Bowflex AB Exercises

Exercises on Bowflex home gyms may not be the only options for working your abs, but the resistance offered by the patented Bowflex power rods gives your abs plenty of weight to work against. Bodyweight exercises on the floor or a stability ball are valid options for toning your abs, but the Bowflex offers several options to strengthen the abs and easily vary the amount of resistance you use. This means you can challenge your abs at your current strength level and keep them challenged over time by adding more weight as you go.

Resisted Reverse Crunch

The resisted reverse crunch exercise is a variation of the floor reverse crunch but is done against the resistance offered by the Bowflex. The upper and lower portions of the rectus abdominis are worked with the reverse crunch, as are the obliques. Begin by lying on the bench of a Bowflex with your feet close to the power rods. The knees are bent at right angles with the ankle cuffs around your ankles. Grab the top of the bench with your elbows bent. Squeeze your abs, and press your lower back into the bench. Lift your hips off the bench and bring them toward your head. The movement doesn’t have to be large to be effective. Do not use momentum to lift your hips. Make your movements controlled, including when you lower back to the bench to complete the resisted reverse crunch.

Seated Abdominal Crunch

The seated abdominal crunch is another Bowflex exercise that targets the rectus abdominis and the obliques. Like with the resisted reverse crunch, the seated abdominal crunch exercise increases the challenge of a standard ab exercise with additional resistance from the Bowflex. Begin by sitting on the Bowflex incline bench with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Your back should be touching the bench. Cross your arms on your chest with each hand holding a hand grip. Tilt your chin and round your upper back as you bring your head and shoulders forward off the bench. The arms remain in position on the chest. The middle and lower back stay touching the bench. Complete the crunch by leaning back onto the bench.

Trunk Rotation

The trunk rotation exercise targets the oblique muscles of your waist. One oblique muscle is worked during trunk rotations, so be sure that you do the exercise on each side. Start seated sideways on the flat bench with your feet on the floor. Position your right shoulder closest to the power rods. Hold the hand grips with your palms together and your arms straight, facing the power rods. Twist your torso toward the left side of your body. Your buttocks should remain firmly on the bench so that your hips do not move. Twist back to the starting position. Twist your torso to the right to work the other side.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.