effectiveness often is dependant upon correct usage and, in some cases, combining them with other abdominal exercises. It is important to fully research the equipment and read instructions before using.
The quest for six-pack abs and flat stomachs has intensified over the past few years. In response, the fitness industry has resurrected some old, faithful exercises, developed new and improved versions, and even created equipment specifically to target abdominal muscles. Combine these top abdominal exercises with an overall exercise routine and a healthy diet, and chances are you will loose the flab and have a stronger, more shapely mid section in a matter of months.
About the Author:
C.J. Gustafson is a successful freelance fitness writer for Fitness-N-Exercise-Equipment.com, your complete guide to thebest home fitness equipment. Find out where to shop for thebest recumbent exercise bikes,ab machines and weight training equipment for your home gym.
Copyright 2005 Fitness-N-Exercise-Equipment.com
Permission is granted to publish this article on your site only if the author's byline is included and all links are hyperlinked.
Perfect Pairing | From Acne Studios, Wearable Art by an Abstract-Painting Pioneer - New York Times (blog)
Octane Elliptical - Product Review
When buying a trainer it's important to first figure out what you want, and what features will be most beneficial to your workouts. The Octane elliptical line has a large number of different trainers to suit a variety of different needs, and their models are divided into home and gym.
How to Choose an Elliptical Trainer that Suits Your Needs
When choosing an elliptical trainer, you'll want to consider a variety of things to determine which elliptical machine will best suit your needs. You should pay attention to the quality and durability, features, brand reputation (important when buying online), and weight restrictions.
Is A Heart Rate Monitor Right For You?
Exercise equipment, like Bowflex, Body by Jake etc., has advanced dramatically over the last 10 years.
Mobility Scooters: An Introduction
Mobility scooters are designed for people who have some mobility but are challenged by slopes or distances. A wide variety of mobility scooters, in various price ranges, are available to fit your needs from leading manufacturers such as Invacare, Pride, Sunrise Medical and Drive Medical.
Elliptical Trainer Ratings - Of Rants and Ratings
A large selection of elliptical trainer ratings can be found in every website upon pressing the keywords on a search engine. But what exactly is a credible elliptical trainer rating?Elliptical trainer ratings, when viewed properly and heeded accordingly, claim to bring good value to your money.
Why Smooth Treadmills are Among The Best
Smooth is one of the better-known brands of fitness equipment. Smooth manufactures treadmills from high quality materials and premium components.
Do You Know The History Of Trampolines As Exercise Equipment?
The manufactured trampoline, as we know it today, wascreated by two men, George Nissen and Larry Griswold.Around 1935, Griswold, then the assistant gymnastics coachat the University of Iowa, and Nissen, a tumbler on theUniversity of Iowa gymnastics team, "made regular jaunts toBloomington, Illinois where numerous circus people hadtheir winter homes.
t Blow Your Nose In The Water Fountain
We all know the general rules of the gym: don't drop the weights, wipe your sweat off the machines when you're done, etc. But do you know all about the more "colorful", lesser known rules of the gym?NOTE: These rules are JOKES! If you ever see any of these rules posted at any gym you ever go to, please take a picture for me!1.
Can I Lose Weight with an Elliptical Trainer?
Many people begin a fitness program to lose weight. Sure, they may add that they want to be healthier by lowering their blood pressure or dropping their cholesterol number, but the real incentive is to loose pounds and inches in order to look better.
Refurbished Treadmills - What Exactly Are They?
Refurbished treadmills are big business. Because treadmills can be so expensive there are many who can not afford to buy a new one.
Treadmill Reviews - Helping You Find The Best Treadmill For YOU!
With a multitude of different treadmills available today, it can be extremely difficult to know which one might be the best one for you - it can be so overwhelming that you simply don't know where to start! If you go to one of the wide variety of treadmill manufacturer's websites, you will be greeted by a whole array of different models that include a variety of features and characteristics that simply boggle the mind, and inevitably enough, each manufacturer is going to say that theirs is better than all the rest. What you need to help you navigate your way through the overabundance of information is a helpful and unbiased informer, and thankfully, help is not too far away.
6 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Personal Trainer
Once reserved only for the rich and famous, personal fitness training has hit the mainstream. A personal trainer is now as common as a pair of good cross trainers and a water bottle.
Treadmill Best Recommended List
Runner's World Magazine conducts an evaluation, to come up with their treadmill best recommended list. Unlike other sports-related products that the athletic magazine reviews on an annual basis, treadmills, they explain, are not extensively and continually redesigned and upgraded.
5 Questions You Should Ask Before Purchasing a Treadmill
With the advancement in the treadmill industry, quality machines could now cost you up to $5,000. So purchasing the wrong equipment could prove costly.
6 Features Found in All the Best Treadmills
Are you just plain fed up? If you have spent any time researching online for a treadmill, every site you visit tells you that they have the best treadmills, buy from us..
Steam Bath or Sauna - Which Is Better?
There is sometimes confusion between the terms 'steam bath' and 'sauna.' Many people think they refer to the same thing.
Discount Treadmill: 3 Ways To Save When Buying A Treadmill
Most people looking to buy a treadmill are interested in getting a discount. We all want to save money and get a higher quality product right?So where can you go to find huge discounts on brand name treadmills? There are several legitimate ways to get a discount treadmill which I'll outline in this article.
How To Replace Treadmill Parts
After you get your new treadmill home you need to know how your new machine works and this means getting to know all the names of the treadmill parts. Unfortunately if something were to go wrong with your treadmill then you would need to know what needed fixing and this would undoubtedly be some or one of the treadmill parts.
Treadmill Reviews - Get The Most Value For Your Dollar
As the number one fitness machines available, treadmills are very popular at fitness locations and as home exercise equipment. Most consumers like to read treadmill reviews before they make a purchase in order to get the best value for their money.
Experience The Smooth Ride Of True Treadmills
True treadmills are one of the top of the line treadmills for home or commercial fitness equipment. Exceptional standards of excellence go into the manufacture of each treadmill and each one is tested before it leaves the factory floor.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.