Core Exercise Equipment: Essentials for Core Ab Workouts

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Core Exercise Equipment: Essentials for Core Ab Workouts

The word "Core" refers to your abdominal, lower back, and oblique muscles. The term has become a buzz word over the last couple of decades and now there are almost as many pieces of equipment to work these muscle groups as there are fast food places (coincidence? I think not!).

So, of the seemingly millions of pieces of equipment to choose from, all touting almost miracle like results, which are worth your money?

Get ready, because this is going to be a long list. You need a thick exercise mat, an exercise ball and...... Well, actually that’s it. Were you expecting the Ab Lounger? No. The best pieces of training equipment you can get are a thick exercise mat and a physio-ball.

Make sure you get a mat that has some cushion to it; a yoga mat is suitable for yoga, but is not ideal for abdominal exercises. Look for a mat that is a few inches longer than the length from your head to your mid-thigh, a bit wider than shoulder width, and at least 1/4 of an inch thick.

An exercise ball (aka physio-ball, ab ball, swiss ball, core ball, workout ball, fitness ball, etc.) is a necessity for advanced moves that incorporate balance and/or a larger range of motion for your ab muscles. This is easily one of the most versatile pieces of equipment there is and is a necessity for any gym or home core workout.

People frequently choose the wrong size physio ball for their body size. For core workouts, it breaks down something like this:

35cm : for under 5'
45cm : for 5'1" - 5'7"
55cm : for 5'8"-6'1"
65cm : for 6'2"-6'7"
75cm : for over 6'8"

Whatever you do, don’t go cheap on these essential pieces of equipment. There are two reasons you should invest in a quality physio-ball; first, a higher quality version is thicker. That means it will last longer and be more burst resistant. If it gets a hole in it, the thing wont pop like a balloon; rather it will slowly deflate, saving you from embarrassment and potential serious injury.

Secondly, a higher quality, thicker physio ball will not give as much when you sit or lay on it, providing you a more solid platform to do workouts from. A cheaper ball will squash and deform easily, keeping you from getting a full range of motion and making the exercises less effective.

There are many other pieces of equipment out there that promise results, but the truth is that the most workouts only require your bodyweight. There are many challenging exercises that will help you slim down, tone, strengthen, or define your core muscles, you just have to do them! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced exerciser, check out Fitness Blender's full length workout videos to find plenty of challenging exercises for a strong midsection.