Ab Crunch Machines: How to Use Them for a Killer Ab Workout

Written by Chris

Updated on:

A man doing ab crunches on an ab crunch machine

Here’s how you can use an ab crunch machine to get a six pack.

Getting a six-pack with an ab crunch machine comes down to a few simple steps:

  • Use the machine efficiently and safely

  • Work out your abs 2–3 times per week

  • Give yourself plenty of recovery time

  • Slowly increase the volume and weight of your exercises over time

Ab crunch machines are designed to target your abs and obliques. By learning how to use them effectively, you’ll be well on your way to having ripped abs.

How to Properly Use an Ab Crunch Machine

A man using an ab crunch machine in the gym

To learn how to properly use an ab machine, see the steps below:

Seated Machine

  1. Make sure that the seat’s height is correctly adjusted to your body so that your shoulders rest back comfortably on the padding.

  2. Select the weight load that you want to use and insert the pin into the corresponding hole. (If you haven’t used this type of machine before, we recommend starting at a low weight so that you can test your comfort zone a bit.)

  3. Flex your core muscles, push against the padded lever, and bend forward at the waist. Your hips should stay in the seat at all times. Try to move in a slow, controlled manner. You won’t gain anything from violently trying to yank up a heavier weight using improper form.

  4. Breathe in as you come back to the starting position and finish the movement. The repetition is complete when your body returns to an upright position. From there, repeat as many reps as your training plan allows.

Lying Machine

    1. To get on the right starting position, your head should rest comfortably on top of the head pad. This is extremely important to ensure proper form.

    2. Choose the load that you want to lift by inserting the pin into the corresponding hole.

    3. Lying ab machines have grip bars that you can use to keep yourself grounded so that your abs do most of the work. Take hold of these so that your repetitions can be as efficient as possible.

    4. Exhale as you come forward for each repetition. Your hips should maintain contact with the pad at all times. Try to maintain a steady pace without any erratic, forced movements.

    5. Breathe in as you return your body to the starting position. From there, you’re free to repeat as your training plan allows.

Are Crunches Effective for Getting Abs?


Two diagrams showing how ab crunch machines exercise your abs

Doing crunches with an ab crunch machine is a great way to work your abdominal muscles and obliques. Without a doubt, adding this movement to your workout regimen will help you on your path to getting great abs.

Still, it never hurts to supplement your crunch machine with a few other crunch variations, many in which you’ll see the added benefits of a medicine ball

These can target certain muscle groups that the crunch machine neglects, and you’ll be one step closer to looking the way that you want. 

Consider throwing in some bicycling crunches, V-sits, or reverse crunches to get a well-rounded ab workout. 

If you want to take your abs workout to the next level, we recommend investing in an ab stimulator or one of the ab toning belts available on the market which you can use either at home or in work to tone your abs.

How Often Can I Work Out My Abs?

To maximize results and give you the proper recovery time, we recommend the following: work out using an ab crunch machine two or three days per week and always leave one day in between these workouts.

In between ab workout days, you can do cardio or an upper body workout instead. You can also focus on working out your arms, knees, chest, and leg on those days.

Even with the goal of getting a six-pack in mind, it’s important not to overwork your abdominal muscles. While enthusiasm and commitment are great, any kind of injury will quickly put a stop to any progress that you had going.

Are There Any Risks to Using an Ab Crunch Machine?

As long as you give yourself proper recovery time and don’t overdo the weight, you should have no problems when using an ab crunch machine. 

The most common causes of injury are taking on a weight that is too heavy and failing to use proper crunch form.

With all types of exercise, including crunches, leg raises and sit ups, always try to be conscious of what your body is trying to tell you. 

If using a crunch machine makes you feel any back pain or extreme discomfort in your muscles, then you either need to figure out what you’re doing wrong or consult a specialist. It may be a sign that you have a back problem in general.

Introducing an Ab Crunch Machine into Your Workout 

A man about to use a ab crunch machine in the gym

Getting started with sculpting your abs is the hardest part, but you’ll definitely be glad that you did. In the beginning, try to pick a moderate weight on the ab crunch machine that will allow you to do 20 repetitions continuously.

From there, you can do sets of 15-20 while resting for about a minute in between. This may not feel like much in the beginning, but you’ll feel it the next day.

Remember to go slow when using a crunch machine the first time. As time goes on and you get more confident, you can experiment with increasing the weight and volume of your sets. 

Depending on your goals, you may want to choose a specific type of machine to improve your ab muscles. This review list of the best ab machines will provide you with some ideas of the different types of machines available for your workouts.

Final Thoughts

Getting abs takes patience, discipline, and a lot of hard work. However, exercising with ab crunch machines and eating right makes a very effective combo.

Always be sure to stretch your abs and lower back when you’re finished and don’t forget to leave a rest day in between each ab workout. Adding a variety of exercises, like leg lifts, sit ups, and knee raises, can also help you get the physique you want.


  1. Get a Six Pack Golden Rule – T3
  2. Learn How to do Crunches for Quick six Pack Gains – T3
  3. Ab Crunch Machine – WorkoutLabs
  4. Ab Crunch Machine – Bodybuilding
  5. Are Crunches Effective for Building a Six-Pack? – Coach Mag