How many ab-exercise devices are there — a million? And how many really give you any benefit over just doing crunches on a mat? Very few, I'd wager, though the AbCoaster, which just came out with a home version of its ab-crunching contraption, is the latest to make a case. Resembling a cardio machine, the 'Coaster supports your knees while you pull up your legs in a "natural arc motion," similar to leg raises. You can swivel the kneepad to do obleiks, it works the entire abdominal muscle, reduces unnecessary stresses… blahblahblah.
Is it all just infomercial BS? Possibly, though I tried out the machine at a demo this morning and it felt like it worked my abs decently. The company also claims the AbCoaster is in thousands of fitness clubs as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room. The home version costs $400 — a hefty sum that simultaneously convinces me it isn't junk and not to buy it. Leg raises are hard but not $400 hard.