Top 10 Best Ab Machines Compared and Fully Reviewed

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Part of being a good runner is taking care of the rest of your body. This can result in a variety of exercises, including weight training and residual activities. One thing that every runner has realized is that abs matter. Whether you prefer a long-distance run through a rocky terrain or an all-out sprint up a hill, your core can help.

Every time that you take a breath in, and push it back out, you’re using your core muscles. These also help to support your trunk, prevent back injury, and to help sustain your posture while you’re running. This type of support is incredibly important to your body and can be the difference between an excellent run and a poor performance. Having strong abs isn’t just for runners. Regular core exercise can help you in every area of your life, and improve your balance, joint pain, and overall stability. Whether you’re interested in keeping up with your kids or taking on a triathlon, your core strength can be a good indicator of your overall fitness.

Last Updated: August 25, 2018
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By Tess Bercan:

We made sure that our list is still up to date with the latest and greatest ab machines on the market; while improving readability and making the information more accessible.

Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
  • Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Padded, ergonomic grips
  • Price: See Here
Ab Circle Pro
  • Ab Circle Pro
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 3 resistance levels
  • Price: See Here
Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench
  • Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Adjustable thigh support
  • Price: See Here

When you run you’re stretching your legs and propelling yourself forward. The longer your stride, the more likely you are to be using your ab muscles during the process. This is especially true if you’re sinking down into your thighs in order to cover more ground at a faster pace. You need those strong core muscles to keep yourself upright and to prevent injury. They can also help you to control your breathing, and to keep the rest of your body relatively relaxed while it focuses your oxygen on the major muscles in your legs.

Having a fit core is essential to any sport or activity. Having a weak abdominal section can absolutely devastate your performance regardless of what you’re attempting. It’s also been shown to contribute to long-term joint health, and not taking care of your core can mean a higher chance of future back problems. Working on your abs is as simple as finding a good machine that targets those muscles. While getting in shape is generally a holistic process, it’s possible to focus on your core to build ab muscles just a little bit faster. This is why we looked at some of the best ab machines on the market, and made recommendations to simplify the shopping process.

 

10 Best Ab Machines

 

1. Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro

Engage your core while also strengthening other vital muscle groups with the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro. High tech engineering brings a more sophisticated approach to your ab workout while comfortable grips result in a more ergonomic and healthier routine. Add a 21-day workout plan and kneepads and look forward to your summer-ready, best body ever!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
Built-in resistance adds to targeted muscle stimulation by engaging the core more specifically. The pivoting motion unique to the Ab Carver provides a deeper, more intensive core muscle workout - including the obliques. Activation of the abdominal muscle groups create a more sculpted, stronger core faster.

Stability/Durability
Padded grips create a non-slip hold for a more stable workout with more traction (and take them off after exercise for easy storage or transport). This ergonomic design improves core and arm engagement for optimum results. Best of all, the patented carbon steel spring mechanism creates perfect resistance when rolling which improves your overall fitness while putting less pressure and strain on the back!

Versatility
The Ab Carver works a variety of muscle groups, to include large and small back muscles, obliques, arms and chest. Build your body proportionately while enhancing and sculpting your core. The Ultra-wide wheel allows for left/right carving for better, broader results.

Cost/Value
High end
Pros
  • Padded, ergonomic grips
  • Ultra-wide wheel for pivoting motion
  • Patented carbon steel spring for resistance
Cons
  • Pricey (but worth it!)

2. Ab Circle Pro Home Fitness Machine

An all-encompassing ab workout without the strain of floor sit ups, the Ab Circle Pro is the 360 degree approach to your most sculpted core yet. This powerhouse machine is your ticket to a low impact, high result fitness routine - in just minutes a day!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
This ab machine lets users work abs from literally every angle. Target the entire core region from front to back and both sides with this intelligent design. Cardio blended with muscle stimulation increases fat burning for a better body faster. Offering the benefits of 100 sit ups in a 3-minute workout, you’ll be on your way to your best bikini body ever, in no time at all! Don’t forget the bonus “express workout DVD” and nutritional book for even better results!

Stability/Durability
Comprised of a heavy-duty steel synonymous with gym machine quality, the Ab Circle Pro ensures users better durability. The patented friction-free track is structured with stability in mind and designed to last. Rollers make for easy transport and the fold-up design means simple storage for all spaces!

