Ab Coaster Review – What You Should Know Before Buying
The Ab Coaster Review…
I remember back a few years ago when I first had the opportunity to test one out. This was when it was new and just as it was hitting the market. I believe that was in 2007 or 2008.
At the time, I was working with a fitness company that distributed treadmills and elliptical equipment.
They were a growing business so naturally they wanted to expand their offering of different kinds of home exercise equipment.
A sales rep brought in the PS500 model for the company I worked for to check it out. The owner was eager to check it out in order to decide if he wanted to add this new-fangled workout machine to the list of products his company offered.
One thing I can say, we all were very impressed by the exceptional build quality of this machine.
Before we dig into all of that, here'a a quick overview of the features:
Ab Coaster PS500 Features
- Frame constructed from all steel heavy duty tubing
- Upgraded 1.5” steel rail system
- Steel bearings
- Supports up to 300lb person
- Designed for height range of 4’10” to 6’10” tall
- Front roller wheels to make moving it around easy
- Multi-angle knee pad lets you target oblique’s
- Upgraded vinyl covered molded foam pads
- Upgraded nylon rollers (after 2012)
- Digital workout counter
- Plate posts for up to 20lbs of weights to be added for increased resistance
- Includes a manual, 2 meal plans, and complete workout DVD
- 1 year warranty
How the Design, Build & Quality Stacks Up
I mentioned at the start, we all thought this piece of equipment was very well made. It was sturdy enough to handle a 255 lb muscular man doing some rigorous testing!
He was a very fit man so he really wanted to test the machine hard.
Well let me tell you… it took everything he could muster but it was as smooth as silk and very sturdy. No rocking, squeaking or jerking.
The steel tubing appeared to be heavy duty with durable looking, heavy welds which were nicely covered by the power coated finished. I do not doubt the claim that it would support a person weighing up to 300 lbs.
The padding for the knees felt like it was made with high-density foam. Both the knee-pads and arm padding seemed top of the line and comfortable. This machine was clearly built for regular use and made to last.
Since the knee-pad base is adjustable, you can change the angle to work your oblique’s and target the ‘love handle’ area.
There is ONE quality issue!
We must point out the past issue with the nylon rollers.
These rollers are what carry the knee-pad platform along the frame, so they need to be able to take a lot of wear.
Unfortunately, some pre-2012 users have complained that although they love how their Ab Coaster works their abdominals, they hate how quickly the nylon rollers wear out. These can be replaced – but not free of charge.
However, the good news is that the roller problem seems to be limited to earlier versions and NOT the Ab Coasters made AFTER 2012.
Glad to report the Abs Company fixed the issue!
So beware of buying any of the used models that are from before 2012.
If you buy a brand new 2016 or 2017 Ab Coaster, you won’t experience this problem.
Okay – so we’ve covered the design & quality. Check those concerns off the list – but now the big question…
Does this ab machine really work?
What Consumer Reports Said about the Ab Coaster:
Consumer Reports magazine did electromyography tests in order to measure muscle activity. Their testing proved that the Ab Coaster activates the abs just as promised.
And they do go on to say you can perform other abs exercises without equipment to effectively work them, but their final recommendation was that if this machine inspires you to workout more, it can be helpful.
What does using this machine feel like?
The Ab Coaster affects your abs much the same way as hanging leg raises do – which is very key. And let me tell you something, if you have weak abdominals it will be very tough to complete more than a couple of hanging leg raises.
You see, that particular exercise engages the lower abs – you know, the muscles hiding under the tummy pooch below your belly button – all the way through to the upper most abs.
Regular floor crunches just DON'T engage your lower abs enough to improve them!
You MUST do certain movements and exercises to hit and improve that area.
You need to have a strong core (abs + back) plus decent upper body strength to complete many hanging leg raises using the proper form.
However, most folks just can’t handle these, which is where the Ab Coaster really helps.
To see what I am talking about, just watch the video below and you will see Hanging Leg Raises properly demonstrated and also the wrong way of doing them.
Watch the videos below to see how the you can work your core the same way as a hanging leg raise using the Ab Coaster and without the problems of maintaining proper form:
Maintaining good form is crucial for seeing a nicely shaped torso without causing injury – like neck or back strain.
Now watch this last video below to learn about the proper way to use the Ab Coaster:
The Ab Coaster will work your abs the way leg raises do but without the same strain & threat to form.
I really can’t emphasize this point enough; holding proper form is absolutely critical while you perform any exercise.
One good thing to know is that as you progress and your abs get stronger, this ab machine will still be valuable for training your abdominals – no matter how advanced your muscle strength becomes.
Because once you finally get there to those six pack abs, you’ll want to keep’em, right?
