Exercise! - Ab Swing

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05-25-2003, 07:16 PM
Has anyone here used the Ab Swing?

I've seen it advertised on TV a few times and it looks like it would be both fun and effective.


05-26-2003, 01:59 AM


05-27-2003, 02:30 AM
So no one so far has heard anything about this product?

05-27-2003, 10:43 AM
I've seen those commercials. There are many "miricale" fitness machines available. I always ask myself when I see these advertised on TV is why a heavy duty version are not available in a gym enviorment and why they are only available by mail order.

I'd buy a Pilates DVD instead.

05-27-2003, 05:31 PM
I'm like you... I've seen the commercials and it looks like it would work very well, but I'm just leary of buying stuff off of the television. :s: However, I have seen them up for bid on E-bay and they seem to be selling like they are going out of style and the people are liking them. I might buy one off of there and see how it works, and if I don't like it, there's a pretty good chance I could re-sell it for what I bought it for. We'll see.... :^:

As for the Pilates DVD, I did buy one at Target about a week or two ago and I HATE it! The reason that I hate it is because I am a beginner at Pilates and in the DVD, she is wanting you to do all of these moves where you have to put your head down or move it to a certain side, and you can't do it because you are trying to watch her on the video to see how to do it right! She also moves along very fast and I've had no effect so far. She does alot of things very quickly without much repitition and it just doesn't seem to be working for me. My main concern on my body is my abs, so I think I just might buy a DVD solely for abs.

05-27-2003, 09:00 PM
Holly - something caught my eye - where you said "my main concern on my body is my abs".

What exactly is the problem? If it's fat on your stomach - I can tell ya that the Ab Swing - or any other ab device - isn't going to do anything to burn fat. It might make your ab muscles stronger, but unfortunately you can't spot reduce - fat is gonna come off where it wants to. (unfortunately for a lot of us gals that means we generally lose it first in the places we *don't* want to lose it - like our boobs ;) )

Like my good friend and fellow Lady who Lifts JEC says in her signature here at 3FC...

"Abs are made in the kitchen". SO true - generally to get that six-pack all the fitness models sport, you need to be at a VERY low bodyfat percentage - under 10% generally (probably why you don't see too many women - or men for that matter - walking around with six-pack abs!).

I notice that Tylo Hunter is promoting the device (from doing a websearch). This doesn't mean she USES the Ab Swing - it merely means that the marketers paid her enough $$$ to endorse it. Just my two cents...save the $100 (or wait about 2 months when eBay will have droves of used ones for less than $40) and do regular ab exercises.

Here's an interesting article that appeared at the ACE Fitness website...
May 14, 2001
American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises

SAN DIEGO—Americans are tired of empty promises when it comes to turning flabby tummies into stronger, flatter, leaner abdominals. For those willing to put a little effort into their workout, a new study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE)—the workout watchdog—reveals the best and worst methods for getting definite results.
The study, led by Peter Francis, Ph.D., at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, compared 13 of the most common abdominal exercises, some involving equipment, and ranked them from most to least effective. Subjects in the study included 30 healthy women and men, ages 20-45, ranging from occasional to daily exercisers. They were put through a battery of exercises, including the traditional crunch, modified crunches, partial body-weight exercises and exercises using both home and gym exercise equipment. Muscle activity was monitored during each exercise using electromyography equipment.

Each of the 13 exercises were ranked for muscle stimulation in the rectus abdominus (long, flat muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen) and the obliques (long, flat muscles extending along the sides of the abdomen at an angle).

Overall, the top three abdominal exercises were bicycle maneuver, captain’s chair and crunch on exercise ball. (See below for full list of results.)

According to the researchers, although crunches on an exercise ball generated less activity in the obliques and rectus abdominus than some of the other exercises, the exercise also generated significantly less activity in the thigh muscle, making it more targeted to the abs and the best overall exercise.

Of the three pieces of infomercial equipment tested, the Torso Track faired better than the Ab Rocker. The Torso Track was only marginally more effective than the traditional crunch. However, a significant number of subjects reported lower-back discomfort while using the Torso Track. The Ab Roller was no more effective than the traditional crunch, while the Ab Rocker was up to 80% less effective. These results are consistent with ACE’s 1997 study of popular ab exercise products.

The results of this study support ACE’s long-time opinion that it is not necessary to spend upward of $150 on a piece of exercise equipment to strengthen abs. ACE recommends that if a consumer is going to invest in a piece of equipment, make it a high-quality exercise ball, which retails at approximately $30, depending on size.

For best results, Dr. Francis recommends choosing several of the top-rated exercises and doing a five-minute exercise session daily. If one exercise is uncomfortable, he says to try others until you come up with a variety that meet your needs. This will help train different areas of the muscle and prevent boredom.

