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- American Council on Exercise: New Study Puts the Crunch on Ineffective Ab Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Should I Train My Abdominals Every Day?
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How to Use an Ab King Pro
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You don't necessarily need a fancy piece of exercise equipment to get a good ab workout. But if you'd like a bit of back support or don't like getting up and down from the floor, an ab exerciser like the Ab King Pro can help keep you on track. The chair-like Ab King Pro facilitates most of the same crunch-style exercises you'd do on the floor.
Pull out the locking pin that holds the "level adjustment support pipe" -- the part that holds the backrest in place -- and slide the support pipe to adjust the exercise difficulty. The lower you set the pipe, the lower the backrest will sit and the harder the exercises will be.
Replace the locking pin through the support pipe, securing it in place. Double-check that the pin is securely seated.
Warm up before your workout with about five minutes of gentle cardiovascular exercise like cycling, marching in place or walking around the block.
Sit down in the Ab King Pro. Rest your feet on the footrest or on the floor. Place both hands lightly on the handles.
Squeeze your abs, crunching forward; your hands on the handles will bring the backrest forward with you. Keep your head back against the headrest throughout the motion.
Return to the starting position in a slow, controlled motion. Keep your abs under tension the whole time, and begin the next repetition immediately without resting in the down position.
Lift one or both legs for an extra challenge; keep them elevated throughout the motion. All variations of this exercise work the rectus abdominus.
Lie with your hips sideways on the bench, thighs flat against the seat. Lie back with your shoulders and head against the backrest -- or as close as you can comfortably get -- and grasp both handles lightly.
Squeeze your abs, crunching up and letting your hands on the handles bring the backrest with you; you should feel the effort in your obliques, along the side of your torso.
Lower yourself to the starting position, keeping your obliques under tension the entire time.
Lie back on the Ab King Pro as for basic crunches: Shoulders and hips square against the machine, head on the headrest and both hands on the handles. Bend both knees and bring your legs up so your thighs are vertical.
Keep your upper body stationary as you crunch your knees up toward your chest. Your lower back should stay in contact with the Ab King Pro's backrest.
Lower your knees slowly to the starting position. This exercise also works your rectus abdominus.
Folding for Storage
Remove the locking pin holding the footrest in place. Remove the footrest and set it aside.
Remove the locking pin that holds the machine's front leg in place. Fold the front leg up against the body of the machine.
Remove the locking pin that secures the "level adjustment support pipe," which holds the unit's backrest steady. Set the support pipe aside.
Carefully fold the back of the machine flat. It is now completely collapsed and ready for storage.
Pace yourself to a slow count of two as you crunch, then another count of two as you lower back to the starting position.
Start with eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise, then work your way up to as many as 25 repetitions. If you can do more than 25 repetitions with good form, it's time to either adjust the backrest down for added difficulty or to choose a more difficult exercise.
- Pace yourself to a slow count of two as you crunch, then another count of two as you lower back to the starting position.
- Start with eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise, then work your way up to as many as 25 repetitions. If you can do more than 25 repetitions with good form, it's time to either adjust the backrest down for added difficulty or to choose a more difficult exercise.
Lisa Maloney is a travel and outdoors writer based in Anchorage, Alaska. She's written four outdoors and travel guidebooks, including the award-winning "Moon Alaska," and regularly contributes to local and national publications. She also has a background in personal training, with more than 6,000 hours of hands-on experience.