Versatility
We love the integrated cardio workout. The friction-free track lets users pivot the lower body for a heart rate boost while simultaneously working several core muscles at once. Defined as a “treadmill for the abs” the Ab Circle Pro’s unique construction means a sweaty workout - choose from three resistance levels - and 360-degree sculpting.

Cost/Value
Great price point.
Pros
  • 3 resistance levels
  • 360 degree workout
  • Excellent cardio integration
Cons
  • The bar connecting the knees may slip out easily. Be sure to secure.

3. Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench

Get your perfect six pack with the Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench. Sculpt perfect abs while building strength without strain using this rock star ab machine. Four crunch positions using the bench decline options and hyper extension exercises to build the lower back mean a new-kind of strength and great looks, too!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
Four crunch positions from 30 degrees to flat position let you work upper, lower and obliques thoroughly. With pivoting foam rollers to hold ankles in place for proper alignment and adjustable thigh support to best fit individual leg length, the body is held securely in place while the core is stimulated intensely for a focused, extreme workout. Your perfect “V” is days away!

Stability/Durability
Everything about this machine says “durable” - from the stitched vinyl upholstery and thickly cushioned bench to the heavy-duty steel, 2” frame design. Users feel confident working out on a platform built to last while providing optimum comfort. No-slip rubber frame caps provide floor protection and the foldable design lets users store quickly and simply after use.

Versatility
The Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench is constructed with ultimate ab muscle stimulation in mind - and then some. Easily add tricep dips, split-squats or push-ups to your workout with this accommodating design. Not only are the exercises versatile, but so is the machine - adjust the bench range simply with a pin, and size the vinyl upholstered thigh support to meet your height.

Cost/Value
A fair but higher end price point for the machine’s versatility and quality.
Pros
  • Adjustable thigh support
  • Very durable to include materials and padding
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Higher price point
  • Assembly required (and slightly challenging)

4. Ab Coaster PS500

4. Ab Coaster PS500
The Ab Coaster PS500 works exactly the opposite from a typical ab crunch machine. Instead of working from the top down, the PS500 works ab muscles from the bottom up in order to get all those pesky lower muscles. Simply kneel on the comfortable carriage and pull your knees up towards your chest. It's as easy as that! While it may cost more than other ab machines, reviews say the PS500 is definitely worth the price.
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
As stated above, the PS500 focuses on the lower ab muscles first. These hard-to-reach muscles are often the cause of that annoying belly pooch that we just can't seem to get rid of. As you build those lower muscles, you will feel the machine working its way up your torso to build and strengthen your entire abdomen.

Stability/Durability
The Ab Coaster PS500 is described as a "well-built machine" and an "excellent abdominal machine" that "does what it says it will do." Not a single review complained of poor quality. It is easy to set up and use!

Versatility
This machine will work with both short and tall people, and anyone in between.

Cost/Value
Higher in price but users say it is worth the money!
Pros
  • Builds abs from bottom to top
  • Rated as highly effective
  • Easy set up and use
Cons
  • Higher price tag

5. Cap Barbell Unisex Adult Ab Trainer

5. Cap Barbell Unisex Adult Ab Trainer
With an ergonomic design meant to enhance the crunch while eliminating the strain, you’ll love your stronger core without the distraction of neck or back injury. Assemble in minutes and be on your way to summer ready with a chiseled six pack and stronger body!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
Crunch your way to better abs comfortably and ergonomically. The Cap Barbell Unisex Adult Ab Trainer is designed to stimulate ab muscles without causing strain to other body parts - especially the neck or back, both more typically injured during hardcore crunch routines. A cushioned headrest adds to the comfort-meets-performance engineering for less fatigue and more optimum workouts translating to your best-abs-ever!

Stability/Durability
Durable construction comprised of heavy-duty steel means long lasting workouts and just plain long lasting! The cushioned headrest is made of a comfortable foam material for added stability and better security and alignment.

Versatility
Love your new abs but don’t forget to give your back a big hug, too! Not only will the machine enhance lower back strength, but the design also works to eliminate muscle strain assigned often to the neck and back muscles during grueling crunch routines. Build up the body without breaking it down. Now that’s intelligent design!

