Who doesn't want washboard abs? Everybody does, but there is much debate about how to best achieve them.
Obviously, getting rid of body fat is the first step, but it is also important to work you abdominal muscles to define them. You don't necessarily need special equipment to get those abs, but some great products do exist to add some variety to your routine.
One very versatile piece of workout equipment is an exercise ball. This is particularly helpful for working on your abs. A "ball crunch" is said to be extremely effective for the abs and core muscles.
The exercise ball is also great for improving flexibility, strength, coordination and balance. It can be used specifically during a workout or just as something to sit on while you work on the computer or watch TV, which promotes better posture.
It is important to choose the correct size ball for your height. See my other page for more information on medicine balls.
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A foam roller may seem odd, but it is actually a great way to workout your abs in a new way. Because the foam roller provides an unstable surface, it helps to work your stabilizer muscles.
You can lie on it and do leg lifts, crunches or other core exercises. A foam roller is also great for stretching and massaging sore muscles.
Whether your goal is to get beach abs for the first time or just to maintain your existent six pack, here are some things to keep in mind before purchasing abdominal exercise equipment.
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Abdominal Products Checklist
1. Try not to be fooled by products which promise instant results. Nothing out there can remove stomach fat and give you perfect abs in a week. Whatever claim is made should have solid research as backing.
2. Make sure you are getting your money's worth. If something seems like too good of a deal, it could be. Cheaper prices can mean lower quality.
3. An ab machine is an ab machine and an ab roller is an ab roller. Just because it is endorsed by a celebrity does not mean you should pay more for it.
4. Choose equipment that meets your current fitness level. Some machines allow you to adjust resistance levels. This is good because you can adjust as your fitness level increases instead of purchasing new products.
5. Be realistic. Is the equipment comfortable and adjustable? Simple to use? Easy to store? If you end up hating the equipment, you will have wasted your money and have no abs to show for it.
6. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
7. Seek out online reviews. Other buyers may have good or bad things to say that can steer you in the right direction to make a good choice.