Best Ab Machines of 2017 - Exercise Equipment Reviews

Best Ab Machines

Check out these top 10 best ab machine reviews for the best abs, strong abdominal muscles, and awesome physique

Wondering what’s the best ab machine?

Consumer Reports reported in 2016 that you might have contributed to the $65 billion Americans spend on fitness and weight loss. That sum only represents sales made through telesales. ClassPass has since shown the average American spends $16.05 for fitness in a week in 2016.

A chunky share of that sum goes to gym memberships.

Here is the deal-breaker, though:

Only about a third of these Americans workout at the gym. About two-thirds engage in DIY home workouts, likely binge-watching guilty pleasures on Netflix.

So crunches, push-ups, leg lifts and sit-ups are all the range for most beginners looking to strengthen their core muscles at home.

As your body gets the hang of, it becomes so used to those crunches that it becomes hard to pack more abs. Only after you take up a new challenge can you get a shredded abdomen.

Then your ab workouts miss the intensity they used to. And your core strengthening exercises flop—big time.

That’s where the best ab machines come in handy.

How Ab Machines Work

In 2018, ab machines come with ergonomic design and versatile uses. First, you can buy one and tuck it into the slimmest space in your home or garage gym.

Second, you can switch to several effective ab toning routines with only one machine.

Over time proper equipment can also help you torch abdomen fat while avoiding injury and back pain. And you can do all that in the comfort of your home.

The best machines on the market offer comfortable and convenient pads and handles. And a bunch of safety and effectiveness measures to boost your workout goals with every rep.

You are not going to get that much value from crunches alone, no.

In this in-depth post, we tested and handpicked 10 top ab workout machines of the year. So you can choose the one(s) that fit into your lifestyle and favorite abs routine.

There is more. 

Using the best ab machines helps you build a stronger core, which means:

  • Getting that awesome, shredded physique or lean stomach
  •  Better breathing as you unclog your respiratory system
  • Better posture thanks to a strong, flexible core
  • Increased productivity and less injury
  • Better gait, full-body flexibility, and agility
  • Increasing your ability to maintain lean muscle mass and burn fat fast
  • Well-contoured abs are a proven sign of overall health

Dig right in to discover the best abdominal exercise machines we mined for yourself.

Want to know our Top Pick? Check it out on Amazon

Reviewed: 10 Best Ab Machines to Help Sculpt Your Abs At Home

Image

Product

Reviews

Price

Availability

Ab Carver Pro

Ab Carver Pro

$$

Ab Coaster Max

Ab Coaster Max

$$$

Stamina Pro Sit Up Bench

$$$

Powerline Roman Chair

and Back Extension

$$$

Ab Circle Pro

Ab Circle Pro

$$

Ab Rocket Twister

Ab Rocket Twister

$$

Weider Power Tower Dip Station

Weider Power Tower

Dip Station

$$$

Ab Roller Evolution

Ab Roller Evolution

$

Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer

Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal

Trainer

$$$

CSX Dual Ab Wheel

CSX Dual Ab Wheel

$


1. Ab Carver Pro - Our Top Pick for 2018

Ab Carver Pro

This is an advanced, yet simple and easy to use ab wheel. It has a lot going on for it, particularly the Kinetic Engine in it.

The KE is actually coiled carbon steel.

On one hand, it helps add resistance to your core workouts. On the other hand, the tough coil allows you to smooth out in a stretch. Then it provides you with a bit of roll-back support when it’s time to spring home into your starting position.

The ultra-wide wheel is stable and forgives little slip-ups. Still, we recommend using it on a flat surface so it can work for you best.

This is helpful if you find you let go (or feel like it a lot) when you stretch out. After all, slips suck and can lead to injury and frustration.

Perfect Fitness crowned it with ergonomic, rubber hand grips that feel great to hold. That way, you are less likely to let go when you feel the heat.

The grips are curved. That is thoughtful since it enables you to engage several muscle groups simultaneously. From lower, mid, upper, and deep core muscles to the obliques, shoulders, chest and arm muscles. You can target and work your lower body muscles, such as the hamstrings as well.

