Best Ab Machines of 2017 - Exercise Equipment Reviews
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
Ab Carver Pro
Ab Coaster Max
Stamina Pro Sit Up Bench
Powerline Roman Chair
and Back Extension
Ab Circle Pro
Ab Rocket Twister
Weider Power Tower
Ab Roller Evolution
Ab-Doer Twist Abdominal
CSX Dual Ab Wheel
1. Ab Carver Pro - Our Top Pick for 2018
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.
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
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.
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
(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
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
See the roman chair on the fly here:
5. 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
6. Ab Rocket Twister — Best for Beginners
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.
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
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.
Check out what Jeremy does with this bad boy:
8. 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.
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
9. 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
10. CSX Dual Ab Wheel — Cheap Must Have
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.
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.
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.
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.