Exercise Equipment for the Stomach

The stomach muscles are commonly worked with nothing but the weight of the body. As long as you execute proper form, you can be successful with this approach. If you want to venture out of conventional routines, however, multiple pieces of exercise equipment can spice up your workouts.

BOSU

A BOSU is a training tool that has a flat side and an inflated, rounded side. You can perform stomach exercises on this apparatus to target your upper abs, lower abs and obliques. A basic exercise example is a plank. To carry out this exercise, place your forearms on the ground with your knees on top of the rounded part of the BOSU. From that position, lift your hips up in the air and contract your abs to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds.

Balance Ball

A balance ball is a piece of equipment inflated with air that is used to do multiple exercises. The premise behind this tool is that your body is off balance whenever you exercise, causing you to contract your abdominals for stability. Like the BOSU, you can work every part of your abs on the ball. The abdominal pull-in is an example of an exercise that works your upper and lower abs simultaneously. To perform it, place your lower shins on the ball and your hands on the floor straight below your shoulders. Then roll the ball on the floor toward your head and bring your knees into your chest. Next, squeeze forcefully, roll the ball back out and repeat. When your legs are in the extended position, make sure your back is straight.

Ab Wheel

An ab wheel has a handle that goes through the center. You can work your entire abdominal area with this tool, and it can be conveniently stored in a closet or corner of a gym. A common exercise with the wheel is a roll-out. To complete a roll-out, kneel on the floor with the wheel in front of you and your hands on the handles. Once there, form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders and lower your body forward as you roll the wheel on the floor. Stop when you feel a strong contraction in your stomach muscles, then roll back up and repeat. It is important to keep your back straight throughout the exercise and focus on using your abs for the movement.

Medicine Ball

Medicine balls come in hard rubber, leather or vinyl, and they can be swung, thrown or held onto for resistance to work your abs. A basic exercise is a slam, which involves standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and raising the ball above your head. Then throw the ball into the ground with all your might. Pick it back up and repeat.

Pull-Up Bar

Pull-up bars help build back muscles and upper-body strength. They can also be used to work your stomach. A hanging knee raise is an example of one such exercise. To execute one, reach up and grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and let your legs hang straight down. Next, pull your knees up to your chest and squeeze forcefully. Then lower your legs back down and repeat.

Decline Bench

Decline benches are used for chest exercises, and they can also be used for the stomach muscles. An incline crunch is an example of an exercise on a decline bench. To get into position, lie flat on the bench with your lower shins hooked under the padded support brace. Then place your hands on the sides of your head and lift your torso off the bench. While doing so, squeeze your abs forcefully. Lower yourself back down and repeat. Do not let your lower back come off the bench when you lift up.

About this Author

Kevin Rail has worked in the fitness industry since 2001 and has been writing since 2004. He has professional experience as a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, motivational engineer and freelance fitness writer. He currently writes a monthly column for Ron Jones High-Performance Health. Rail has a bachelor’s degree in sports management: fitness and wellness from California University of Pennsylvania.