Abdominal exercisers are any type of workout equipment or devices that are designed to strengthen and tone the muscles found in the abdomen. Exercise machines of this type are sometimes found in health clubs and gyms. There are also a number of ab machines that are somewhat compact in nature and marketed for a home environment. Just about all incarnations of the abdominal exerciser seek to maximize the benefits gained from traditional exercises that target the abdominal muscles.
The typical abdominal exerciser will provide a means of obtaining the same basic benefits achieved with exercise routines such as sit-ups or ab crunches. The idea behind the use of an abdominal exercise machine is to receive more benefit from each repetition performed than is possible with the basic exercises. For example, some machines designed for abdominal exercises claim to provide anywhere from twice to ten times the benefit in a fifteen minute workout than could be achieved by doing thirty minutes of sit-ups and ab crunches.
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There are many different types of abdominal exerciser equipment on the market today. Abdominal boards are one of the simplest types available. Essentially, the board is positioned at an angle, with the foot of the board elevated. The feet are slipped through loops located at the foot of the board and the individual lies on the board surface. The angle helps to enhance the benefit received from each sit-up performed using the board, making it a much better workout than simply doing sit-ups on a mat.
The rowing machine is another basic example of an abdominal exerciser. This machine imitates the pushing and pulling motion associated with rowing a boat across a river or stream. In addition to working the muscles in the middle area of the body, this machine is also helpful with building muscle on the arms and shoulders.
Balance balls are another example of abdominal exerciser equipment that can be used at the gym or in the home. The large round balls can enhance the effect of many different types of ab exercises for very little cost. Many of these devices are sold along with instruction videos that demonstrate ab exercises that are appropriate for any fitness level from beginner to expert.
Along with machines that help enhance basic exercises, there are also electronic abdominal exerciser machines available. These devices are wrapped around the middle section in a manner that is very similar to a traditional weight belt. Exercisers of this type are outfitted with electrodes that carry a safe amount of electrical current into the abdominal muscles. The idea is that the current causes the muscles to contract in a manner that is very similar to doing crunches and sit-ups. While some consumers claim excellent results from these electronic devices, others find they do little or nothing to strengthen or tone the middle section.
Many abdominal exerciser products are affordable, but there are a number of machines for home and gym use that are quite expensive. Home ab equipment is often designed to be collapsible and easily stored when not in use. This makes it easy for people with small living spaces to still enjoy the benefit of a workout at home without having to find a permanent place for the machinery.