The abdominal muscles, also known as the abs or the core, supports the body in many ways. Aside from assisting the body in various movements, the abdominal muscles also covers vital organs, such as the liver and the intestines. In health and fitness, the abs are trained for aesthetics, as they suggest a fit and strong body. In line with this, the following are the machine exercises for the abs.
Leg Raise via Captain’s Chair
Leg raises improve the entire abdominal area, particularly the lower abs. According to Live Strong, the captain’s chair is a hug machine, which is made of metal and padding. The American Council on Exercise, as cited by the publication, reveals that the exercise stands second to bicycle maneuvers for the rectus abdominis muscle.
To perform the leg raise on a captain’s chair, the person puts his feet on the lower supports, grabs the hand pegs, and leans against the backrest. Next, he carefully removes each foot from the supports and lets his legs hang toward the floor. Then, he steadily lifts his legs, bends his knees, and lifts them in toward the chest. The person pauses briefly before lowering his legs. The exercise is done for the planned number of repetitions.
Hanging Leg Raise via Pull-Up Bar
The hanging leg raise is also a reliable exercise for the abdominal area and it also engages the lower abs. According to Live Strong, the person hangs from the bar and then raises his legs in the air. He may do the leg raise either with his knees straight or bent. Also, ab straps can be hooked to the bar. These straps have padding and allow the person to rest the elbows on them while supporting the body as he pulls his knees up. The exercise is also done for the planned number of repetitions.
The stiff-arm pulldown is a pulling abdominal exercise that uses the cable machine. According to Men’s Fitness, the person sets either a cable-pulldown bar to the highest setting or a lat-pulldown machine. Next, he stands facing the cable and grasps the bar with his arms completely extended. Then, the person pulls the bar to his hips, with his arms locked and without rounding forward. As per author Anthony Yeung, this exercise also enhances the core while engaging the arms and the latissimus dorsi or lats.
Ab Crunch Machine
The abs can be trained on a bench or just a regular sit-up, but it can also be done using an ab crunch machine. As per Body Building, it is a pulling exercise that isolates the abdominal muscles.
To perform the exercise, the person chooses a light resistance and sits down on the abdominal machine, placing his feet beneath the pads. Next, he grabs the top handles, with his arms bent at 90 degrees as he rests his triceps on the pads. Then, he lifts his legs up as he crunches his upper torso, exhaling as he does the movement. A good practice is to maintain a slow and controlled movement, using the abdominal muscles to move the weight while feet and legs are relaxed. Also, it is recommended to use the weight that one can easily handle to prevent injury. Following a brief pause at the top of the contraction, the person inhales gradually returns to the initial position. The exercise is done for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Overall, the abs help support the body’s weight, movement, and internal organs; thus, exercising them promotes their function. Along with the aforementioned machine exercises, total abdominal development can be achieved with proper nutrition and adequate rest.