No matter which method is selected, strengthening the abs is essential for preventing injuries, maintaining good posture, alleviating lower back pain, and improving performance in other athletic pursuits.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s workout watchdog, ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.

San Diego State University/ACE Abdominal Study Results

For strengthening the rectus abdominus, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Bicycle maneuver
2. Captain’s chair
3. Crunches on exercise ball
4. Vertical leg crunch
5. Torso Track
6. Long arm crunch
7. Reverse crunch
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Ab Roller
10. Hover
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

For strengthening the obliques, the 13 exercise were ranked most to least effective:

1. Captain’s chair
2. Bicycle maneuver
3. Reverse crunch
4. Hover
5. Vertical leg crunch
6. Crunch on exercise ball
7. Torso Track
8. Crunch with heel push
9. Long arm crunch
10. Ab Roller
11. Traditional crunch
12. Exercise tubing pull
13. Ab Rocker

05-28-2003, 02:47 AM
Thanks for the articly MrsJim, it was very interesting to read....

In response to your question, I do have a little excess fat on the tummy that I would like to get rid of. I weigh around 115 and my ideal weight for my height (5'0") is about 105 (says my physician). So I have about 10 lbs. that I want to lose. I wanted the Ab Swing to tone up my tummy, while I try to lose the excess fat by eating better. It just looked like something I could do and get some results... but like you said, I might just wait until I see them on E-bay for about $40 instead of $75...

Thanks for all of your advice though. You are very thorough and I respect all of what you say here on the forums. :D

05-29-2003, 12:45 PM
Anytime... ;)

Incidentally I was just at another forum and found this post - might be of interest to you...the person who wrote it is a certified trainer and made an AMAZING transformation...
For your first few years of training, you can probably train abdominals 100% without adding any external resistance. If you ever have the opportunity to have someone experienced like a trainer show you the correct form, I would take advantage of this, because abdominals are tricky to get "right" when you are trying to target the key muscles.

I can lend this little bit of advice. The main muscle that people often target, the abdominal wall, is naturally in a bulged state and only becomes flat when contracted - it is unique in that respect. However, there is another muscle that you can't see, the transversus, that is responsible for pulling your abdominal wall/stomach in. The key to having well defined, but flat, abdominals is to trigger this other muscle, the transversus. Here are a few pointers:

(1) before doing each rep, make sure you are pulling your stomach in. You can practice a "vacuum" - http://www.efitness.com/news/article.cfm/article_id,7254 or here is one with pictures: http://stephenholtfitness.com/4_point_tummy_vacuum.htm - this will get the proper contraction in place ... but you should pull it in like this when doing all abdominal work, so you work the transversus at the same time as the main abdominal wall

(2) you also want to perform a Kegel (men can do this, too). A Kegel is simply a contraction of your pelvic girdle - http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/urolog/uibcw/exerc/exerc.htm - but this helps stabilize your core so that your organs aren't moving around and throwing off your center of balance

(3) the toughest part is really focusing on having the movement come from your pelvis. The abdominal wall simply brings your pelvis closer to your sternum (on your chest). Don't get in the habit of "pulling" your head with your arms, really let the abs do the work. Don't pull with your legs or hip flexors, either. The range of motion for a true crunch is very slight - you only move a few inches - but that's all that's needed for targetting the abs and is very tough if you are doing (1) and (2) at the same time

(4) I prefer hanging work, like hanging leg raises, parallel leg raises, etc. You can buy an inexpensive pull-up bar ($20 or less) that mounts on a door frame to do these anywhere. The reason I like them so much is that they are functional - in other words, the abs stabilize you and provide balance and core strength. You don't often lie on your back, as in a crunch, so being upright, as in the hanging exercises, translates more to your functional movement .... if you are doing hanging exercises, you should not swing - if you are doing (1) and (2) then your upper torso should remain perfectly still and only your legs are moving with your pelvis as the pivot point. When you see people swinging erradically or with their trainers holding them to keep them from swinging, they aren't getting their money's worth out of the workout.

Hope this helps!

Finally, keep in mind it's not these abdominal workouts that are going to give you visible abs. So many people work so hard because they want to see their abs, but if that is your goal, you should put all of that energy into all of your training and your cardio. Train your abs for strength and injury prevention. When you drop the right amount of fat, you will see them - I know people who never do an ab exercise in their life, but when they are lean, you can see their abdomen. I know others who train like crazy but never get lean enough (they don't manage their nutrition well) and they have yet to see abdominal definition - there is a very valid saying that abs are made in the kitchen.

Also - there's another thread here in the Exercise forum I posted to yesterday regarding exercise balls (or Swiss balls) - I would recommend purchasing an exercise ball over the Ab Swing...

05-29-2003, 09:47 PM
Thanks! I'll take a look.

Hope everyone is doing well today....

Tomorrow is finally FRIDAY!!!!!!!! :dizzy: