The 10 Best Ab Machines of 2022 for Home Use

After 16 hours of testing, Vinsguir’s Ab Roller had our abs firing the most

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Best Ab Machines

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

A strong core can help you maintain proper exercise form, allowing you to avoid injury and stay active for longer as you age. Ab machines are great because they make targeting your abs easier.

Tested & Approved

Vinsguir's Ab Roller is compact enough to take on the road while still offering an ab workout tough enough for any fitness level. Tristar Products’ Ab Coaster MAX is the perfect addition to any home gym and works the whole core.

When it comes to picking ab machines, choose one "that lets you train in multiple planes of motion, not just up and down like crunches,” Parker Oliver, CFSC, certified functional strength coach and chief operating officer of BRX Performance, says.

We purchased 19 ab machines to evaluate in The Verywell Testing Lab. Over the course of 16 hours, nine testers completed a variety of exercises with the products and rated them on a scale from 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) based on various attributes, including unboxing, assembly, ease of use, quality and comfort, portability, versatility, and value.

Based on our testing, these are the best ab machines on the market.

Best Ab Roller: Vinsguir Ab Roller

4.8
Vinsguir Ab Roller

Amazon

Pros
  • Comfortable handles

  • Portable

  • Quiet

Cons
  • Not suitable for beginners

  • Included knee pad is fairly thin

Affordable, efficient, and quiet, ab rollers can be a convenient and effective addition to a home gym. With a compact design, the Vinsguir Ab Roller is easy to store and take outdoors or on the road, which is why we gave it a 5 out of 5 for portability and one of the reasons we picked it as one of the top ab machines on our list. It comes with very clear instructions, and we found the set-up to be very easy, with no tools required.

Doing an ab rollout is definitely not a beginner move, so while the roller is a very simple piece of equipment, it’s recommended for intermediate or advanced exercisers. Generally, the roller performed well in our Lab testing and was safe and easy to use. Our tester noted that the foam handles molded to her hand shape and was a more comfortable alternative to hard plastic handles. However, we found the included knee mat to be fairly thin and flimsy, so you may want to use a different mat at home for better knee protection. 

Overall, the roller’s budget-friendly price definitely makes it a great option to try if you want to add some variety and challenge to your ab workouts.

Vinsguir Ab Roller Wheel

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

This is an effective and affordable tool for those looking to step up their ab routine. I would recommend this to friends with an intermediate to advanced fitness level.” —Dana Ingemann, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Ab Coaster: Tristar Products Ab Coaster MAX

4.6
ab-coaster

Courtesy of Amazon 

Pros
  • Fairly easy to assemble

  • Cushioned handles

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not portable

If you have room for a fitness machine, consider investing in an ab coaster, like the Tristar Products Ab Coaster MAX. Because the machine relies on a simple sliding motion, it’s incredibly straightforward to use, earning it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for ease of use.

To use the machine, you simply stand or kneel on the built-in, cushioned foot-and-knee plate and, while gripping the handlebars, engage your core to bend your knees and slide the foot-and-knee plate up toward your chest. Then, keep your core engaged as you slide the foot-and-knee plate back down to the starting position in a slow, controlled manner. We found this exercise to be very effective at working both the upper and lower abs without putting any strain on the neck or back. 

To make the exercise more or less challenging, simply speed up or slow down the motion. You can even use your obliques to twist the foot-and-knee plate to challenge your side abs instead.

The ab machine supports up to 300 pounds, and our testers found it to be very sturdy while using it. As one of the larger machines on our list, the ab coaster was still fairly easy to assemble—our tester was able to assemble it on her own in half an hour—so we gave it a 4.5 out of 5 for our assembly attribute.

Our testers also noted that the cushioned handlebars were comfortable, allowing for good grip, even with wet hands. Although this machine is very effective and can even be fun for those with established core strength, it might be too challenging for some beginners. It also takes up more room than other ab exercise equipment we tested. But we’d still recommend it to someone who has dedicated space for a home gym.

Tristar AbCoaster MAX

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

"I really enjoyed using this machine. I love that you can add extra weights on the seat to make the workout even more challenging!" —Maia Magill, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Sit-up Foot Anchor: Aduro Sport Doorway Exercise Bar

4.4
Aduro Sport Doorway Exercise Bar

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable

  • Compact

  • Good for beginners

Cons
  • No exercise guide included

  • Not very versatile

A simple yet effective addition to any home gym, this Aduro Sport Doorway Sit-up Exercise Bar allows you to better isolate your abs during sit-ups and crunches, while keeping your feet firmly in place.