Cost/Value
Very budget-friendly.
Pros
  • Fast assembly
  • Cushioned headrest for better ergonomics and stability
  • Heavy duty steel
Cons
  • Not as optimum for shoulders or arms

6. Powerline Roman Chair/Back Hyperextension

6. Powerline Roman Chair/Back Hyperextension
Work those abs, and those glutes, hamstrings and your back too, all with a single machine when you use the Powerline Roman Chair/Back Hyperextension. A versatile and hardcore workout all from the comfort of your own home!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
A manual inversion mechanism allows users to adjust range for their just-right, individual ab workout. Feel the burn when you change range and position to target lower or upper or obliques with the hyper-cool, hyperextension design. Beginners and more “advanced” users will benefit from the engineering infused into this ab-workout rock star.

Stability/Durability
2x2” heavy-gauge steel and an extra wide base for solid no-rock stability. An electro-statically applied powder coat finish means durable, long lasting treatment with a no-slip advantage. A weight capacity of 250 pounds makes this the go-to ab machine for most. Add a 10 year warranty and go!

Versatility
The design of the Powerline Roman Chair with Back Hyperextension works the abdominal muscles by stimulating groups in varying regions of the core. It also has the added bonus of enhancing other areas including the lower and upper back, the glutes, and hamstrings. Use this machine for a broad based workout in the comfort of your own home, and love your chiseled core and your newfound, overall strength!

Cost/Value
Higher price range.
Pros
  • Extremely versatile
  • Easy assembly
Cons
  • Weight limit 250 pounds

7. Body Solid Pro Style Commercial Ab Board

7. Body Solid Pro Style Commercial Ab Board
12 adjustable positions and a highly stable platform make this your go-to tool for a sleeker, sexier body. Patented cushioned padding for comfort and wide rollers to keep feet secured for a more aligned, intense workout translate to your strongest, most confident summer ever!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
Customize your workout with 12 adjustable positions for more or less resistance and range. Sit ups and crunches just got more intense with the Body Solid Pro Style Commercial Ab Board! Extra wide rollers keep user’s feet in position and secure, which results in better isolation of core muscles for greater stimulation and ultimately more strength and definition. An excellent home or office machine with gym-quality materials for a safe, solid ab workout.

Stability/Durability
With the gym-quality board balanced on a durable telescopic 2x2” steel support beam and patented DuraFirm double-stitched padding covering the mainframe and measuring extra long and wide for ultimate comfort, your workout is more secure and cushioned. Steel oversized 8” rollers keep feet in place without strain or discomfort. Add a 10 year frame warranty. Now that’s some stability!

Versatility
This machine is incredibly versatile in terms of workout levels. Beginners or hardcore crunchers will benefit equally thanks to the wide range of adjustments and positions. The dimensions make it perfect for short and tall. Perfect for sit ups or crunches for every fitness level and most every body type, too!

We love how light and easy-to-transport this machine is. Equipped with wheels for portability and also easy to fit through most doorways without worry of scrapes or scratches.

Cost/Value
On the higher end, but an excellent “crunch companion”!
Pros
  • Easy transport
  • 12 adjustable positions
  • Excellent padding
Cons
  • A bit pricey!

8. Rodeo Core Fitness Core Trainer

8. Rodeo Core Fitness Core Trainer
Simulating the experience of horseback riding and gleaning the major health benefits of this activity, the Rodeo Core Fitness Core Trainer is your fun and healthy “ride” toward better fitness and your strongest core!
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
Hop in the saddle and get to it! With your feet positioned in the pedal’s begin leaning forward then backward, enjoying hardcore toning as you ride! Stimulate abdominal muscles and target multiple groups for a leaner, stronger body. The focused engineering of the Rodeo Core Fitness Core Trainer keeps upper, lower and obliques in rock hard condition. Yee Haw!

Stability/Durability
A solid wheel and crank manual motor main frame, rubber foot gripping bar pedal for no-slip traction, front and back stabilizers, secure hand-grip and a well-padded cushioned saddle seat work in harmony to give users a stable ride on this durable machine.

