The Ab Trainer is an at-home exercise device that offers extra head, neck and back support during the execution of abdominal crunches. Composed of a lightweight metal frame, it employs a “patented rocker system” that supports the weight of the upper body “while mimicking spinal flexion.” The Ab Trainer is not difficult to use, but as with any exercise, correct form is important to protect the neck and spine.
Place your Ab Trainer on an exercise mat and lie down on your back so that your head, neck and arms are resting comfortably on the appropriate pads.
Grasp the padded bar above your chest with both hands, keeping your hands directly over your shoulders or slightly closer together.
Engage your abdominal muscles and slowly lift your head and shoulders off the mat, keeping your head, neck and arms in contact with the Ab Trainer.
Pause for a moment at the top of the movement and lower back to your starting position with control.
Bend your knees, place your feet flat on the floor and drop your knees over to one side, performing the exercise in the same manner as above to train the oblique muscles—the muscles extending down the sides of the torso. Switch the legs over to the other side and repeat.
Perform two or three sets of 15 to 30 repetitions of each exercise.
About this Author
Jody Braverman is a health and fitness professional and writer in Seattle. She has been a personal trainer and yoga instructor for almost a decade and is passionate about movement and helping people lead active, healthy lives.