During our test, we found it easy to set up and use, giving it a 4.5 out of 5 for both our ease of use and assembly attributes. To get started, simply slide the bar under a door and tighten the clamp to secure it in place. Then, slip your feet under it and use it to anchor your feet during a variety of ab exercises. 

Our tester found the ergonomic reinforced-steel, foam-covered ankle bar to be durable and comfortable, allowing for good control and traction while she performed exercises. While our tester was impressed with how much keeping your feet anchored with this tool increased the burn during sit-ups and crunches, she found that it wasn’t very useful for other exercises, which is why we gave it a 3 out of 5 for versatility. 

Unlike some of the other products we tested, it also didn’t come with an exercise guide, which can be especially useful for beginners. But the ankle bar is compact and portable, so it’s still a nice option for small spaces—you can even bring it to the office or on a road trip.

Aduro Sport Doorway Sit-Up Exercise Bar

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“If you're someone who has trouble keeping your feet on the ground during ab exercises like sit-ups and crunches (like I am), it would be really helpful to have this on hand.” —Rachel Nussbaum, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Two-Set Ab Roller: SKLZ Core Wheels

4.5
SKLZ Core Wheels

Amazon

Pros
  • Portable

  • More versatile than a single ab roller

  • Comes with training guide

Cons
  • Not suitable for beginners

  • No knee mat included

For intermediate and advanced exercisers looking to take their core workouts to the next level, the SKLZ Core Wheels can help you get more out of your planks, push-ups, and other exercises. We were impressed with how easy it was to get started with them, with no assembly required. The wheels are also very lightweight and could easily be carried in a gym bag, which earned them a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for portability.

The wheels can be used to do variations of ab rollouts, as well as traditional core exercises, giving you the ability to tone core muscles at once from different angles. Since this set includes two ab rollers instead of one, we found it to be more versatile than the Vinsguir Ab Roller, so we gave it a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for versatility. 

The set comes with a training guide, so you can choose from a variety of exercises and find the ones that work best for you. Our tester noted that the wheels glided smoothly, and the ergonomic foam handles were comfortable and easy to use. If you’re looking for simple but versatile equipment for a home gym, these wheels are a solid choice.

SKLZ Core Wheels

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“These core wheels have a simple design and concept, but their ease of use depends on your existing core strength. Overall, they’re usable for different kinds of exercises, are portable, and user-friendly.” —Madison Yauger, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Core Sliders: Synergee Core Sliders

4.7
Synergee Core Sliders

Amazon

Pros
  • Compact and portable

  • Work on multiple surfaces

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Plastic can scratch easily

  • May be too small for large feet

Core sliders offer a convenient way to make your workouts more dynamic and intense, and this set from Synergee is an affordable, high-quality option. During our Lab testing, we found it easy to get started since there’s no assembly required, and they’re very straightforward to use, which earned them a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for ease of use. Compact and lightweight, they’re also great for small spaces and to take on the road, which is why we gave them a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for portability.

The sliders are dual-sided, so they can work on just about any surface. Use the grippy foam side when dealing with smoother floors, and flip to the plastic side on carpets. Our tester noted that using the sliders required greater core engagement and concentration compared to similar bodyweight ab exercises, which made the exercises harder but also more effective. 

Although we didn’t find this pick to be as versatile as some other ab equipment when it comes to working out your abs specifically—which is why we gave it a 4 out of 5 for versatility—they’re still ideal for moves like mountain climbers, planks, body saws, and knee tucks. Plus, you can also use sliders to increase the challenge of exercises for other body parts, like sliding leg curls or side lunges.

Synergee Core Sliders

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“These sliders added a nice challenge to mountain climbers and knee tucks. They're not the most versatile pick when it comes to ab exercises specifically, but great if you enjoy making basic ab exercises harder. Plus, they can be used for a variety of other non-ab exercises to tone your whole body.” —Rachel Nussbaum, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Bench: XMark Fitness Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench

4.8
XMark Fitness Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Sturdy frame

  • Adjustable

  • Ergonomic leg holder

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Can’t be used in flat position

The XMark Fitness Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench will make a solid addition to any home gym. Because its decline level is adjustable to various degrees, we found that it can be used for all levels of fitness—simply increase the decline if you want to make ab exercises like decline sit-ups more challenging, or decrease the decline to take a load off.  