The Carver's spherical design will allow you to roll out to the left, right and back to center. So you can diversify your rolls and set your obliques on fire.

The Carver Pro is huge. This helps ease those side-switches--even if you weigh in at about 300 pounds, which is the most it can handle without a screech.

The Ab Carver Pro is also home either in your home gym or living room floor.

You can even pull out the handles to store it. And the dual rubber rolls helps protect your carpet or floor.

Well, unless you wheel it on the same spot too many times.

Pros

  • Helps you work a bunch of muscles at a go; glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, back, and butt
  • ​Kinetic Engine technology helps reduce strain, ease pain and curb injuries in the back
  • ​Great kinetic engine spring for extra support and motivation
  • Comes with decent-density foam kneepads for extra comfort
  •  Resourceful, 21-day long ab workout (for all fitness levels available for download)
  •  Durable make that will help shred and maintain your toned mid-section a long time
  • Undeniable value for money
  • Effective; it kicks in a few minutes into the ab workout
  • Versatile; you can use it alone and in combination with push-ups. Or, you can switch into various ab wheel positions. That would help you to boost effectiveness, lessening boredom and muscle growth resistance
  • Perfect Fitness are so confident, they offered a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Cost a little of a fortune compared to its cousins (such as the Aottop New Sport Double Ab Wheel)
  • Strengthen your arms beforehand, it’ll punish you if you do not set that priority right

See it in in action here:

The Ab Carver Pro helps you work a bunch of muscles at a go; glutes, quads, hamstrings, obliques, abs, chest, shoulders, back, and butt


2. Ab Coaster Max — Best All-Around Body Workout

Ab Coaster Max

Here is another top ab machine that will get you the chiseled abdomen you want in less time.

The Max's abdominal fitness mechanism uses its curved-frame design to help work the lower, middle and upper ab, and sculpt your obliques.

Want an ab machine that works, is easy to use, safe and effective?

Then you’ll like how the Max allows you to pull off every rep with its simple and smooth bottom-up motions.

That means you get to hit your entire core muscles from the bottom up as you pull up your weight. Gliding back to the starting position works the same muscles in reverse order. So you get constant muscle contraction with every rep, the best way to exercise any muscle.

For best results, you’ll want to ensure you are engaging your core throughout. Nevertheless, that comes quite intuitively with the Coaster Max. You can feel your arms and shoulders are wounded since they are pretty much part of the job.

In addition, you can set the kneepad to twist as much as you want. Twisting works your obliques. It also helps to maximize your core's flexibility, preventing injuries to your lower back. We absolutely like this thoughtful combo.

In fact, the thing can serve your whole family. Simply adjust the knee seat position to your loved ones’ height and you are all set.

Here is Shawn with how best to strengthen your core using the Ab Coaster Max:

Clearly, it’s easy to get started on the Max as a beginner. Yet, you can inject more power and pizzazz into this setup. Adding weights to challenge your fitness level is one way to do it. This is also a popular feature on both the Ab Coaster PS500 and Max Deluxe as well.

Want to find out which position and posture give the best results?

See what Brianna accomplishes here:

The Max's abdominal fitness mechanism uses its curved-frame design to help work the lower, middle and upper ab, and sculpt your obliques.

Pros

  • ​Swivel seat helps you to intensify and target your obliques and abs in an effective way
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    Durable, stainless-steel ab machine providing stable and safe support, as well as great value for money over time
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    Recommended for losing mid-section fat (better than an ab wheel)
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    Perfect for home ab workout plans—no gym required
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    Ships with an exercise plan CD, diet plan, and 14-day express program to help you get started like a pro
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    Easy and fast assembly so you can get started almost right away

Cons


3. Stamina Pro Sit Up Bench for Sit-ups

So you need a badass ab bench for crunches and twists, huh? Is the Stamina Pro Sit Up Bench any good for that?

Right off the box, this thing looks durable (it’s redesigned for 2018!).

