Using an ab machine with weights will help you develop more pronounced abs.
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The maze of ab machines at the gym can be dizzying, and it can be difficult to figure out which one would best suit your fitness needs. Ab machines vary in the core muscles they target; some work the lower back and obliques along with your abdominal muscles, some isolate the abs. Certain ab machines allow you to use weights while others utilize your body weight as resistance. Understanding how each machine works will help you choose the equipment that will fit your goals.
Praises for Raises
Don't let the name fool you, there is no sitting down when using a captain's chair. This machine is used to do hanging leg raises and provides a total core workout. You can use it to target the abs and lower back by bringing your legs straight up; you can include your obliques by bringing your legs up and to the sides. The captain's chair does not include weights; instead, you rely on the weight of your legs as resistance for your core muscles. However, you can wear ankle weights to increase the intensity and effectiveness of the exercise.
Gliding to Sleek Abs
There are a wide variety of abdominal gliders, but they all primarily work by allowing you to rest your knees on a seat fixed to wheels, or a glider, while you use your abs to move your lower-body forward, backward and side-to-side. These machines can work your whole core including your abs, lower back and obliques. However, different brands have a different range of motion, so some gliders may not allow you to move in a way that will target each muscle group. This is another body-weight machine that does not include the use of weights for resistance. So, it can be used to tone the abs but it may not help you develop abs that pop.
The Heavier Crunch
The crunch machine allows you to do crunches from a seated position rather than the lying, supine position. This machine targets your abs, but there is no lateral range of motion, so it cannot be used to work the obliques. However, this machine enables you to add weight to increase the resistance of the typical crunch. Therefore, you can start with a lighter weight if you are a beginner and progress to a heavier weight for stronger, more pronounced abs.
A Ball of Possibilities
An exercise ball is another type of "machine" that can be used to exercise your abs. You can do a wide variety of exercises with it including ball crunches, ball reverse crunches, ball side crunches, sit-ups, jack knives, ball ab roll outs and bridges. This level of versatility gives you the potential to tone your entire core. You only use body weight when working out with the exercise ball, so bulky abs may have to be achieved using a different piece of equipment. However, it is light-weight, unlike other machines, so you can move it easily to accommodate your workout.