Core Fitness Exercise Equipment

Building core fitness can be done with a variety of basic bodyweight exercises, but if you need a little motivation or just a few new ideas, these exercise equipment choices can help you build great core strength.

Also of interest: Learn what researchers think are the Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises.

Medicine Balls

A weighted medicine ball can provide an endless variety of core strength workouts like the seated oblique twist. Medicine balls come in a variety of sizes, weights and textures and can be used alone or with a partner to fully work you core and upper body. To avoid serious injury while using a medicine ball, it's a good idea to get instruction from a book, video or a personal trainer before you start tossing these monsters around.

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Kettlebell exercise
Kettlebell exercise. JoSon/Getty Images

Kettlebell workouts are making a comeback with great results. Kettlebells are bowling ball-sized cast iron weights with a round handle on top that come in various weights and sizes. To use a kettlebell properly require an athlete to engage his or her core first. Lifting and moving the kettlebell forces the entire body to work in unison which improves both strength and stability. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups at once. In this way, they are a great option for getting a whole body workout in a short time. Like a medicine ball, it's easy to get hurt using these weights with poor form, so it's best to get some quality instruction before you start a kettlebell workout.

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Ab Wheel

Ab Wheel
Ab Wheel. photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

This book offers easy-to-follow core workout routines that you can do nearly any time and any place. Based on some basic yoga principles it adds specific exercises for overall core strength, flexibility, stability, and balance.

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Vertical Knee Raise Machine

Vertical leg raise machine
Vertical leg raise machine. Photo � E Quinn

The Captain's Chair exercise (vertical leg raise) is, according to research, one of the best abdominal exercises for the rectus abdominus. Unfortunately, to do this ab exercise properly you generally need a piece of gym equipment called a vertical leg raise machine. This rather large contraption isn't something most people buy for their home gym, but if you can afford one and have the space, it's a great way to get an ultimate ab workout.

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Chin Up Bar

Chin Up Bar
Chin Up Bar. Photo © Photodisc/Getty Images

A chin up bar is one of the most overlooked pieces of exercise equipment for building great cor strength. Doing a simple pull up exercise builds upper body, back and core strength. Chin up bars can be elaborate, free-standing pieces of exercise equipment, or simple, doorway chin up bars you purchase online or at a local sporting goods store.

Large Exercise Ball

crunch on an exercise ball
crunch on an exercise ball. Photo (c) Allan Danahar / Getty Images

If you have a standard exercise ball at home you have a mini-gym. The number of exercises (especially abdominal exercises) that you can do with a balance ball is practically unlimited. Get a starter video to get the basics and go from there.

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Bosu Balance Trainer

Bosu Ball
Bosu Ball. photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Using the Bosu Balance Trainer provides a full body workout for strength, agility and esspecially balance. You can perform several great core strengthening routines that require coordination and proprioception training. A nice, simple addition to any ab workout routine.

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Exercise Floor Mat

Exercise floor mat. Photo � E Quinn

The bicycle crunch exercise, the plank exercise and the vertical leg crunch are still some of the best, most effective and efficient ways to strengthen and tone your abs. Getting a high quality exercise mat will make doing these exercises more appealing during those commercials. Why lay on the hard wood or shag carpet?

Also see: Best and Worst Ab Exercises.

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Rowing Machine Workouts

Rowing Machine
Rowing Machine. Scott Barbour / Getty Images

A rowing machine is a great way to get endurance exercise while focusing on core strength. This whole body exercise is a sure way to build ab strength.

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Stronger Abs and Back

This book as a great reference for any athlete or exerciser who want to develop a strong midsection and get the most out of ab workouts. The book shows a whopping 165 exercises and provides lots training tips. Tons of illustrations and clear explanations of how to perform each movement.

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