You can feel its above-average weight while assembling it, too. The weight comes from its commercial gym-grade, 2-inch thick, heavy-duty steel. Rest assured it can reliably hold up to 250 pounds of you and your loved ones (at a time, of course).

The non-slip rubber footrests keep it grounded. So you can eliminate any skidding incidences even on slippery surfaces. The rubber caps also protect your floor, so using it in your living space will not be regretful.

Still, we recommend using a mat underneath it just to be super secure. The multiple crunch routines you’ll be doing on that thing mean you’ll need a firm base to lift off on—and a slip could be fatal. Ouch!

The paint job on it is scratch resistant and does not outgas either. So you can keep it around the home or near your bed for some badass early morning sit-ups. The great thing is you can easily fold it up for easy, space-saving and safe storage under the bed, closet or a living room hideout.

Where the Hyper bench shines though, is its multiple crunch positions. You can pull these off by adjusting the various elements included in the setup.

For instance, adjusting the height of the vinyl-padded bench lets you start from simple to more intense sit-ups.

On the other hand, adjusting the rollers and head lets you fit the setup to match your height. This also works fine for tall people (like 6-feet tall people).

You’ll love the 8-inch foam pads on the rollers, too. They ensure your legs hold your weight comfortably as you push on. So you can hit many muscle groups such as the abs, chest, legs, glutes, quads, and obliques.

Then switch position and engage your lower back in the hyperextension options available here. This thing could easily turn out to be one of your favorite all-encompassing machines ever.

See Stamina’s Sit Up Bench in action here:

The Hyper bench helps you to witch between multiple crunch positions for a tucked in abdomen

Pros

  • ​Supports multiple crunch positions
  • Add triceps dips, pushups (which is what the extended hand grips are for), split squats and more
  • Reduces lower back strain and in fact strengthens the back
  • Ideal for both beginners and pros of any height
  • Durable materials
  • Easy to clean and thick (stitched) vinyl upholstery for long, exemplary service
  • Customizable/adjustable parts to truly adjust to you
  • ​Supports multiple crunch positions

Cons

  • You might feel it’s pricier than your ordinary sit up bench (but it’s no ordinary sit up bench anyway)

(Download the assembly manual on the manufacturer’s website if yours does not come with one)


4. Powerline Roman Chair and Back Extension — Best Hyperextension Machine

Powerline Roman Chair and Back Extension

You’ll be hard-pressed to not notice how durable it looks and feels. Powerline's roman chair comes with all parts intact. But the assembly manual is missing.

This thing is heavy, too. But, its 42 pounds help to stand it firm on its heavy-duty footrests so there is no wobble. The chair sits you high. And any wobbles would give the weirdest feeling as you go down for a complete stretch.

Also, Powerline were considerate enough to cut out a 2-inch space in the middle of the padded seat. That should help protect the family jewels. Then you can focus on hitting those improvised crunches and hyperextensions instead.

In fact, for a minute it can feel like more of a hyperextension machine than one of the best ab machines in this review. With experience, though, it is great for targeting your abdominals and lower back muscles.

By flipping it over, you can easily turn the roman chair into an ab toning beast in your living room or garage gym. But if you are quite tall, that may not be the case for you.

The seat does not move at all. So if you are above 5’11”, you might wish you could adjust the distance between the seat and footrest. This can be an issue on several other brands too, (such as the XMark XM 4429) as we found out.

But, the ankle mounts are adjustable. So you can play with different positions until you are comfortable for a round of crunches and twists.

Get the Powerline Roman Chair if you want to do lots of hyperextensions on top of core strengthening routines. Great for lower back exercises

Pros

  • ​Excellent build-quality assuring durability and dependability over time
  • A top machine if you want to do lots of back stretching/hyperextension besides shredding and strengthening your core
  • Helps you target the glutes and hamstrings as well
  • Good value for the price
  • Easy to use at all fitness levels
  • Comes with a 10-year frame warranty (that’s confident!

