Need six-pack abs and a physically healthy body? Then befriend an ab crunch machine. In fact, developing strong abdominal muscles reduces pressure from your spine and hips. Besides it automatically heals your lower back pain. Moreover, strengthening your midsection is beneficial to your daily function and physical health. In addition, this vital part of your body houses the most important organs. To give you a small hint, lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver live here. But hey! That’s a lesson for another day. We are here to talk about ab crunch machine.
Most workout lovers have one secret in common; they have an abs machine at home. What for? They know strong abdominal muscles enable not only workout performance but also provide physical health. Probably you’ve heard it said how dangerous some abs machines are. And I think so too! But how different are the ab crunch machines? Let’s find out.
Types of Ab Crunch Machine and How to Use
There are many types of ab crunch machines in the market. However, the four discussed below are most common in the gyms. In addition, we’ve given you information on how to use ab crunch machine properly.
Seated AB Crunch Machine
This machine is one of the most common in gym centers. If you’ve never tried this exercise, this is the best machine to begin with, because it is the easiest. Stick to this type until you get conversant with ab crunches.
How to Use
Choose the most suitable resistance. A moderate one will do. You can also choose a light one if you are very new to this exercise and increase as you get used. Sit on the machine and place your legs under the pads.
Now put your elbows on the pads provided on the machine. Bend your arms at an angle of 90 degrees
Inhale – your ab muscles will automatically push inwards. Start the crunch movement slowly. Use your ab muscles in this workout. Avoid forcing the handles inward with your arms. As you crunch downwards, you can raise your legs until they touch your chest to help work your abdominal muscles.
Remember in all the above steps you are breathing in. Hold on for like 3 seconds and then exhale as you return to the beginning position.
Front Loaded Ab Crunch Machine
This machine has a cushion that should stay close to your chest. You will perform your workout by pushing it as a crunch
How to use:
Make sure the cushion is at the center of your chest by adjusting the height of your seat.
Choose the most appropriate resistance. If you’re a beginner, a lightweight will work well for you. You can increase the weight with time as you get used to this exercise.
Put your arms across the pad and avoid gripping it hard.
Inhale as you push your abs inwards
Exhale slowly as you crunch in a controlled way. Your neck should remain straight. Nodding may interrupt the momentum and cause injury. Focus your eyes to a spot on your feet to avoid shaking your head.
Take about 3 seconds at the bottom and hold your breath. Then start returning to the beginning point as you breathe out.
Supine Ab Crunch Bench
It operates as the seated crunch although you perform as you lie on your back. This type of machine is a bit hard to use for beginners. Maybe you can consider using it when you get to the intermediate level. You will then have had more strength as well as a decent form.
How to use:
Lay comfortably on your crunch machine. Put your feet on the provided rests. The handles should be on your shoulders
Grip the handles as you bend the elbows. Ensure they are at an angle of 90 degrees.
Lift your shoulder to a crunch. As you come up, your ab muscles will be squeezed. Continue until your abs begin contracting or when you can see your knees. Don’t be tempted to pull the handles using your hands. Their only role is to support you.
Hold in that position for 3 seconds and then return to the starting place and begin the exercise again.
Rope Crunch Machine
It is the most effective, though a bit hard to perform from the floor. You can lose your balance and hurt your back. As a beginner, consider using the seated rope crunch machine.
How to Use
It is same as the seated ab crunch machine only that you hold ropes over your shoulders instead of handles. Perform the crunch as your elbows are stuck on your sides but not in the air as it is with the seated ab crunch machine.
Tips for Using Ab Crunch Machine
There are rules to using any machine and ab crunch machines are no exception. As you use these machines, consider the following tips to optimize the results of your workout.
Do Not Focus on Resistance But the Form
When beginning the exercise select a weight you’re most safe and comfortable with. Avoid adding this resistance too soon. The use of too much weight will force you to begin using the momentum instead of allowing your abs to work alone. Concentrate on your form to get the required result.
Take Your Time
Muscles perform best when exercised slowly. Instead of working as fast as you can to finish the set reps, take your time. Reduce the speed and increase perfection of every step. Ensure you don’t skip any. If you crunch for, say, a count of 3, hold on for 1 second before returning to the starting point.
Using ab crunch machine daily is risky and can work against your muscles. Perform the exercise 3 times a week for better results. Abs muscles are more delicate than other body muscles, and tender care is essential.
Do Not Race to Finish the Reps
The rule of most games is to work smart not hard and so is the use of ab crunch machine. You shouldn’t hurry to finish the many reps. Strive to get better results from the few you will perform. Doing many reps at a go may cause injury of your muscles.