During our Lab test, we found it to be very accessible for all levels of exercisers, rating it a 5 out of 5 for ease of use. The bench can be adjusted to 12 different decline settings, and it’s particularly effective for exercises such as decline sit-ups, bicycle crunches, and Russian twists. 

Made of a heavy-duty steel frame, it’s very sturdy and durable, which is why we gave it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for quality and comfort. Although it takes up a lot more space than some other ab equipment we tested, the built-in wheels allow it to be easily moved and stored away when necessary.

We also love that the foam-lined leg holder and plush padding on the bench are durable and comfortable, making exercises more enjoyable. Although the bench can be adjusted to multiple decline angles, our tester noted that it can’t be made completely flat, so it can’t be used as a traditional weightlifting bench for exercises like the dumbbell chest press.

XMark Fitness Adjustable Decline Ab Workout Bench

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“This bench is great for users of all levels, but especially for advanced users, because it can be adjusted to make exercises easier or more difficult. I also like that it's very sturdy and comfortable to use. I just wish you could make the bench flat for even more versatility.” —Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Senior Commerce Editor, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best Power Tower: Bang Tong & Li Power Tower

4.6
Bang Tong & Li Power Tower

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Sturdy frame

  • Adjustable height

  • Cushioned handles

Cons
  • Expensive

  • May not work for very heavy people

If you’re looking to challenge your upper body and back, in addition to your core, you can’t go wrong with a power tower like the Bang Tong & Li Power Tower. While some towers are complicated to assemble and use, we found this one to be simple and straightforward, giving it a 4 out of 5 for assembly—a good score for a product of this size. 

Throughout our test, the sturdy piece of equipment proved to work well for both exercises that specifically target the core, like vertical knee raises, and also for upper body moves like pull-ups, dips, elevated push-ups, and reverse chin-ups. This versatility earned the piece of equipment a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for our versatility attribute. 

Crafted from heavy-duty steel, the tower boasts a weight capacity of 330 pounds and has six adjustable heights, from 74.8 to 82.68 inches. Our tester found the foam-covered handles easy and comfortable to grip, even with wet hands. The tower also comes with a manual that has instructions and photos for exercises you can do with it. 

Although it’s not as portable and compact as some other ab machines we tested, the tower is a versatile, durable addition to any home gym.

ab machines test

Verywell / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“This ab machine is great for advanced users. I also feel that it is fairly versatile as you can do various ab exercises with it, but also exercises for other body partslike push-ups and pull-ups. Overall, I think it would be a great ab trainer addition to a home gym.” —Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Senior Commerce Editor, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best Hanging Ab Strap: Dmoose Ab Straps

4.5
Dmoose Ab Straps

Amazon

Pros
  • Durable and well made

  • Portable

  • Easy to set up

Cons
  • Need a pull-up bar, tower, or something to hang from

  • Straps could be wider

If you’re particularly bent on targeting your lower abs, but your lower back can’t stomach exercises like lying leg raises, you may want to consider adding these hanging ab straps to your gym routine. Simply attach these straps to a pull-up bar or power tower, use them to support your elbows, and seamlessly perform exercises like hanging leg raises or side leg raises. We particularly recommend this piece of equipment to someone who has a weak grip and struggles to hold on directly to the pull-up bar during these types of exercises. 

During our Lab test, the straps were easy to set up and use, receiving a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for both assembly and ease of use. Lightweight, portable, and easy to store, they can be used at home or at the gym, as long as you have access to a pull-up bar or power tower (or another sturdy object to safely hang them to). 

The straps allow you to do knee raises, leg lifts, pull-ups, and other intensive moves that will isolate your abdominal and oblique muscles while putting minimal pressure on your back. Our tester also noted that the nylon, rip-resistant material felt very durable and comfortable.

While some other ab exercise gear may be a bit more versatile, these straps are a budget-friendly, effective option for advanced exercisers who like ab-shredding workouts that aren’t on the floor.

DMoose Hanging Ab Straps

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

What Our Testers Say

“I like that the material that goes under the arms is soft, which makes it comfortable to use and easy for various exercises. I only wish the supportive straps were set slightly wider to accommodate a variety of body shapes and sizes.” —Robert Tutton, Verywell Fit product tester

Best Exercise Ball: Epitomie Fitness Active Balance Exercise Ball

4.8
Active Balance Exercise Ball

Amazon

Pros
  • Multiple accessories included

  • Durable

  • Good for all exercise levels

Cons
  • Exercise guide has to be downloaded

  • May not work as a chair replacement

Although we did not test this ball as part of our ab machines test, it earned the top spot in our prior exercise balls test (view results for the exercise ball test here), so we decided to add it to this list as it’s also a very good tool for working out your abs. 