Cons

  • ​The padding on the seat might feel a bit thin for some
  • You might want a longer distance between the footrest and seat. That is especially if you are taller. Or, want to do more crunches and twists than back extensions

See the roman chair on the fly here:


5. Ab Circle Pro

Ab Circle Pro

As you twist past the first few reps on the Ab Circle Pro, you can tell you are working. And you can feel the kick torching that waistline and engage your obliques.

Few ab machines can help you burn the flab quite like the Circle Pro can. You can choose how you want your swivels to span out, so you can isolate and work specific core muscles best at a time.

Yet, the Ab Circle Pro shines best through two features:

  • In its awesome capability to help you avoid back pain, while
  • Helps you to strengthen your core in ways crunches and sit-ups never will. You get to do this in less time, improved comfort and increased safety.

The original Ab Circle Pro felt more like a piece of gym equipent. The company has since craft a smaller, more homely version.

The latter comes with a new twist to help you add variety and fun to every ab workout session at home.

Nicole shares with you how to get it done here:

Note how she swivels to one side, holds for a second and repeats on the other side. You’ll want to try that, severally.

Now, watch how to vary your ab workouts, add oomph, and kick boredom to the curb.

The Ab Circle Pro adds variety and fun to every ab workout session at home

Pros

  • ​Offers you a complete, whole body engagement without the lower back strain of crunches, leg-ups, sit-ups, etc
  • Comes in a sturdy design for safe, effective and prolonged ab toning and cardio-like sessions
  • Just fold it up and slide it under the bed for safe, compact storage
  • Great home fitness ab machine for both men and ladies
  • Features 3 resistance levels. Add scalability and variety to your reps by targeting different core strengthening reps and intensity levels at a time
  • Good for both beginners and pros—takes a simple switch to your preferable resistance level
  • Excellent value for both your time and money
  • Ships with a 3-minute workout plan to help you tear down an equivalent of around 300 situps in less time

Cons

  • ​If sweaty cardio is not your thing, there’s quite a good dose of it here so…
  • Secure the bar connecting the knee pads otherwise, it might come out while in play—seems loose

6. Ab Rocket Twister — Best for Beginners 

Ab Rocket Twister

This is a simple-to-assemble, easy-to-use and compact ab machine. Ab Rocket designed it to isolate your core and help cut out those obliques. At the same time, while strengthening your entire core muscle group with every rep.

How does the Ab Rocket Twister work?

Its genius comes out in that you can use the Ab Rocket Twister in a variety of abs toning exercises.

Simply set it up. Then yank out the pin that secures the seat from the side, and you are all set to swivel.

Pros

  • Simple, compact and for a variety of DIY home ab workouts
  • Space-saving design, yet lightweight enough if you choose to take it outside and work those abs in the yard
  • Well-build although it can feel somewhat rickety for some
  • 3 resistance levels for beginners and all the way to advanced athletes—scalability!
  • Comes with a DVD to help you slide into the best workout level in a snap
  • You’ll like the meal plan they include in the box

Cons

  • Might not offer great results without the prior positioning, posture, and intensity-building tips the DVD proposes

The Ab Rocket Twister is a simple, compact ab machine for a variety of DIY ab workouts you can do in the comfort of your home.


7. Weider Power Tower Dip Station — Best Multipurpose Machine

Weider Power Tower Dip Station

Here is one of our favorite ab machines—and the reasons you might like it too.

First, there are the several core-strengthening exercises you can engage on this machine. Think pull-ups, dip-downs, push-ups, as well as vertical and straight out knee raises. However, the Weider power tower dip station is not suitable for sit-ups.

Then there are the two, thick, and double-stitched foam pads. These ones come in handy to cushion your arms during those vertical knee raises. You can avoid injury and support your raises for longer that way. Also comes with padded hand grips to help you hold on firmly.

There’ enough space to do hip flexors, as well as twists and turns to target your obliques. That means a stronger mid-section and zero flab (or love handles) for a long time (a good diet helps too!).

It works perfectly when you need to hit those deep core muscles, glutes, chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Weider's Power Dip Station is one kickass, versatile and challenging piece of equipment.

