Stomach exercise machines focus a workout on the muscles of the abdomen. This creates a strong core that is required for all athletics. Stomach muscles can be exercised with simple abdominal crunches performed on the ground. However, abdominal crunches are difficult for many people to do. They put strain on the neck and back, and can also be painful when bones rub against the floor. Stomach exercise machines allow you to work your stomach muscles without these distractions.
Stomach exercise machines will not give you "six pack" abdominal muscles by themselves. Manufacturers of home stomach exercise machines want consumers to believe that their product will flatten stomachs just by using it a few times per week. This simply is not true. Stomach muscles are covered with a layer of fat. The only way to see the muscles underneath is to lose the fat. This requires a person to drop their overall body fat to a low percentage. You can not selectively lose fat in your abdomen. Stomach exercise machines will make your stomach muscles stronger, but not necessarily more attractive.
Before purchasing a stomach exercise machine advertised in a magazine or on television, you should consider several things. The models in the advertisements did not get their rock hard abdominal muscles using the machine for sale despite what the advertisement would lead you to believe. Also consider that the effectiveness of home stomach exercise machines depends entirely on how often you use them. Many of these machines sit unused shortly after purchase. Home stomach exercise machines come in two varieties. One type is a frame with pads for the head and arms. You hold on to the frame while rolling forward and back performing abdominal crunches. The pads support the head, neck and back. The second type sits between the chest and thighs. You lean forward to compress the device. You can sit in a chair while you do this.
Stomach exercise machines at gyms offer benefits that home machines do not. They are larger, more stable and are often bolted to the ground. This allows you to focus on your stomach exercises without fumbling with a flimsy piece of equipment. The most basic gym stomach exercise machine is a flat weight bench with rolling pads for the ankles. They hold the legs down while you curl your body forward. These benches are usually adjustable to increase the angle of the crunch to increase resistance with gravity. Another type of gym stomach exercise machine involves pulling a cable or handles forward to perform abdominal crunches. There are weights or bands providing resistance. Both of these types of core exercise machines are effective for strengthening core muscles. Since these machines are at the gym, they have the added benefit of actually being used. People go to the gym to work out. At home there are countless other things to do instead of using a home stomach exercise machine.
In addition to stomach exercise machines that work abdominal muscles with a crunching motion, there are other types that utilise a twisting motion. They strengthen the external abdominal oblique muscles running along the sides of the abdomen. Some keep the hips stationary while twisting the torso from side to side. Others keep the torso stable while the hips swivel back and forth. These machines at the gym use weight plates for resistance. Machines of these types made for the home use gravity or friction to provide resistance.
Some of the most effective stomach exercises are done on an exercise ball, yoga ball or balance ball. You can lie on them while performing upper and lower abdominal crunches. They take the stress off of the back and neck during the crunching motion. Twisting and lifting exercises can also be performed with the ball. This has the effect of forcing stomach muscles to stabilise the rest of the body during the exercise.