As I’m posting this in 2020, the population of the world is basically stuck in their homes to some degree or another. It has become crucial for those of us wanting to stay fit, or wanting to get fit, to create an environment at home that helps keep us active.
I hope this post can give you some ideas of what Ab Equipment will be best for your home gym, whether that gym is a garage conversion, a bedroom, or just a corner of your living room.
In our opinion, the Best Ab Equipment for your Home is an Ab Bench, but a more portable and great tool is an Ab Roller.
Our Quick List of the Best Types of Ab Equipment
Having a strong core, which includes strong Abdominal Muscles, can give you benefits far beyond looking good at the beach. Most of us aren’t going to ever have a six pack, but that’s ok. Since Ab Workout equipment come in many different shapes and sizes, we chose to put together a list of the different types of equipment to help you make a decision on what will work best for your home.
Below the short list we will give you more details on the products we recommend along with additional info to help you make the most of your ab workout.
Here are a few types of equipment that can be put away in a closet when you are done.
- Ab Roller – Dual Ab Wheel (See here on Amazon)
- Ab Dolly – AbDolly Core Training System (See here on Amazon)
- Battle Ropes – AmazonBasics Battle Exercise Training Rope (See here on Amazon)
These items may need a more permanent spot in your home since they are more robust pieces of equipment or are just a bit large to fit in some closets.
- Roman Chair – Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair (See here on Amazon)
- Exercise Ball – URBNFit Exercise Ball (See here on Amazon)
- Bosu Balance Trainer – made by Bosu (See here on Amazon)
- Ab Bench – Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench (See here on Amazon)
If you want to take your ab workout on the road with you, check out these floor sliders. Shove them in a backpack, or a suitcase, and you can really work your abs in a hotel room, or a small apartment.
- Carpet sliders – Elite Sportz Exercise Sliders (See here on Amazon)
Must Have Accessories
Maybe these aren’t really “Must Haves”, but they can sure make your workout more comfortable. Some of the best ab exercises will require you to get down on the floor, so having something to cushion your knees, or your whole body, will help you focus on the exercise and not just your body pains.
- Knee or Floor Pads – ProsourceFit Exercise Balance Pad (See here on Amazon)
- Yoga Mat – AmazonBasics Extra Thick Exercise Yoga Mat (See here on Amazon)
What Are the Benefits of Ab Workouts
Getting yourself into better shape has been shown to have tremendous benefits to your overall well being. Later in this article we’ll answer some common questions about Ab Workouts, but to give a simple overview of the benefits, a properly done Ab Workout can help you Lose Weight, Reduce Back Pain, Improve Posture, Boost Athletic Performance, and help you look great.
Can an Ab Workout help you lose weight?
The short answer is yes…but. Yes, a good ab workout, or any training for that matter, can help you burn calories, build muscle, and ultimately burn off extra body fat.
But is a tough workout plan all you need to lose weight? Probably not.
A phrase I’ve repeated often to my friends that are also into their 40s and beyond and trying to get healthy is, “you can’t outrun a bad diet”. As a younger person, I sure felt that I could eat many different things and simply hit the gym to counter any negative effects. This is sadly not the case anymore.
A common misconception is that doing targeted exercises on certain body parts will help burn the fat in that part of your body. Unfortunately fat cells don’t get used/burned based on what types of muscles you are activating. If that did work, most trainers would have people doing nothing but crunches and squats all day.
Instead, fat is stored in the body based on many factors. Hormones have been found to be a major factor in fat storage, and your hormones are affected by things like stress, sleep, and very importantly the quantity AND type of food eaten.
Also, your sex impacts how fat is stored. Men tend to store fat around the midsection, which is really bad for the health of our organs, while women often store fat in the lower body first.
Improve your Core to Improve your life!
Over the past 20 years or so, there has been an increased focus on improving Core strength. From the growth of Yoga, to Jiu Jitsu, to Pilates, we have seen Core Strength become foundational to people’s hobbies and health. Heck, even a golf swing can be helped with a stronger Core.
Check out this video on Core exercises for Golf
So what are Core muscles? Most people think of the Core as being everything from your Chest to your Knees. The muscles in your core are also some of the biggest in the body, so if your focus is on overall health, getting toned, and ultimately losing weight – working your Core is a very good return on your investment in effort and time.
Ab Training Tips
Here’s our quick list of tips to help you get started.