A few moments on it and you are wounded!

Anyone below 350 pounds can use it without a glitch. And its skid-resistant rubber floor rests improve safety.

With good posture and positioning, you can easily avoid back strain and injury. At the same time, you can use it to burn fat.

But, you might want to start with an ab machine that is a little less badass before showing up for this one.

Assembling the heavy parts will require extra hands. But being only a one-time exercise it should not be a problem for most people. Plus the heavy base ensures the whole thing does not tip over while you pull your weight up.

Nevertheless, if your setup feels unstable, adding a little weight on the other end will help.

Weider’s Power Tower Dip Station lets you to have it all in one sturdy, multipurpose ab machine.  

Cons

  • ​Not exactly the best ab machine for beginners (use the little steps on it if you are not ready for full push-ups just yet)
  • The height of the pull-up bar is non-adjustable, so if you have a low ceiling this station might not fit in.
  • ​Not exactly the best ab machine for beginners (use the little steps on it if you are not ready for full push-ups just yet)

Check out what Jeremy does with this bad boy:


8. Ab Roller Evolution

Ab Roller Evolution

The Ab Roller is so easy to assemble and use that even beginners will unpack it and get going in less than 10 minutes. You only need to assemble five pieces together.

Portability is a breeze and it slides into even the smallest home gym or living area.

You’ll be using it a lot because the Ab Roller Evolution also happens to be oh so versatile. Simply flip it over and it transforms into a dip-downs, push-ups and crunches power station. You don’t get this every day. So what’s on offer here is a good bonus; you can work your arms, chest, shoulders and back with only one ab machine.

There’s more:

Unlike other similar equipment, such as Perfect Fitness’ Crunches, the Ab Roller Evolution has allocations for screws. You can add weights to it to rev up your ab toning routines and sculpt those abs and obliques some more (talking to you guys!).

How do you do that?

Here’s some quick demo:

The Ab Roller Evolution packs many uses in its simple, solid, compact and affordable setup. A must-have

Pros

  • ​Sleek, smooth ergonomic design
  • Flips over for a total upper body workout
  • Good neck and head support
  • Well-build to last
  • Easy to use and store crunch tool

Cons

  • You need to load it with weights unless you only want a lean stomach and zero defined abs

9. Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer

Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer

This compact piece of equipment is your go to if you want a pain-free, fun start to defining that mid-section or torching those love handles.

The Ab Doer is decidedly lightweight yet study. And if you can’t get enough of Netflix in the living room, you can bring this machine with you and put in the work from there.

But where it really excels is in the fact that you can use the Ab Doer Twist to kickstart your journey as a beginner in ab workouts.

Expect to work your arms, shoulders, back, upper and lower back and a bit of chest too. Just sit on the swivel-action seat, grab the arm bars extending from the flexible center bar, then twist and turn like your life depended on it.

They included a workout DVD to help guide your first steps to a great start.

The massage roller mounted on the central bar is a cool addition. It helps to massage your back along the spine, and you might like the relief it affords you.

Advanced athletes can use the resistance tuner under the swivel seat to increase resistance to a challenging level.

The Ab Doer Twist Abdominal Trainer is great for you if you want if you want a pain-free, fun start to defining that mid-section or torching those love handles. Great for beginners   

Pros

  • ​Those twists,turns and leans can pack a punch if you do them right and consistently
  • Doubles as a cardio workout platform
  • Flexible chair promotes flexibility and lower body workouts too
  • Well-made to last and support your frame and weight

Cons

  • Recommend this for complete beginners.

10. CSX Dual Ab Wheel — Cheap Must Have

CSX Dual Ab Wheel

An ab wheel is the most basic ab machine that actually works. Also, an ab wheel is easy to use, ferry around, buy (availability and affordability).

But even basic ab wheels are not made equal.

Now, Valeo’s Ab Wheel is quite popular. But you might like the CXS Dual ab-toning wheel more. CSX's ab wheel comes with comfortable and non-slip foam handles.

