Just like the people who use them, ab equipment comes in all different sizes and shapes. Maybe you are trying to choose a sit up board for your home gym. Or you could just be trying to figure out what to use at the gym to get those washboard abs. Either way, you will want to know a little about the different types of ab workout equipment available to you.
Top Contenders for Ab Equipment
Probably the most popular of ab workout equipment for home gyms or to use in your local fitness center is the crunch board. This piece of workout equipment makes doing standard sit ups that much more challenging. By adjusting the height of the incline on the ab board, you can intensify your ab workout, tremendously.
Surprisingly, another popular type of equipment to use for your washboard ab workout is the fitness ball. This large, inflated ball is great for home gyms or to use in your fitness center. By sitting on this while doing your crunches, you add a level of challenge. Since your core is working to stabilize the ball, as well as perform the crunch, you are doubling up on the core work involved.
Other Styles to Consider
Some hardcore abdominal muscle builders prefer what is, often times, referred to as “bat wings.” These are loops or straps that are suspended from a bar. Using a step stool, the user slides his or her arms through, then holds on to the top of the loop. Now, you are suspended mid air and can crunch your knees straight up towards your chest. For more intensity, keep your legs straight and fold into an “L” position.
Still, another great choice to get those rock hard abdominal muscles is the ab tower. This device consists of, primarily, the frame, which is usually around six or seven feet tall. You step on to the frame and place your back against the padded rest. Your arms go on the arm rest and you hold on to the hand grips. Once you step off the foot rests, your legs are dangling and you crunch your knees or straight legs up. This is very like the bat wings, only this style is slightly less severe, since you have back support.
The Purpose of Working Your Core
While almost anyone would choose to have washboard abs if you could simply snap your fingers to get them, there is more to it than looks. Yes, strong abs can be considered more attractive, to some people, but the abdominal muscles serve a function, too. By strengthening your abs, you are also strengthening your back. So, if you want to have a strong back, and help prevent or alleviate back pain, work out those ab muscles with your ab equipment.