Ab Lounge machines are designed, first and foremost, to work the abs with added attention to the obliques, arms and hip flexors. As with any workout, variety is key. Regular Ab Lounge workouts will become ineffective if you don't add different elements to your routine. In addition, exercise will not turn out results without proper diet. The basic jackknife technique is one of several exercises that can be executed with the Ab Lounge. Other workouts include oblique jackknife, jackknife with leg lift, extended arm jackknife, extended leg jackknife, torso and hip flexor stretch, advanced jackknife and lateral jackknife.
To position yourself in the Ab Lounge, stand next to the unit near the foot rest. Carefully step over the bar connecting the seat and the foot rest. Slowly sit down in the seat and recline placing one foot at a time on the appropriate foot rests.
Make sure the unit is adjusted to fit your body correctly. When your feet are placed on the foot rests, your knees should bend about 90 degrees or at a right angle. If your knees are not positioned correctly, adjust the foot rest by grasping the adjustment knob on the bottom of the foot rest receiver. Pull the pin out and slide the foot rest to the desired position.
The basic jackknife exercise is an abdominal curl that works the rectus abdominis. Sit back in the Ab Lounge with your feet placed on the foot rest and knees at a 90-degree angle. Reach over your head and grab the handles.
Slowly exhale and round your lower back to pull your torso forward into a curl. While pulling forward, contract your abs toward your spine and pull the bottom of your rib cage toward the top of your hip bone.
Pause after achieving the curl movement, then slowly inhale and return to your starting position. Maintain a slow tempo throughout your workout pulling forward for two counts, holding for one and returning to your starting position with two counts. This will decrease momentum and encourage the muscles to work harder.
- To prevent injury and maximize your workout, start with warmup exercises to stretch the quads, calves, Achilles tendon, triceps, back, hamstrings, buttocks, hips, abs and inner thighs. You should gently prepare your muscles by executing five to 10 minutes of aerobic-like movements with an easy, unforced range of motion. A cool-down routine, such as five to 10 minutes of walking followed by stretching, should also follow your workout.
- Stay within your fitness level. It is normal to feel slight muscle soreness for the first week or two, but if you experience major discomfort, you may be practicing a regimen that is too advanced or are increasing your program too rapidly.
Dorothy Stephenson is a writer with experience in travel, health, nutrition, equine science, real estate, history, green living, fitness and agriculture. She has written for publications such as "EQUUS," "American Farrier’s Journal," "Today’s Diet and Nutrition," "Military Officer" and "The Washington Examiner."