Versatile and budget-friendly, this exercise ball works well for many ab and lower body exercises, which is why we gave it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for versatility. It also comes with a set of three resistance bands that we found to be durable and easy to use. During our test, the set-up was very straightforward, and the included pump worked very efficiently to inflate the ball.

Made with high-quality PVC material, our tester found that the ball felt very durable and smooth against her skin, earning a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for feel and comfort. Our tester also noted that the ball offered good stability, and she had no trouble completing a set of exercises on it. The surface is slightly textured, so it was grippy enough to prevent slipping, even when our tester used it with wet hands and legs.

If you want to take the ball on the road, it’s relatively easy to deflate, which is why we gave it a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for portability. We were also impressed with its accompanying exercise guide, which includes workouts suitable for beginners and advanced users. Our tester did note that downloading the guide was a bit tedious but worth the effort for the included full-body exercise instructions.

exercise balls test

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

What Our Testers Say

“I was very impressed by this exercise ball. For less than $30, you get a super durable ball, three loop bands, and a very effective pump. It took me less than five minutes to fully blow up the ball, and I didn't have any trouble blowing it up at all. I would recommend this ball to anyone who is looking for a reliable, versatile, and well-priced exercise ball.” —Isabella Broggini, NASM-CPT, Senior Commerce Editor, certified personal trainer, and product tester

Best Half Ball: Sportneer Half Balance Ball

4.5
Sportneer Half Balance Ball

Amazon

Pros
  • Anti-slip base

  • Features resistance bands with handles

  • Durable and sturdy

Cons
  • Not very portable

  • Not easy to inflate

Another product we tested during our previous exercise ball Lab test included this half exercise ball (also called the Bosu ball). It's on our list of best ab machines because it’s great for balance, stability, and traditional ab exercises. During our test, we found this Sportneer half ball to be well-made and durable, thanks to its thick, anti-burst material and non-slip platform base.

Due to its unique shape, pumping up the half ball wasn’t as simple as pumping up the traditional exercise balls we tested. But once we were able to inflate it, the ball was easy to use and comfortable, earning a score of 4.5 out of 5 for feel and comfort. 

We liked that the half ball can be used in two ways—use it with the flat part on the floor for more beginner-friendly balance and core exercises (like sit-ups), or flip the flat part to the ceiling to increase the stability challenge, and use it for exercises like stability ball planks and push-ups.

The included resistance bands add to the ball’s versatility, allowing you to do upper body exercises (like curls and presses) in addition to ab exercises. The ball also comes with a helpful workout guide that offers sample exercises to try.

Unlike a full-size balance ball, it’s not very compact when deflated, which hurt its portability score—we ended up giving it a score of 3 out of 5 for portability for this reason. However, the ball could easily be stored under a bed or in a closet if you don’t have dedicated space for a home gym.

exercise ball test

Verywell Fit / Tamara Staples

What Our Testers Say

"This ball is entirely different from most since it has a half-sphere shape instead of a full sphere. However, I actually liked it more because I use balance balls for stability exercises more than strength training. I’ve also tested a bunch of resistance bands and found that the ones included with the Sportneer ball are both durable and easy to use." —Megan Foster, Verywell Commerce Writer and product tester

Final Verdict

There are tons of different ab machines out there, and which one is best for you will depend a lot on your preferences and goals. If you’re craving a core workout that isn’t sit-up-centric, we recommend Vinsguir’s Ab Roller. It will help you build strength in your upper body and core, and you can modify your ab roller workouts to be as challenging as you want them to be.

We think Tristar Products’ Ab Coaster MAX is a great pick for anyone who loves working out on a full-blown machine. And Aduro’s Sport Doorway Exercise Bar is a small space-friendly choice for users of all levels who are looking to upgrade their sit-ups.

How We Rated the Ab Machines

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best ab machines we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These ab machines are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great ab machines, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These ab machines are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend ab machines with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Tested the Ab Machines

To narrow down the best ab machines, we purchased 19 pieces of equipment to evaluate in The Verywell Testing Lab. Over the course of 16 hours, nine testers completed a variety of exercises with the products and rated them on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend), based on unboxing (initial impressions), assembly, ease of use, quality and comfort, portability, versatility, and value. 

