There are many machines in health clubs and gyms that were designed to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Choosing the best machines will be based on your current fitness levels and strength level.
1. Captain’s Chair
Over and over again, the Captain’s chair has been rated the best piece of ab exercise equipment. It is easy to use, requires no additional weights and works all of your abdominal muscles.
To get into the captain’s chair, you simple need to place your forearms on the side, like you are sitting in a chair. Your feet can initially touch the sides to balance yourself, but then you want to let them dangle to begin the exercises.
2. Simple knee crunch for Captain’s Chair
Start with your feet dangling and pull your knees up as high as you can and hold for a few seconds. Try to aim for your chest.
Do three sets of 10 for best results.
To work your oblique muscles on this move, twist your waist on each rep. Try to do five reps on each side.
3. Pike crunch for Captain’s Chair
Start in the same position as you did with the knee crunch but this time keep your legs straight and raise them into a pike position and hold for a few seconds.
Again do three sets of 10.
Ab crunch machine
Most gyms have this machine and it’s nice for people who have lower back problems and need support while they do these moves.
To use the machine, you simply sit down in the provided seating position and rest your forearms in the provided arm areas. You will be pulling the top part of the machine down to your lap on each rep.
As you get stronger, you will be able to add weight.
Try to do three sets of 20.
4. Standing ab crunch machine
This exercise works mainly your upper abdominal muscles and your lower back.
There is a pad on the machine and you have to place your back firmly against it and put the provided straps around your shoulders like a backpack.
Once you are all strapped in and feel comfortable, select the amount of weight you want to pull down.
A good start for most is 25 to 30 lbs.
It is very important to hold your stomach in and contract your muscles. Try to imagine your belly button is going to your spine.
While you are holding in your stomach, breathe in through your nose and hold onto the straps. Bend your back forward so you are in a dead-lift position and then stand back up.
Do the movement slowly, so you can feel your abs contracting throughout.
You should be able to complete a lot of reps on this machine. Aim to do 50 crunches and work your way up to 100.
5. Lying down crunch machine
These machines are often found near the stretching area of a gym.
They have a small bench for you to lie on with a crunching device for your forearms behind your head.
Lie on your back and put your arms into the arm slots. Pull yourself into a crunch and hold for two seconds. Do three sets of 30.
Some of these machines have an area on the back where you can add weight plates. You will be surprised how much adding that small amount of weight will challenge you.
Most people start by adding five pounds at a time.
Again, try to do three sets of 20.
To truly have toned abdominal muscles you must of course exercise, but it is also very important to eat clean and keep your diet rich in lean protein, healthy carbohydrates and fiber.