Valeo’s (sculpted) plastic hand grips can become rather slippery. And, especially if you get sweaty in the palms a few minutes into an ab workout. That could lead to injury.

The CSX ab wheel will afford you a firm grip, so you can avoid slip-ups and improve wheel control.

The straight grips attach to the steel bar running through the center of the dual wheel. There’s not much friction to hold you back here, which is a good thing.

CSX’s ab wheel simply works!

Also comes with a decent kneepad.

Pros

  • ​Wider dual wheel increases stability and reduces wobbling for better control
  • Great add to your crunch routines for a leaner abdomen
  • Excellent for full body workouts
  • Decent-grade knee mat included, easing pressure under your kneecaps (a rare bonus)

Cons

  • ​Bad posture and positioning will lead to lower back strain and pain
  • Some might find it a tad too taxing for starting out

Buying Guide for 2018

Buying ab machines is a smart health investment, so how do you ramp up your investment’s returns? Are there specific factors you’ll want to consider when buying ab machines?

Here is a quick primer. It can help you find the best ab machines for your ideal fitness level and long-term health investment.

1. Check for Durability

Durability equals reliability, ruggedness, and value for your hard-earned bucks. You’ll want to ensure the construction materials are high-quality.

For example, the best ab machines are made of gym-standard steel. The solid frame can then support your weight and hold up fine for (ideally) years.

If there are joints, check to see they are properly welded. Also check if bars are strong, well-secured, and safe enough to hold up your or your loved ones’ weight.

2. Versatility Matters

What’s not to like about a fitness machine that works almost every core muscle in your torso and in just a few moments?

With some ab machines, it won’t be necessary to climb down when you want to switch over to another exercise routine. You might have noticed this in some of the ab machine reviews here.

Some other ab machines work your biceps, triceps, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles at ago.

And all that on one affordable, top ab machine.

3. Scalability matters, too 

Research shows why many people quit before giving their best shot at fitness goals:

Taking on a bit too much, too early is bad for you.

You’ll want to look for an ab machine that allows you to grow into different levels of say, resistance. For example, some of the ab machines reviewed here offer beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

Also, you’ll want to buy an ab machine that helps you hit many muscle groups in one session. That way, you do not need to invest in extra parts or assembly work.

That kind of setup can motivate you to keep moving on up your fitness ladder. And you can save money and time you’d have to spend to replace a machine whose capabilities you have outgrown.

4. Filter for Comfort 

Still, you’ll want a challenging ab machine that motivates you to be your best in no time. But a machine that will not punish you too much.

Comfort matters. Remember discomfort leads to workout injuries, according to the National Sports Performance Association.

Watch out for ab toning equipment that comes with cushioned arm, head, neck, and backrests.

Be sure to follow what the assembly manual recommends as well. It can guide you to set things right from the start. That would help you avoid nasty, wobbly situations that could result in injury later on.

Oh, another thing.

5. Price 

Now, “affordable” is a subjective term. But everyone agrees:

If you can get a good combination of the factors we’ve just discussed here at a good price, you have yourself a good deal.

And if you can catch a discount coupon online, that would call for a little celebration too.

As a rule of thumb, though, cheap does not always equal great value for money.

Take the Ab Carver Pro for instance. While the CSX ab wheeler is cheaper, it does not equal the Carver Pro’s results, safety, and durability.

In the same way, the Ab Wheeler might be cheaper than the Ab Coaster Max. But it can wound up being less effective than the Max would for different people.

And that brings us to the next consideration.

6. Know your Body 

Depending on your body type, some ab machines might offer you better results compared to others. Discover which of the three body types you are.

That will provide you with an effective solution to figure out which are the best ab machines for you.

Finally…

That is it, folks!

Choosing the best ab machines should not be an exasperating experience. At least not now, that you have this ab machines review and buying guide to boost.

We did the work, so you would not have to.

Now, action changes everything. So feel free to choose your best and leave the rest for a start. Those are your first steps to getting a flat stomach or those washboard abs you want so badly.

Have any ab machine tips you’d like to share with the Live to Fitness community? Let your will be known in the comments section right below.