A strong core is essential to building a lean physique, protecting against injury, and optimizing strength workouts. However, a lot of people train their abs incorrectly. They treat them like an afterthought, squeezing in some bodyweight work at the end of a tough lift, or neglect to perform core training exercises that are specific to their needs (like planks, side planks, and oblique crunches). Others focus on high reps, often to the point of losing control of their form. As a result, they don’t achieve the full benefits that a strong core has to offer—like supporting the whole torso during movements and unloading back muscles, or promoting good posture.
That’s why we’re bringing you this list of the Best Fitness Ab and Core Trainers in Strength Training, to help you train your abs effectively. From beginner-friendly, all-in-one ab machines to simple bodyweight moves that will get your core tightening up in no time, this guide has you covered.
The best ab and core equipment will give you the range of motion that you need to target your abdominals and obliques. For example, the Core Max Smart Abs machine is designed to get more muscles involved than a traditional crunch tool by using both moving arms at the same time to challenge your abs and obliques in different ways. The device also includes a pair of resistance bands, which you can use to add an extra challenge to your workouts and target more upper and lower body muscles.
Similarly, the TRX Suspension Trainer is a highly versatile piece of gym equipment that’s good for building abs, but also a great way to enhance any bodyweight exercise. It’s particularly effective for incorporating core training into strength-focused exercises by adding instability to basic movements like pushups and leg curls.
To get the most benefit from your ab and core workouts, train them in a similar fashion to how you train any other muscle group. Perform higher rep ranges (up to 30 or more) when doing bodyweight exercises and focus on the quality of your form.
Incorporate a variety of total-body core exercises into your workouts. This will keep your abs and obliques feeling challenged as you progress, and it’ll prevent your body from adapting to the same routine. Incorporate core-focused movements into your lifts by performing them in the warm-up and then again during the main part of your lifts, like with a plank on the floor or an overhead side plank.
Remember, working out your abs isn’t a shortcut to a six-pack. You’ll need to train consistently, prioritize core moves that require the most energy in your workouts, and use weights to build strength—all while paying attention to nutrition to burn fat and keep your core strong. That’s the recipe for a strong core that supports your entire body, helps you maintain excellent posture, and allows you to deadlift and squat more weight.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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