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The best ab strap

Be sure to sanitize your ab straps after use, as with any exercise equipment. While some may be machine-washable, warm water and soap will quickly clean the straps.
Be sure to sanitize your ab straps after use, as with any exercise equipment. While some may be machine-washable, warm water and soap will quickly clean the straps. (BestReviews)

For most, the best home workout devices are those that help you exercise effectively while saving both time and space. When it comes to core workouts, a pair of ab straps can help achieve fitness goals.

Ab straps hang from a pull-up bar and allow users to perform leg raises, crunches, twists, and other core exercises. Though they're relatively simple, there are some important considerations that go into deciding whether to purchase one, and if so, which one specifically. Our favorite pick is this high-end option by Armageddon Sports for serious fitness enthusiasts, but there are a variety of factors that play into which one is best for you, so read on.

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Considerations when choosing ab straps

Goals

While ab straps help tone and strengthen your core, they don’t work out your lower body. You may be able to tone your arms a bit, but the focus is on your abs, back, and glute muscles. Flexibility may also be improved, but ab straps don’t help with cardiovascular fitness. Depending on your fitness goals, you may want to supplement ab straps with other pieces of equipment.

Weight rating

Note how much weight the ab straps can support, which may range anywhere from 300 pounds up to 1,000. Keep in mind not only your own body weight, but whether you may be adding any weights to your waist or legs when working out. Weight limit may also influence durability — you can expect those with a higher rating to hold up better over time and avoid wearing out.

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Comfort

The right set of ab straps should be comfortable on the skin, preventing any irritation or potential abrasions as you perform movements. Any buildup of sweat may influence comfort as well. Look for straps with added padding and protection so as not to stress your arms when exercising. Ab straps made by reputable companies with positive user reviews may help determine which options are most comfortable.

Hanging distance

Ab straps should hang a comfortable distance from the bar to allow you to easily grip the bar with your hands while also avoiding touching the ground. Some options may allow for you to adjust the distance they hang, which is beneficial if multiple people use the device or if it may be affixed to different bars.

Features

Workouts

There are a few main workouts that ab straps allow, but each specific one can be tweaked to allow for variations that target different muscles. Knee raises and trunk rotations are popular exercises, but the number of reps and sets and how fast or slow each movement is performed influences the outcome.

Color

Some ab straps may be offered in a variety of colors. This likely won’t affect the price and doesn’t influence the quality but may be preferred by some users. The color is likely to fade over time with extended use.

Price

Most quality ab straps cost between $25 and $50, with a range of weight limits and levels of comfort and durability.

FAQ

Q. How safe are ab straps?

A. Ab straps should be securely affixed to a pull-up bar that is locked in and stable. As ab strap exercise movements aren't controlled, there's a risk of pulling or straining a muscle if the movement is performed incorrectly or too quickly. Stretch before you work out and stay in control when exercising.

Q. Where can I use ab straps?

A. The most popular spot for ab straps is on a pull-up bar. Most often, these are positioned within door frames or can be installed on a wall or ceiling. Some weight benches or squat racks may also have a sturdy bar where ab straps can be used.

Ab straps we recommend

Our take: Set of heavy-duty, comfortable ab straps ideal for serious fitness trainers.

What we like: Durably built for frequent, intense usage. Supports up to 1,000 pounds. Includes lifetime guarantee. Compatible with most bars.

What we dislike: Expensive. May not be necessary for casual users.

Best bang for your buck: Hawk Sports Hanging Ab Straps

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Our take: Inexpensive ab straps offering convenient workouts for casual exercisers.

What we like: Simple, effective ab straps designed with comfort in mind. Features large pads; prevents skin abrasions. Low price.

What we dislike: Low weight limit. Concerns about durability.

Our take: Quality, durable ab straps that offer ease of use and long-term results.

What we like: Provides a foundation for intense, tough workouts. Easy to set up on various bars, comfortable. Offered in a variety of colors. Decent price.

What we dislike: Straps aren't adjustable.

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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