Ab Coaster vs. Hanging Leg Raise

I’ve long been a massive fan of the hanging leg raise (or V.K.R) for training and abdominals. It’s a simple, quick and cheap exercise that’s pretty easy to pick up and get some results.

So when I discovered the new Ab Coaster my curiosity got the better of me. It was a pretty cool looking machine and it left the hips free to move as they wanted which is something many great core exercises have in common.

The Ab Coaster looked promising so I made a few phone calls and located one at a local gym where I could go and play on it for a few hours.

The mechanics of the machine are in fact very similar to the leg raise. I can feel my abdominals contract and it seems promising but after 50-60 reps I start to get bored and look for more weight to ad to the machine.

Much to my surprise, it’s already loaded to it’s max capacity of 40 pounds.

Now I started to wonder if $1,500 for 40 pounds of resistance could really hold a candle to the V.K.R.

Given that roughly 51% of the weight of the human body is in the legs, I lift well over 80 pounds with a simple standard hanging leg raise. Plus I can change the leverage to make my muscles work harder simply by straitening my legs out.

The simple hanging leg raise is much simpler and much more……well…..free. Just hang and lift your legs.

If you want to get really fancy you can buy some adbdominal straps to make hanging from a bar much easier to the tune of about $50 or so.

My Hopes for the Ab coaster Were fading Fast so I decided to learn more about the machine.

In an effort to find something of redeeming value, I look up the Ab Coaster web site and of course it’s a complete collage of pictures of people with six packs and saying how much fat they lost.

I’m not saying these images are fake or these folks are liars. I’m sure all of them have used the machine and have gotten in great shape. However I’m sure that the Ab coaster had as much of a hand in helping to shed the fat on these people as the color of the tile in their bathrooms.

Abdominal exercises do not get rid of abdominal fat. Never have. Never will.

I also discovered that there are much more affordable versions of the machine. But my excitement is dashed when I discover they hold a puny 20 pounds of max resistance. Come on! My Abs lift more than that just getting out of bed in the morning!

After spending an hour on the Ab coaster and comparing it to the leg raise I have to conclude that this is like many fitness products out there. It’s kinda fun, it’s different but ultimately it’s a complicated and expensive way to do something simple and very cheap.

Matt Schifferle

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