Remember to add Cardio to the Workout
Using an ab crunch machine doesn’t help you shed body fat. However, for better ab crunch results, you need to reduce a little fat from your body if you are overweight. Sweating tummy fat off is the best way to minimize it. So, remember to add cardio to your daily workout to help burn out some fat even as you strengthen your ab muscles.
Mistakes to Avoid
Ab crunch machines help in developing the six-pack abs, strong abdominal muscles, and general physical health. But this is possible given that you know how to perform crunches the proper way. Doing crunches isn’t as easy as it appears. You are bound to make many mistakes before you fully master. So if you make some don’t give up too soon. Mistakes are part of the process! However, that doesn’t mean you keep repeating them. Below are some of the common mistakes made.
Adding too Much Weight
We all want to feel strong even during a workout. The first mistake you may do is loading the ab crunch machine with too much weight. When the machine is too heavy, you will use momentum instead of the targeted muscles. Try a light-weight, to begin with and slowly increase the pressure as you get used.
Hunching Over the Machine
You may fall into the temptation of raising and bending over the machine because that’s how it seems like. Avoid such act. They only succeed in destroying the whole purpose of the workout. Instead, maintain your posture.
Lack of Concentration
Some workout lovers look at ab crunch machine exercise as the easiest compared with the many difficult ones they perform daily. For this reason, they don’t pay much attention. You must concentrate on the targeted muscle and ensure you attain the desired results. Resist from daydreaming while using this machine.
Forgetting to Exercise the Side and Back Muscles
The ab crunch machine is designed in such a way that it works on the muscles on the middle abdomen. It is your responsibility to work out the muscles on your side and those on the back. Many times they are forgotten, or you may not be aware of that necessity. Exercise them to attain the desired results. In fact, exercise all muscles in harmony.
Give yourself time off during the ab crunch machine workout. Avoid performing the exercise without breaks. It is not only harmful to your health but also the machine; it requires some rest time for better performance and durability. Your muscles need some rest. Overworking them may cause injury.
Importance of Ab Crunch Machines
Can ab crunch machine add value to your physical health? Why not use other alternative ab machines? Such questions are often asked by most workout darlings who can afford cheap ab machine to use at home. Honestly, any machine that can meet your goals is appropriate. The idea here is to strengthen the abdominal muscles and those of the spine as well as any around the torso. However, to assist you in making a sound decision on what machine to purchase or to use, let’s look at some benefits of using the ab crunch machines.
Full Scope of Motion
The machine provides a full range motion which ensures that you get maximum benefits from each crunch. Without a machine, you can’t get such benefits. In addition, the machine assists in aligning the movement so that each crunch is done the right way for better results.
The reason why some people don’t meet their goals is that they don’t place the perfect stress on the targeted muscles. The movement should stress the muscle until it fatigues for it to grow. As a result, it becomes strong as it tries to recover from the stress. Moreover, it is during this time that six-pack is developed. Therefore, the machine is essential in the growth of muscles both in form and strength.
Though often overlooked, ab crunch machines give comfort to its users. Most importantly, you will not have any neck or back pain after using this machine appropriately during a workout. Great! Isn’t it?
Easy to Use
Finally, everybody looks for an easy to use machine in the gym. You don’t want to keep calling the instructor to remind you how to operate it in the middle of a workout. Right? Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you don’t need more than 10 minutes to know how to set it up.
Alternative Ab Machines
There are a variety of ab machines in the market and in gym centers. If you want to buy one for home use, that’s a great idea. To help you narrow down to the most suitable one regarding cost and performance, below are some of the best alternatives.
Ab Coaster CS 1500
Ab Coaster CS 1500 is a highly priced machine though worth the cost. It can only take you a short time to shape your abs and have strong abdominal muscles. How? Basically, the workout concerns hanging leg raises. It is the best method for working lower abs. You don’t have to use pull-up bar.
Core Max Ab Machine
This machine is pocket-friendly, especially for beginners. You can get it at an attractive price. Moreover, Core Max Ab Machine is lightweight and is fully assembled. In addition, it has a mat and folds flat such that you can store it anywhere even under the bed.
Ab Carver Pro
Maybe you would prefer calling it an ab wheel instead of a machine. The good thing is, you don’t have to perform the crunches and situps. Ab Carver Pro focuses on those activities that bring real benefits to your abdomen muscles. This Ab Carver is more beneficial than other cheaper ab wheels.
If you have problems doing the crunches, then this is the machine for you. It doesn’t have attractive looks but is very effective. You need to hold the hand grips, put your feet on its foot clips, your head on the headrest and you get on the frame. That’s all! Then do your crunches and reap the benefits.
Many fitness enthusiasts love to have 10 pack abs but most people avoid ab crunch machines in the gym. Some think they are not effective while others believe they are hard to set up. As a result, they miss the health benefits that come with it. Ab crunch machines and their alternatives are all useful; you only need to try a few and see which one works best for you.