Use the Complete Workout DVD and exercise plans that come with your machine.
You will have a comprehensive abdominal workout to follow along with while using your machine plus a 30 minute cardio conditioning workout led by a fitness expert.
If you find that using the AbCoaster is too challenging at first, make sure you are performing some other exercises that will increase your heart rate enough to count as a cardio workout.
Aim for a total workout time of 30 minutes.
Without enough cardio, you simply won’t be burning off enough calories to help melt away the fat.
And you will miss out on improving your heart health.
It is suggested that you follow the program on the DVD 3 times per week and to NOT perform them on consecutive days. A rest day is required in between each workout.
Bottom Line - Does the Ab Coaster Work?
So we can say ‘yes’ the Ab Coaster works. It will effectively engage your entire core and work out all your abdominal muscles. It will do a far superior job than mere crunches and will aid you to maintain proper form which traditional ab exercises fail to do.
You need to know this when exercising with the AbCoaster...
Too many people will end up cheating and will use poor form in their execution of each rep.
And by poor form, I mean this:
Executing a rep by rolling backwards, hard, along the track into a hyper extended lower back position. Then rolling forward again really fast using the swing momentum to the finish position.
That is bad, bad, bad!!!
What happens in that case is the momentum was doing most of the work – not your abs!
That totally DEFEATS the purpose of using this machine.
Also, I think that using it (or any fitness machine) incorrectly can potentially lead to injury – in this case it’s abdominal strain.
This is especially true if you decide to load extra weight on it when you can’t really handle it yet.
The fact that the seat rolls along a track, like a coaster, makes it tempting to use speed to go through the motions.
But you are only cheating yourself.
You need to use controlled movement, not momentum to work your abs and get the results you want.
What About Melting Off the Belly Fat?
Here’s the good news…
Exercising will help you burn calories to help you melt away excess body fat.
Working out with the Ab Coaster with definitely help with that.
Here’s what you might think is bad news…
Exercise alone will NOT be enough to rid yourself of belly fat.
The absolute truth here is that you need to reduce calories in two ways:
- calories consumed (food+drink)
- calories burned through activity (exercise/movement)
It’s the same no matter what when it comes to losing enough body fat to reveal toned muscle. You need to improve the quality of what you eat and how much you are eating.
Quality Calories to Burn Fat
There’s just no way around that because it’s nearly impossible for the average person to out-burn overeating – especially when it’s too much low nutrition food.
Check through our other articles and links on the subject of eating a healthier diet to tackle belly fat loss. The quality of calories is a key factor too many people miss, and it costs them. Taking a natural fat burner supplement will definitely help too.
Ab Coaster Comes to You With 2 Diet Plans:
Fortunately, when you order this machine there are 2 diet plans provided to help you lose the belly fat. After all, they want you to do more than just build great abdominal muscles with their machine – they want you to be able to show off your awesome new abs.
They have their 14-Day Express Plan which is designed to help you cleanse and detox your body. This kick starts fat loss. The 14 day guide will tell you:
- which foods to remove from your diet
- what type of natural supplements to take (like CLA)
- what doses to take for the supplements to be most effective
- what you can eat/drink for meals and snacks.
Since it is quite restrictive, they suggest you do not follow it for more than the 14 days.
After that, you will move on to their Meal Plan.
You will also be provided with a tracking sheet for both your diet and exercising since recording your week by week progress is one of the best ways to achieve success.
Shopping Recommendation & Alerts:
Without question, the Ab Coaster is a great piece of equipment to buy and add to your home workout routine.
If you put in the work and reduce your calories by 250-300 each day consistently, you will get fantastic results.
But before you open up your wallet, you might like to check out some user reviews as posted by verified purchasers on Amazon. To date, over 80% of the reviews gave 5 out of 5 stars. See the reviews here.
You can also scroll down to see a couple of reviews posted here from The shopping Channel.
Update: July 26/17
We continue to follow this product and have found that many people exercising with the Ab Coaster consistently have been getting great results. See one example in the pics below:
If you do choose to buy the Ab Coaster, or Ab Coaster Max, you’ll find it sells on Amazon by The Abs Company (as the PS 500) and other sellers at various prices. Most include free shipping.
User Reviews on TSC - The Shopping Channel:
from London, Ontario
Comments about Ab Coaster:
“I do about 100 reps everyday, and have been doing that for a year now, this thing is Amazing! Makes your abs burn. Easy set up, easy to move, love how you can add extra weights to the sides. Can’t live without it.”
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
RATING: 5 out of 5
from Edmonton (Alberta)
Comments about Ab Coaster:
Really targets the abdominals.
“i use it everyday for a few minutes, easy to fit into my busy schedule. Does not help with cardio fitness much though and requires alot of space.”
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend