What is the best exercise machine to lose belly fat?
Can ab exercise machines help to relieve lower back and neck strain that’s often associated with doing abdominal crunches?
Yes, I can certainly vouch for that...
I’ve owned an ab exercise machine (or two) and I love it!
Not only did it help me do more ab crunches with minimum neck and back strain, but it also allowed me to do some of the more advanced moves that would have been much more strenuous without having the machine for support.
But that’s where the hype about their amazing ability to help you lose abdominal fat and sculpt you a whole new set of abs realistically ends.
Will they give you finely sculpted, sexy abs in 10 days or however many weeks as they claim?
It’s just not possible to spot reduce and the truth is that you need to lower your total body fat percentage before you’ll be able to see any real results.
That entails a healthy weight loss diet along with consistent exercise...which includes ab crunches as part of a COMPLETE program.
The truth is, producing the sculpted abs of those fitness models you often see demonstrating takes years (not days or weeks) of fitness training and good nutrition to achieve.
However, in spite of the overly exaggerated claims made, it’s important to keep in mind that well designed and constructed ab exercise machines can supply you with more comfort and support, especially if back and neck problems have kept you from doing any sort of ab crunches in the past.
Do ab exercise machines really provide you with the best stomach exercise?
“A study by the American Council on Exercise...researchers found that most of the claims made by ab machine manufacturers are greatly exaggerated and that the devices worked no better to stimulate muscle activity than good old-fashioned crunches or sit-ups.”
I agree....if neck and back problems aren’t a barrier for you.
If neck and back problems aren't a barrier for you, you can also just use 3, 5 or 10 pound Velcro weights attached to your ankles for added resistance when doing reverse crunches (where your legs, knees or feet come up towards your chest) or hold on to a dumbbell that’s placed on top of your chest as you do regular ab crunches.
An exercise ball works well too as it requires engaging more of your core muscles for balance and stability.
In 1997, Popular Mechanics did an interesting ab exercise machine review and as a result they came to the conclusions below.
Aside from the models tested being outdated, I believe their point is still valid:
"Several of the models - Ab Sculptor, Ab Works by NordicTrack, BodyShaping Ab Blaster Plus and Weider Ab Shaper - provide adequate support and, therefore, may reduce neck and back strain. And since ab machines make crunches somewhat easier by requiring you to use your arms to roll the device forward, they may promote increased repetitions, longer sets and more frequent workouts."
Needless to say, much has changed since 1997.
Today these machines are still very popular and are being sold every day because they’re better designed and have been found to be particularly useful in reducing neck and back strain.
As a matter of fact they can often be the best machine to lose belly fat for those with physical limitations.
My best advice to you if you’re considering buying one of these pieces of equipment is to try it before you buy it if possible.
Check to see how well your body fits the machine first. You should be able to adjust them to fit you. If not, move on to another model.
Is it easy for you to manoeuvre?
Is it portable? Storage? Light weight?
Is the construction solid?
Buy from a reputable source and consider one of the better known brand names first as they’ve had several years to perfect their product.
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