Versatility
The motion the Rodeo Core Fitness Core Trainer provides gives users a serious core workout. That same motion stimulates blood flow and circulation for better overall cardio wellness. Additionally, the upper and lower back and inner thighs benefit from the swinging motion, enhancing and toning muscle groups beyond the core. Add three height variations making it just-right for lots of body types and sizes.

Cost/Value
Expensive, but the price point fairly represents the quality of the product
Pros
  • Tones multiple muscle groups
  • Fun
  • Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Easy Assembly
Cons
  • Lacks resistance adjustment
  • Expensive

9. XMark Fitness 12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench

9. XMark Fitness 12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench
Get ready to say goodbye to that muffin top with the XMark Fitness 12 Position Adjustable Ab Bench! It is a perfect option for your home gym and is simple and straightforward to use--so you won't have to overcomplicate your workout routine.
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
This ab bench has 12 different adjustable settings, so you can change your angle settings in order to maximally target specific core muscles.

Stability/Durability
This bench has a 14 gauge steel mainframe construction and can hold up to 400 pounds. It also has a scratch resistant finish, to make it even more durable.

Versatility
This bench has 12 different settings and allows you to do numerous different ab workouts.

Cost/Value
Pretty pricey, but a great investment.

10. Core Max Abs Machine

10. Core Max Abs Machine
The Core Max Ab machine is an affordable and effective option that is also portable and easy to use. It will help you achieve results in just 8 minutes a day, from the comfort of your own home.
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Targeted Ab Muscle Stimulation
This machine allows you to 8 different exercise to target different muscle groups and improve your overall core strength.

Stability/Durability
This machine has 3 different difficulty settings that provide dual action resistance. This allows it to provide support and resistance in both directions--which reduces strain and increases your overall results. It is also highly durable and portable.

Versatility
This machine allows you to customize your workouts and comes with a workout dvd and workout plan you can follow for maximum results.

Cost/Value
Highly affordable

 

We’ve made it to the end of our top 10 list of the best ab machines on the market. Hopefully, you’ve found something here that’s going to be perfect for your unique fitness needs. If not, take a look at some of the features and piece together your ideal ab machine. This can still help you to find products that suit your needs without breaking the bank. We’ve done the research, now you can reap the benefits. All that’s left for you to do is to find the perfect machine and start working your way to towards your washboard abs and an overall better bill of health.

 

Here’s What We Looked For In The Best Ab Machines 

While our top 10 best ab machines vary in style and options, they each provide the necessary elements for a healthy, productive abdominal workout.

Each of the machines that we looked at provides excellent targeted muscle stimulation. This means that you’re getting an all over workout in your core the targets all of the unique muscles responsible for making up your abs. It can be difficult to get the muscles on the sides, back, and directly in front with equal fervor. It’s important to ignite each of these muscle groups in order to get an even workout throughout your core. Doing things unevenly can have an impact on your muscle walls, and actually have a negative impact on your shape. This is why we paid special attention to the types of machines we chose and made sure that they provided the means to define and condition the necessary muscles in every group. We also looked at ones that minimized the potential for damage and injury. Trying to do too much too early can have a negative impact on your lower back or lead to excessive muscle tearing. There’s nothing fun about having pulled core muscles, and the machines that we found were particularly careful to adjust the workouts to the needs of the user.

Additionally, we’ve paid careful attention to safety features or issues associated with common injury. We’ve chosen products with sturdy, heavy-duty steel foundations when applicable, and no-slip grips as well as secure ankle rollers for stable, ergonomic and aligned use. Height adjustments and other features that ensure sizing accommodations are also necessary for a healthy, happy workout. It’s hard to maintain consistency if you twirk your back or injure your ankle in the process. Last, a great ab machine ought to provide some versatility.

This can take the form of resistance adjustments, or the ability to provide multiple muscle group workouts. Depending on the type of model – whether a bench, wheel or chair with hyperextension, we made sure to seek out products that maintained versatile use for a better quality workout for you.

Your abdominal region plays a huge part in your overall health. It’s not just about how you look, but about how you perform. Your abs are responsible for so much of your movement and getting them in excellent shape can improve the quality of your life.

