Types of Sit Up Machines
While there seem to be an endless supply of different tools to enhance abdominal fitness, they can be reduced to a relatively small set of groups. The first to consider is the floor, which is free and universally available. Simply lie down with your knees straightened or bent and gradually raise your torso upwards, then gradually lower it. Don’t strive for maximum reps; form is far more important and the slow process will yield beautiful results with the smaller muscles enhanced. It’s more lasting. Also, you can do this at home while watching TV or listening to music, and so you can’t even call it down time. Look at the The Directory of Abdominal Exercises for some good ideas.
Next, consider the Reebok Core Board and its exercises. These enhance the results possible from a given amount of time, but it’s especially important to use them correctly. Study the directions until you’re sure that you know what you’re doing. (This is good advice for all exercise equipment.)
The Bosu Ball is a hemisphere that rests on a stable rubber base. By leaning over it, you can enhance the range of motion that’s possible for abdominal exercises, and you can get faster results than from simply sit ups.
Abdominal rollers are special harness-type sit up machines that are specially designed to enhance specific types of stretch and lift. They can be hazardous if misused, so be careful.
Hanging leg devices that hang from a surface or from your body can also be used to enhance results, but they are limited by the fact that they rely on muscles other than your abs to support the abs, which can be a problem for some users. On the other hand, abdominal straps that hang can be a solution to this problem. The key with this and all equipment is either to try it before you buy it, or get it from a reputable company that has a 100% satisfaction money back policy.
There are also electric toning devices, and some of them are hyped out of recognition from their actual functions. The Neurocare device is an exception. You can try it out in a chiropractor’s office, and then buy one after determining that it works for you.
Ab wheels are an inexpensive choice that gives extended range of motion. However, it is important to have the arm strength to control the device or you can do yourself harm.
Exercise balls are similar to the hemispherical equipment mentioned above, but they have the advantage/disadvantage that they roll. The rolling allows for development of muscles across a natural “range of motion” that is important to some persons and can enhance your balance while strengthening abs. Their instability makes your muscles work more because you’re trying to maintain balance continuously.
One good choice is a slanting board, which provides extra leverage against which your body must work. It’s similar to increasing the resistance on an exercise machine such as a track or rowing device; a higher angle means more resistance on this sit up machine.