You might have seen it in some YouTube exercise video or a Crossfit video or you might have come across it on Amazon while searching for exercise equipment. Just what is an Ab-Mat and what are the benefits of using one?
An Ab-Mat is a tool used to make crunches and sit-ups more challenging. There are plenty of exercise movements that actually don't need any tool or equipment, like squats or push-ups. However, using an ab-mat will definitely bring your core workout to the next level.
Before diving into why you should start using an ab-mat, let's talk first about what is supposed to happen to your muscles when you do sit-ups or crunches. In order to do an effective sit-up or crunch, your abdominal muscles need to move through a complete and full range of motion. They should go from a position of maximum length (stretched to it's full potential) to minimal length (contracted to it's shortest length). When you do a normal sit-up or crunch, the starting position is sadly not at its maximum potential since your back is hindered or stopped by the floor you're lying on.
This is where an ab-mat comes in. Using an ab-mat brings you closer to the maximum length needed for the starting point since it allows for positioning of the spine to a comfortable degree with your pelvis.
Aside from a great starting position and full range of motion offered, it will also help you prevent injuries by keeping your lower back in a neutral position. This will avoid that harmful lower back and neck pain after a core workout.
Using an ab-mat will make you perform that perfect sit-up or crunch for those god-like abs you've been dreaming of.