 

Other Things To Look At When Buying Ab Machines

There’s a lot to consider prior to purchasing your ab machine. There are several different elements that go into improving versatility, performance, and portability. Some models are simpler than others, and your needs will really determine the size and shape of the product that you choose. Many of these ab machines can offer you several different workout options. You’re not relegated to do something like crunches or to a single simplistic approach. You can also look for movements like leg lifts, resistance, and other ways to target different muscle groups. This type of all-over workout is really the pinnacle of ab machine versatility.

When you’re looking for something to work with in your home, consider benches or ab wheels. A bench may seem way too simple to be effective, but it can provide you with more options than you realize. You’ll be able to do supported crunches, leg lifts, site bodywork, and a variety of other exercises all using one simple platform. These also don’t take up a lot of space in your home and are pretty easy to transport. Using a bench allows it to double as a weight bench or as another piece of workout equipment when necessary. Some people prefer the ab wheels. These are the machines that people roll out on and flex their ab muscles in order to pull back. Many of these models are also extremely simple, portable, and affordable. You can stick them in a closet and take them out for the desired amount of time each day.

Finally, the roman chairs/hyperextension machines provide users with hardcore exercise that encompasses back strengthening. Hyperextension workouts help to tighten back muscles and increase flexibility while simultaneously reaping ab toning benefits. It’s important to consider your fitness level when selecting an ab machine, as well as personal fitness goals. Are you attempting to build strength, accomplish sculpting, or overcoming an injury? Choosing the just-right model for individual need has everything to do with realizing your goals (and even your six-pack dreams)!

 

FAQ

Q: What should I look for in a sit up bench?

A. The two most important things to consider when purchasing a sit up bench are whether its adjustable so that you can change resistance to meet your fitness level, and secondly, that it is long enough and wide enough to accommodate your body type; otherwise, it is common to experience strain and injury.

Q: Will a treadmill provide a core workout?

A. Any type of cardio workout will burn calories and therefore fat. However, for targeted muscle stimulation, a treadmill is not going to likely help you to achieve the results you’re looking for. Repetitive, targeted exercises like crunches, sit ups or reverse crunches are the best way to define your core and build strength.

Q: How can a strong core prevent injury? Is this even true?

A. The internal, deeper muscles close to the spine that give the “six pack” aesthetic are also crucial to strength and stability. Most movement begins in the center, and moves outward. This means that a solid core will improve body movement more generally. Individuals who have a strong core are less likely to ‘throw out the back’ with simple tasks like lifting groceries out of the car. Often, such injuries occur due to lack of abdominal support and overcompensation by other muscle groups that results. Further, healthy and strong abdominals mean better balance. We are more prone to falls without core support. Generally speaking, health and less injury are dependent in part on the strength of core muscles.

Q: Is there a relationship between the nervous system and the core?

A. Absolutely! The spinal cord is vital to everything when it comes to body (and brain) function. Without strong abdominal muscles to insulate and protect it, general movement can be impacted. Further, your core is at the center of much of the “busy work” of the central nervous system, and where vital and large veins and arteries are based. A strong core protects from internal injury or undue pressure, ensuring better health.

Q: Is an ab machine a better way to get toned abs than floor exercises?

A. Floor sit-ups and crunches can ultimately result in great abs. But because there is little support with these positions and because individuals must do so many to achieve results, it makes the body more prone to strain, injury and fatigue. Ab machines are designed to simulate crunches and sit-ups and reverse crunches, etc while also providing a less injurious platform. Rightly designed ab machines offer resistance adjustments, padding and sure-grip hand and foot fittings to increase stability during exercise. Motions are less likely to cause neck and back strain (often a result of floor sit-ups) because of support designs built into the products. Benefits include headrests, knee pads, resistance bands and other accommodations to ensure low impact and high results.

Sources

  1. AbMachineGuide.com, What Types of Abs Exercise Machines and Equipment Are There?, Online Publication, Feb 10, 2016
  2. Roberts, Amy CPT - Men's Fitness, The Best Ab Exercises According to Science, Online Publication, Sep 20, 2018
  3. Shape Magazine, Science of Ab Workout Routines, Online Publication, Mar 26, 2014
  4. Caspedes, Andrea, 5 Benefits of Abdominal Strength and Endurance, Online Publication, Jul 19, 2016
  5. Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, The Real World Benefits of Strengthening Your Core, Online Medical Publication, Apr 16, 2017
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