Yes! All of them seem to work. Unfortunately, few work as well as not using them at all. I have found that the ab rockers are a pretty good assistance for people who are prone to pulling their neck though. Holding the contraction for just a moment at the peak of your abdominal exercise will net more results than anything you are going to purchase… well, at least thats my observation. Take it for what its worth, and maybe save some cash.
According to the latest research it suggests that abdominal devices do not elicit any greater or lesser involvement of the abdominal musculature than performing similar exercises unassisted.
A good book to read is “The New Rules of Lifting for Abs” by Lou Schuler – The rules are mostly based on research that’s been published in the past several years: “The most important role of the abdominal muscles is to protect your spine”; “You can’t protect your spine by doing exercises that damage it”; “Your spine is already flexed (from too much sitting and hunching), and flexing it more (by doing crunches) just makes it worse.”
Hi Laura. To answer your question as it’s posed, I’d have to say “yes,” some of these machines do work. To me though the better question is “do they work better than other (non-machine) options?” To me, the answer is “no,” or at least “not enough to warrant the extra expense.” As you know, there are so many exercise options for our core that do NOT entail using a machine, that there really is not much need for the additional expense. With a little creativity, we can exercise and condition our core, and more specific to your question, our abs without the need for a machine.