While you are working hard to improve your core strength and lose belly fat, it is really important to remember that it is very possible to add muscle and strength but not see visible results if you don’t clean up your diet.
Make a Plan and Stick To It
I strongly believe that the best workout you can do is the one that you will actually do!
There are a ton of resources available for planning your workout if you need help (Check out this Stretching Workout), but what is most important is to commit to whatever plan you choose. At least give yourself a solid 1-2 months of consistent work before switching up the program. .
Mix it up sometimes
As you can see in this article, there are a huge variety of abdominal workout options, and we’ve only foucued on ones that can be done at home. For keeping your mind engaged in the workout, and to ultimately get the most balanced fitness results, it is important to change up your routine from time to time.
This is not a contradiction of the previous tip, but is recommending that your overall plan includes choosing different types of equipment on different days or weeks. For example, you could use an Ab Roller on your Monday and Friday workouts, but switch to Planks and Battle Ropes for your Wednesday routine.
Include Cardio and Strength Training for the Best Results
Depending on your fitness goals and your starting point, the amount of cardio and weight training you do will vary quite a lot. But the tip here is to just do some of each along with your other Core exercises.
Use Proper Form
Our more detailed product reviews below also include videos you can reference to make sure you know how to safely use the various equipment we recommend.
It is very exciting when you commit to a workout routine and to improving your overall health and wellness. But it is very easy to sabotage your long term success by overdoing it in the beginning.
Overtraining any particular muscle group can cause lasting soreness that may limit your ability, and desire, to stick with your workout plan. Being too sore on a day you planned to excercise can easily lead to a skipped day here and there, or as a worse-case you may injure yourself through overtraining.
So take it easy at the beginning, and build you foundation slowly. In 3-4 months of steady work, you will be ready to ramp up the workout a notch or two if you want to.
One of the most space efficient tools you can have in a home gym is a simple Ab Roller. With its light weight and compact size, you can easily take it with you, or store away in a small space. Be aware that an ab roller needs to be used with care, so you don’t overextend yourself during your roll out and injure your back.
Take it slow and easy, and keep your rolls short and close to the body at first until you build up some baseline core muscles that can support your body weight as you extend.
This simple piece of equipment can be used in a very similar way as an Ab Roller, but also gives you a few more options. For example, my trainer has us use the Dolly in a circular motion to target the oblique muscles, also known as your “love handles”.
The padded dolly allows for your elbows and forearms to help support your weight, which to me makes it a bit more comfortable to use.
I will suggest that you have either a very tight carpet, or a hard floor surface for the easiest roll.
We include Battle Ropes in the Small equipment category because they can be stored in a small space, but you will need a decent amount of space for your workout. The ropes commonly come in lengths from 28-50 feet. So you will need a good 15+ feet from where you loop the rope to where you will be standing for your workout.
The longer the rope you use, the tougher your workout will be. It is simply more weight to move as you get a longer rope. That also applies to the thickness of the rope. A 2 inch rope will be heavier and tougher than a 1.5 inch rope, but either option can give you a terrific workout.
You can even take these sturdy ropes outside if you’d like, and use a pole or even a small tree if that is all you have available.
A tip for the best results is to find a way to loop the rope to something low to the ground if possible.
This relatively small piece of equipment is surprisingly versatile. You can work either your abs or your back depending on whether you face up or down on the machine.
The Marcy machine we looked at can support up to 300 lbs of weight.
One of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment you can own. These exercise (aka balance) balls can be used for ab work, or even in place of a bench for upper body weight training.
A good ball will be well made and able to hold hundreds of pounds of weight.
Depending on your height, here is a handy chart for finding the right size ball for you.
Bosu Balance Trainer
Here is another very versatile piece of equipment that also doesn’t take up too much space. The weight limit they recommend is 300 lbs.
This bench has multiple settings to allow an ab-focused workout, or for a variety of weight training exercises.
I don’t know if the furniture moving folks invented these, or the home fitness community. Either way, the inventor deserves a lot of credit for making both groups very happy.
From Mountain climbers, to “roll outs”, or even reverse mountain climbers with your feet on the pads, you can get a killer core and cardio workout with these little tools.
I hope this post has given you some ideas of what you can fit into your home workout plan. Remember the best workout is the one you actually do, so think about what equipment makes sense to you today, and get moving!