What is the deal with the ab machines seen on TV? We see them advertised all the time, promoted by people with perfectly sculpted bodies trying to tell us that the machine in question is the solution to all our abdominal exercise problems. The magic bullet, if you will, that will lead us on to an attractive, ripped midsection.
What is the truth though? As anyone who has actually attained the goal of having lean, defined abs will tell you, it doesn't happen without hard work and sacrifice, and definitely not in just 10 minutes a day on some abs machine. You can also bet your bottom dollar that those models advertising these machines didn't get to look like they do by using the piece of equipment that they're selling.
The Lure of the Shortcut
The real reason for the popularity of ab machines is that they exploit the basic laziness inherent in human beings these days. We want to look great, but we don't want to go through the pain of adjusting our lifestyle and making sacrifices to do so. We'd rather take slimming pills than maintain a healthy diet. We'd rather strap an electronic belt to our midsection than actually do some real exercise. We are forever looking for the perfect shortcut. Results without effort.
This is true for most of the "as seen on TV" exercise equipment. The promise of fast results, in only x minutes a day. Always sold by a model with a big smile on their face while they use the machine.
The Truth About The Ab Machines Seen On TV
In a study published in Men's Health magazine a while ago, originally done by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it was discovered that only one abs machine out of the numerous ones used in the study caused more muscle activity than the standard crunch. Machines tested included the Ab Scissor, 6SecondAbs, Torso Track and the Ab Swing.
Now, this is a fairly revealing discovery. It is well known that the crunch is not even close to being the most beneficial exercise for the abdominal muscles, yet most of these hyped ab machines could not even match it for effectiveness.
When Are Ab Machines a Good Choice
Ab machines are definitely not suitable for those interested in hard core fitness and training. They can, however, provide benefits to people who have trouble doing normal exercises without assistance. Machines like the Ab Rocket lends support for the back and neck, enabling crunches and situps to be done by people who may not normally have been able to do them.
For anyone else though, a machine like this is just a crunch aid, as that is the only exercise you can do with it. We've already noted that the crunch isn't even close to being the most effective abs exercise around.
Such is the limitations of most of the ab machines seen on TV.
In the end, perhaps the biggest failure of exercise equipment like this is that they're selling a lie...something you only discover in the fine print when they tell you that you still need to combine your use of the machine with a special diet and balanced exercise program to achieve results.
So much for just 10 minutes a day.
If you're serious about exercise and your health, stop looking for magic bullets like the ab machines seen on TV. Work out a proper all over body exercise routine for yourself and get your diet in order. Then stick to it. You'll be healthier, you'll feel great and you will actually achieve results.