Everyone wants six-pack Jersey Shore Abs and immediate results.
These desires drive the fitness business, especially supplements and devices. There are some useful devices, such as the TRX, Body Blade and Swiss Balls, that rise to the top of the flood of products and stay in mainstream use with positive benefits.
Unfortunately, too many gimmicks are released in the market that in addition to not working, they could also cause harm. Most of these target your abdominals or abs. They claim miracle results in little time, but do not take into consideration your abs’ definition is mostly influenced by genetics and diet.
With that stated, training abs with repetitive flexion (bending forward) causes damage to your spine, in particular your discs.
This is the category most abs devices fall into, they assist the crunch or sit up motion by locking the rest of your body in place. In worse cases, they lock out your body and isolate twisting at the spine. This just pulverizes your spinal discs and accomplishes very little.
Your core muscles are primarily stabilizers and not prime movers. They allow you to transfer energy to throw, run or lift.
In this sense, they limit unwanted spine motion in flexion (forward bend), extension (backward bend), and rotation.
This is where exercises such as planks, birddogs and anti-rotation presses are beneficial and more productive.
The core functions as a whole with the body and is more or less the area from your knees and shoulders. The other attribute overlooked is breathing. Correct breathing allows for these muscles to perform these duties instead of being used as a primary aspiratory muscle.
Proper body weight and free weight exercise will get you better results, less pain and save you money.