Best Ab Machines Test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Our testers received guidelines for how to score each ab machine according to these attributes, with explanations for what constitutes a 1 out of 5, a 5 out of 5, and everything in between. We also gave each product we tested an overall rating, which reflects whether or not we would recommend it to a friend. 

Abdolly Core Training System

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

To accurately evaluate each product, testers completed a set of exercises that were specific to the type of ab machine they were testing—ab rollers were tested by doing exercises like ab rollouts, whereas power towers were tested with exercises like hanging leg raises. Portable equipment was tested on various surfaces—on a mat, hardwood, and carpet—to determine whether they could be used on multiple surfaces.

If the product came with any accessories (like resistance bands), we also tested those for quality and performance. To evaluate how each product would perform during sweaty workouts or in a humid environment, we performed a “wet test” where we simulated sweat by spraying salty water on testers’ hands, wrists, or ankles. We then performed the same exercise circuit to determine whether the machine’s grip, traction, or performance was affected by the moisture.

What to Look for in an Ab Machine

Fitness Level

There are tons of different ab machines out there—some of which are beginner-friendly and some that are more advanced. Consider where you are in your fitness journey, and select a piece of equipment that meets you there.

“A machine that works the entire core—which includes the rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, and internal and external obliques—is necessary no matter your fitness level,” Shelby Morrison, certified personal trainer and owner of ShelbyFit, says. She explains that all machines should provide you with a good range of motion and that you should feel safe and comfortable using them.

Size

Champion Sports Medicine Ball

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Some ab machines are bulky, while others are decidedly small and space-friendly. Consider your space—and your habits—when selecting a piece of equipment. Do you like working out on the go? Make sure to select a more portable option. Have plenty of space to spare? Feel free to spring for a big machine. 

Morrison says that you don’t need a lot of equipment for a productive workout. “For example, an ab roller is very small yet very effective!”

Workout Style

Different ab machines lend themselves to different ab workouts, so find one that suits your preferences. If you hate sit-ups, avoid ab rockers and roman chairs—try an ab roller or ab coaster instead. Likewise, if you love cardio, opt for an ab machine that will encourage a more active workout—like a power tower.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the most effective ab workout?

    If you want to get stronger and continuously challenge your entire core— including your stomach, back, glutes, and pelvic floor muscles—planks are the way to go, says Kelvin Gary, NASM-CPT, the owner of Body Space Fitness in Manhattan. Another plus: “You can safely and consistently challenge your core by doing increasingly challenging variations,” Gary says.

    Beginners should start by doing a plank with their elbows on the ground for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, once that becomes easy, you can challenge yourself by lifting one foot at a time off the ground and alternating back and forth. “This shifts your center of gravity and forces your core to work harder,” Gary says.

    For advanced exercisers, Gary recommends trying a high plank on your hands with gliders. Place your hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders above wrists, and put each foot on a glider. Then, with your stomach and glute muscles engaged, slide your feet out and in like you’re doing a jumping jack. To protect your back and keep the exercise challenging, don’t let your butt or hips move too much.

  • How often should you do ab workouts?

    Whether you hit the gym two days per week or five, Gary believes that abs should be a part of every workout. Ideally, ab exercises should be done after a warm-up (think: foam rolling and dynamic moves like bodyweight squats) and before any cardio or strength training. “Doing core exercises first warms up the entire body and gets the abs ready to support and stabilize the other muscles as they continue to work,” Gary says.

  • How long should an ab workout be?

    Made up of type one muscle fibers, your abs are built for endurance, Gary says. But that doesn’t mean you need to do a million exercises to warm up or build six-pack abs: “It’s hard to overdo it, but at the same time, you don’t want to over-cook the turkey,” he says.

    “When building a program for a client, I generally include one or two exercises,” Gary says. “If you’re doing rep-based movements like hanging knee raises or a slow mountain climber, I recommend doing three sets of 10 to 12 reps. For time-based movements like planks and farmer’s carries, do three sets of the exercise for 30 to 60 seconds.”

    If you want to challenge your core with more than two exercises, Gary recommends adding an additional one or two movements at the very end of your workout.

abs machine test

Verywell Fit / Nick Kova

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A certified personal trainer, running coach, gym buff, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, spends countless hours researching and testing the latest exercise gear and gadgets. She only recommends products that she can genuinely stand behind and that she believes would be a good investment for her readers.