When it comes to abdominal training there are many great pieces of equipment that can be utilized to challenge and develop abdominal strength.
However, with such a variety of equipment, it can be confusing to know where exactly to start. Which pieces of equipment will help you reach your goals and which are a waste of time?
To help you choose the best option for your specific needs, in this article we review the best ab machines on the market in Australia.
Be sure to scroll down to the Buyers Guide to learn about the key things to watch out for when choosing your ab equipment and ensure you don’t end choosing a sub-quality product.
Our top pick: Fitnessery Ab Roller
The ab roller is a highly simplistic yet effective piece of abdominal kit that will not only engage every individual abdominal muscle but will also activate a number of other muscles to build total-body strength and stability.
- Full body development
- Can be performed practically anywhere
- Only allows for one exercise
Powerline Abdominal Bench
This ab bench is particularly effective at isolating the abdominals. It has an 18-degree decline which will immediately increase the challenge of exercises such as the crunch exercise.
As with most ab benches, an array of effective strengthening exercises can be performed using it.
- Allows for a number of exercises
- Highly stable
- Large back pad
- Pads and bench are non-adjustable
Impulse Abdominal 200lbs Stack
Impulse’s crunch machine is the heavyweight of abdominal training, allowing you to shift up to 200lbs!
The machines quality design and construct locks the user in place in order to fully isolate the rectus abdominis.
- Heavy loads
- Clever design
- Highly durable
Healthstream Multi Ab Bench
This multi-purpose abs bench is one of the best pieces of equipment on the market, making the perfect addition to any gym.
The bench itself can be adjusted to cater for a variety of different abdominal based exercises. In addition to this, the bench dimensions mean that it does not take up a great amount of space.
- Adjustable bench
- May be difficult to move once assembled
Body Solid Ab / Back Machine
This resistance machine has two functions – serving as both an ab and a back isolating machine.
The pad can either be adjusted to come to the front or to the back of the body to target either area.
In addition, the machine is loaded manually rather than using fixed weight plates.
- Manual loading rather than fixed weights
- Easy to use
Ab Equipment Buyer’s Guide
Before reviewing abdominal training equipment, let’s briefly look at the abdominal muscle group, its function, and abdominal training.
The abdominal muscle group is made up of 4 individual muscles – the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, external obliques, and internal obliques.
The rectus abdominis is most heavily targeted by individuals who desire to have a 6-pack. It is a paired muscle that runs vertically down from the rib cage to the pelvis.
Not only does the muscle play an important role in posture, but it also causes the spinal flexion and assists in breathing.
It is important to note that abdominal training alone is not enough to cause the abdominals to become visible – only through proper nutrition and fat loss is this possible.
With that being said, there is no doubt that training the abs can certainly increase the definition of the muscles.
Unlike the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdominis is not visible as it lies underneath the rectus abdominis. The main function of this muscle is to protect the internal organs through compression.
Finally, we have the external and internal obliques which can be found on either side of the rectus and transverse abdominis. These powerful muscles allow for rotation of the trunk and also assist in spinal flexion.
Understanding Ab Training
Having an understanding of the abdominal muscle group and its function should allow you to begin to comprehend why we train the abdominals in the way we do.
As stated, often the rectus abdominis receives a lot of attention through exercises such as sit-ups and crunches. Any movement that involves pulling the chest to the knees will place the most stress on the rectus abdominis.
There is undoubtedly a time and a place for these types of exercises, however, it is important that we work other muscles of the abdominals too – specifically the obliques which can often be neglected.
Considering that the obliques primarily cause rotation, it is important to incorporate a number of exercises that involve rotation into your ab workout – exercises such as russian twists and bicycle abdominal crunches, for example.
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While there are a vast number of effective bodyweight abdominal exercises that will build strength and improve muscle definition, there is an array of ab equipment that can help to push your training to the next level.
There are gym machines for abs that have been developed to effectively target the abdominals. However, although these machines may indeed develop abdominal strength and size, they can be expensive and take up a lot of space.
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If you are low on space or are looking for a simpler ab training tool, there are plenty of inexpensive and versatile pieces of kit that can be used in a core workout.
One of the best examples of this is the ab roller which is simply a wheel with two handles attached on either side.