- Category: Fitness
- Read Time: 4 Minutes
Having well-defined abdominal muscles is probably the most common attribute associated with fitness and yet it is also one of the most elusive. Sit-ups and crunches can tone and define this area but many times it is necessary to isolate the abs to get the results you really want.
Whether you want to build some extra strength throughout your core or you want to get more definition, abdominal equipment can help you get more out of your core training. Not all pieces of equipment are created equal; some are much more effective than others. Keep reading to learn about the best options that you aren’t using.
Physio-Ball (aka exercise ball, core ball, or stability ball)
This simple tool is great for engaging abdominal muscles in a way that sit ups just can’t match. Physio-Balls force your core to do extra work to maintain balance, which burns more calories and also tones abdominals and other core muscles in a more comprehensive way than a traditional sit up. Various companies sell stability balls, just be sure to get a high quality one; there is a big difference between the high quality and cheap versions, and the price difference is typically nominal.
Be sure to choose a physio-ball that is the right size for you - check out this Physio-Ball Size Chart for more information about what size you will need based on your height.
Though this might not be core specific, it can be used for hundreds of functional moves that tone and strengthen your ab muscles. If you have never used medicine balls in your routine before, now is a great time to start. Whether you use them at your gym or you have a few in your home gym, these are one of the most versatile tools you can own. When working with my clients I prefer to use the type of medicine ball that bounces as opposed to the soft, non-bounce variety.
Wondering what to look for in a medicine ball?
Health Mark Torso Cross
This is a more functional version of an ab wheel. It comes with two separate sets of wheels, one for each hand, which allows you to use it for movements other than just those for your abdominals. The Torso Cross also have guide wheels attached to the handles, which reduces the stress placed on your wrists.
Keep in mind that the workouts that are performed with this abdominal exercise equipment are challenging and should not be attempted by a beginner; this is for those who have already built a moderately strong core and are looking for an extra challenging abs workout.
A good mat is a must-have for any core workout routine. As you start getting into the more challenging abdominal mat workouts (whether you are using body weight, a medicine ball, Akrowheels, or a Physio-ball) you will need a good mat to protect your knees, hips, elbows, and tailbone. Having a good, thick mat will help you get more out of your workouts by preventing the loss of proper form and effectiveness due to discomfort. If you don’t already have this simple piece of equipment, you need to get one.