Attaining a perfectly ripped abdominal is no joke. To achieve that, one needs to put in a ton of effort, eat right, exercise right, and most importantly, use the right equipment! The search for the perfect equipment to shape up your abdominal is a headache to say the least. There are numerous exercise tools out there designed to cater to different levels of fitness requirement. Which one best suits yours? How do you decide? That’s what we are here for!
While there is no equipment out there that will give you six-pack abs in “no time”, here are some of the top pieces of equipment which, over a course of time, with consistent workouts, are sure to provide you with a strong core and rock hard abdominal.
1. Ab Wheels
This compact and portable piece of equipment has been a loyal workout buddy for anyone with an interest in developing a strong core and a flat abdominal. Even though it was initially designed to be applied in a particular way -on your knees – but in order to spice things up, it has been redesigned and innovated to fit other exercise routines. You can now use your average run-of-the-mill ab wheel to perform carvings while standing, with one leg, or using the dumbbell shaped ab wheel.
So how does the ab wheel actually operate to give you your flat abs? Here’s how:
- It uses your upper body strength.
- The ab wheel provides resistance both ways; when you’re rolling out and rolling in. That way, you’re burning more fat.
- The obliques and other abdominal muscles are recruited during the ab rollout exercise-especially when you’re rolling left and right-making them work really hard.
If you’ve never used an ab wheel before, be sure to start slow. One of the beauties of this equipment is that, it’s not the quantity, rather the quality, of your rolling that matters. Roll slowly, so that your arms, obliques and your abdominal muscles are really getting their exercise.
This equipment is cheaper-available within $7-$35 depending on the brand you pick. It is also light and portable.
2. Medicine Balls
A lot of you might roll your eyes at the idea of this 8 pound medicine ball to sculpt your arms and abs. But in order to get that flat abdominal, you need to hit it from every angle. And the medicine ball will do just that.
Wonder where it got its name from? Originating in Persia and used since the ancient Greek era, this medicine ball has been a source of muscle rehabilitation for 3000 years now.
There are several ways to perform this exercise:
- Kneeling Partner Twist – Sit back to back and pass the ball really quickly to a partner from opposite sides
- V-Sits and Pass to Partner – Lie partially on the floor and toss ball to partner
- Medicine Ball Chest Pass – Toss the ball against the wall and as rebound; allow it to hit your chest.
- Medicine Ball Stomach Hit – Same as above, only the ball will hit the stomach instead.
Your core muscles are the center of your strength. The medicine ball is aimed to build rock solid core, burn fat, and tone the muscles. Let’s see how the above exercises with the Medicine ball will impact your abdominal:
- All the exercises are performed with your core tucked in.
- When you perform each move quickly without break, you tighten your core muscles.
- Increase abdominal strength and overall core stability.
At a beginner level, start off with a lighter ball, and then increase the size over time.
3. Pull Up Bar/Chin Up Bar
The pull up is also referred to as the chin up bar. It is one of the most effective exercise equipments that will hit those muscles hard. A traditional pull up on a bar may look easy to perform, but is really difficult to master. This is because it utilized your own upper body weight to recruit multiple muscles to work simultaneously.
So what works on your abs? There are multiple exercises that you can try on a pull up bar:
- Traditional Chin up – To lift yourself up till your chin is in line with the bar, and then lower your body till your arms are straight above you.
- Hanging Hip – While hanging on a bar, bring your knee up to your face, and then hang back. Continue for some time.
- Hanging oblique knee raises – Again, this is performed while hanging. Lift your knees up to your right side first, then your left. Here, you are working every angle of your obliques.
- One-hand pull ups – Performed just like the traditional way, this exercise uses just one arm to lift your body weight.
The above mentioned are just some workouts you could perform with a pull up bar. Let’s take a look at what these exercises are doing to actually contribute to the flat abdominal:
- The grip on the bar, and the total suspension of your body on the bar, will strengthen your upper body and tone your abdominal.
- When you continue your reps, it simultaneously tones your muscles and burns body fat.
Throughout the course of your workout, you’re hanging freely. Every muscle in your upper body is being exercised. This freestanding equipment is readily available in sports’ goods stores and online, and will provide you with the perfect workout.
4. Balance Ball Workouts
Working out does not have to be a chore. Are you looking for a more relaxed and fun way to lose that extra fat? Well, look no further than this balance ball. This choice of workout equipment will give you a strong core while you sit at home.
The balance ball is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used in numerous ways. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Balancing Act – Lie face up with your lower back against the ball. Stretch your arms above your head, straight. Allow your feet to touch the ground, but push back slightly with emphasis on your midsection.
- Kick-back – Lie face down on the ball, with your midsection directly over it. Keep your legs straight and balance the ball on your toes.
- Stability Ball V-Pass – Lie face up on the floor, with your arms over your head, gripping the ball. Make sure your body is straight. Next, in one motion, lift your legs and arms straight up and place the balance ball in between your feet. Keeping the ball between your legs, lower your arms and legs back to the floor. And continue the passing of the ball between your legs and hands.
Well, wasn’t that fun! Let’s see what this is doing to your core:
- The balance ball is aimed to compress your stomach by adding some stress on it.
- It keeps your spine and abdominal muscles engaged during the balancing.
Kettlebells look somewhat like a bowling ball, with iron handles. At first glance, they look like a small piece of equipment. That’s before you start working out with them. There is good reason for us to choose a kettlebell swing as our equipment to get those ripped abs.
With continuous use of this equipment, you will notice substantial shifts in body fat composition and six pack definition.
Let’s take a closer look at how this will impact your body…
- Due to its small size, you can conduct better rotation and swinging motions. These motions will make several of your compound muscles to work in an integrated manner, to control each swing.
- While these muscles are swinging, your abdominal is recruited by them to use the strength from your central core. This means you’re working that ab muscle as well.
- The small compact, yet heavy, Kettlebell will help your body build up strength to muscle heavy weights around.
- Kettlebell swings can be categorized as a HIIT (high intensity interval training), due to its ability to work all areas of the back in a workout. This assists tremendously in burning fat and developing cardiovascular health.
6. Rowing Machine Workouts
Tired of those workouts that will place unnecessary pressure on your joints? With a Rowing Machine, you can burn the same amount of fat without having to hit the street at neck-break speed. The rowing machine has made our list because it not only defines your abdominal; but also provides a holistic workout.
Still not sure? Let’s elaborate:
- The rowing will make your inner cores work really hard, first burning the extra fat, and then toning it.
- Total upper and lower body conditioning
- Exercising of midsection with every stroke, starting from your legs, shoulders, back and finally leading to your abdominal.
Picking the best Equipment for your Abdominal Workout
Are you finally ready to get out there and pick the perfect equipment to kick start your workout? While these reasonably inexpensive equipments are ideal to burn those extra calories and achieve that tight abdominal, they must still be combined with a healthy diet. You know the adage… Great abs are not made it the gym alone, but in the kitchen too! Yes we do realize that we paraphrased a bit, but you get the gist!
With the equipment we listed here as part of your routine workout, you will undoubtedly be able to achieve your goal of a washboard flat abdominal soon enough. Remember, dedication is key!