The Ab Circle vs. the Ab Coaster


Hundreds of different fitness devices available promise strong, defined abs. While many are effective, it's sometimes difficult to differentiate between them. The Ab Coaster and the Ab Circle, for example, look similar. While each can be used to strengthen the core area, notable differences between the two pieces of exercise equipment exist.

Ab Circle

The Ab Circle consists of a large, circular disc and two knee pads that glide along tracks around the circumference. While kneeling on the pads and holding onto handles at the top of the disc, users assume a push-up starting position. From this position, a variety of exercises can be performed and three resistance settings are available to modify the intensity of your workout.


Push-ups are a great way to strengthen the chest and shoulder blade muscles.

Keeping your spine straight, slowly lower your chest down to the Ab Circle's handles. Do not allow your shoulders to shrug.

Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly raise back up to the starting position. Complete this exercise 10 times.

Side Crunches

Side crunches work the internal and external oblique muscles along the side of the stomach.

After assuming the starting position, rotate both knees together towards the 3 o'clock position on the Ab Circle. As you do this, keep your shoulders and upper back as still as you can.

Hold both knees in this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then return to the initial position. Complete 10 repetitions and then repeat in the opposite direction.

Fire Hydrants

This exercise challenges muscles on the side of the hip, particularly the gluteus medius.

From the starting position, keep the left knee steady and slowly glide the right knee pad along the rim of the disc towards the 3 o’clock position.

Hold the knee here for 1 to 2 seconds and the return it to the initial position. After doing this 10 times, repeat by moving the left knee towards the 9 o’clock position while keeping the right knee steady.

Ab Coaster Design

The Ab Coaster utilizes a rotating knee pad that glides along a track arcing toward a pair of handles. Unlike the push-up position utilized on the Ab Circle, users of the Ab Coaster assume more of a tall kneeling posture when beginning an exercise. The height of the knee pad is adjustable and there are posts for weights on either side of it to increase resistance. This design allows it to be used to target several different core muscles.

Kneeling Crunch

This exercise activates the rectus abdominis and specifically targets the lower ab muscles.

Assuming the starting position, stabilize the upper body with the handles and slowly bring your knees closer to your arms by moving the knee pad along the track.

Hold at the highest point for 1 to 2 seconds and then lower back to the resting position. Repeat 10 times.

Side Crunches

Like on the Ab Circle, this exercise targets the oblique muscles on the side of the abdomen.

While in the starting position, rotate the knee pad by 45 degrees to the right.

Slowly bring your legs closer to your arms by gliding the knee pad along the machine’s track. This will side bend your trunk to the left side.

Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. After 10 repetitions, repeat on the opposite side.


To properly strengthen the abdominal muscles, do two to three sets of each exercise. This should be done two to three times each week.


Both the Ab Circle and the Ab Coaster offer effective ways to strengthen the abdominals. The Ab Coaster may be better suited for individuals looking to target the rectus abdominis and lower abdominal region, while the Ab Circle better incorporates hip strengthening into a work out.

In addition, the starting position utilized by each device challenges different areas. When using the Ab Circle, you bear weight through the shoulders which activates the rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles. On the other hand, the grip used on the Ab Coaster's starting position targets the biceps.