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Ab Machine Workouts vs. Free Weights Exercises

Nowadays we are bombarded with so many infomercials about all kinds of ab machines - ab-belts, ab-rollers, ab-trackers, ab-rockers, and so on - promising to get you the long desired six pack abs in just 5 minutes a day. Those cleverly marketed commercials tend to show male and female fitness models with ripped sexy abs and claim that you can achieve the same results if you use the certain product that is advertised.

But how true is it that the near-perfection bodies of these models come from working out just 5 minutes a day on these ridiculous ab machines?

Not true. In fact even if you spend hours a day using these gadgets, you will still not get such great abs. In order to get your six pack abs show you need to get rid of the abdominal fat that is covering them. And that can only be achieved through full-body multi-joint workouts and proper nutrition.

Here is the truth about what an ab machine can and cannot do for you:

Ab machines may:

  • increase the strength of your abdominal muscles
  • develop your ab muscles to a certain extent (though you will not be able to see that since they will remain covered by a thick layer of fat)
  • get covered in dust or become ugly decoratives in your living room

An ab machine will NOT:

  • reduce your belly fat
  • transform your belly into ripped six pack abs
  • make you lose weight
  • increase your overall strength
  • build you a muscular body
  • make you look like the fitness models in the infomercials

OK, so we have ruled out ab machines as a way to get great six pack abs. Now you know that you should combine full-body multi-joint workouts with proper diet in order to burn that belly fat and make your ab muscles show.

Then how about using machines to isolate and train the ab muscles in order to develop them? Are ab machines better than free weights exercises?

You can mix a few ab machines and isolation exercises into your balanced program but ab machines are certainly neither safer nor better than free weights exercises.

True, when you use an ab machine you can't drop a barbell on your head in contrast to free weights. However ab machines do not work out the stabilizing muscles and do not develop functional strength that can actually protect you from injury. They allow you to overload your spine by not requiring you to stabilize yourself.

Go to any gym and you will see many of these expensive and fancy looking machines. Still, many training experts will tell you that such machines are downright dangerous and advise you to use free weights instead. We will not get into further details in this article but if you want the full story on why machines are potentially dangerous compared to free weights you can get a copy of "The Truth about Six Pack Abs" e-book.

The choice whether you buy and use an ab machine is yours, but at least be realistic and learn the whole story.

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