If you’re looking for an all-in-one gym machine that will specifically help you carve out strong abs, I would go for the Bowflex Blaze. If you’ve used home gyms before, there’s a good chance you’ll be familiar with Bowflex – they have a range of similar products. Of those available on the market now, the Blaze is the best home gym for abs.
Of course, there is a lot more to this machine than abs. There are so many varieties of exercises that you can carry out on this machine, we would be here a long time if we tried to go through them all. Suffice to say, you can give all of your major muscle groups a good workout with the Blaze. In addition to the manual, there’s a YouTube video you can watch which talks you through a good number of these.
Compactness and Resistance
Most people who buy home gyms are looking to get as much of the regular gym experience from one machine, which doesn’t take up much space. Bowflex machines don’t disappoint in either of these areas. First of all, the Blaze measures 59 x 23 x 14 inches – small enough to leave extra space even in the smallest of rooms.
The machine itself has a lat tower with an angled lat bar, a squat station, plus leg curl attachments; it offers 210 pounds of resistance, which you can actually upgrade to 310 or 410 pounds. The company has developed its own resistance technology, which gives its machines an edge over most rivals. In fact, according to Bowflex marketing, this technology – called SpiraFlex – is even used by astronauts at the International Space Station.
What It Can Do for You
The sliding bench and pulley system enables you to perform a number of exercises specifically geared towards perfecting your abs. These range from standard sit-ups to resisted rotations using the pulleys, and leg lifts for the lower abs. There aren’t many machines that can compete with the range of ab exercises possible on the Blaze. Where it comes into its own, however, is with the resisted crunches – regular, steady practice will no doubt build your six-pack and help to burn off a lot of excess fat.
In addition to working your abs, you can use the Blaze’s bench press, lat pull-down, and squat station to give your hamstrings, quads and glutes a thorough workout. There’s also the angled lat bar for back and shoulder work.
Why Doesn’t It Have All the Features of Other Machines?
The Blaze is specifically designed for compactness – when space is at a premium, you have a piece of equipment that is not going to take up too much room, yet offers an incredibly wide range of exercises with relatively few features.
What Makes It the Best?
By staying gimmick-free and focusing on high-quality technology, the Blaze allows you to save space, but get maximum benefit from this surprisingly powerful machine. When it comes to ab work, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
1st Runner-Up – Body-Solid StrengthTech EXM2500S
This home gym is probably about as complete as they come – it has pretty much everything you could wish for: Lat bar, straight bar, pec station, press arm, leg developer and three pulleys. 210 pounds of resistance comes in the form of 10-pound iron plates.
This StrengthTech machine is built with high tensile steel which is resistant to scratching and allows for low maintenance. Importantly, it has DuraFirm pads and lumbar support for comfort and to prevent back strain.
It’s a serious piece of kit which is aimed at those who are interested in serious resistance training. On the down-side, it takes quite some time to assemble, but it’s worth it once it’s all set up.
2nd Runner-Up – Costway Home Gym Machine
Another, slightly larger, all-around home gym machine, this Costway model offers a good range of home exercises. There are six different workout stations: the high pulley, low pulley, chest press, chest fly, leg developer, and preacher curl. It offers a maximum weight resistance of 220 pounds and measures 60.6 x 45.3 x 79.5 inches.
The Costway Home Gym offers an effective solution to pretty much the whole range of standard resistance workouts. It’s comfortable and has four adjustable positions for the seat, which should make it accessible for everyone.
I only have one minor gripe with this machine – namely that it’s bulkier than the other equipment we’ve looked at – this Costway machine really needs a space of its own.
3rd Runner-Up – Bodycraft X4 Home Gym
This home gym is a straightforward, fully functional piece of equipment that will not disappoint when it comes to working those abs. It has huge resistance and features a pulley station, sit-up bench, two different types of plates, two dumbbells, a butterfly press station, and leg curls. The polyurethane pads will certainly last a long time, although you’ll likely need to wipe them off after each use.
Unlike the Costway, this machine is a much more advanced home gym. It offers a great variety of exercises, including plenty for developing and carving your abs. I do think it’s bulky enough to deserve its own dedicated space in the home.
There are more and more home gym machines coming on to the market. Every year, new products come out and we’re told that they offer some magic solution for getting a six-pack. For beginners, it can be really tough to sort out what is worth the investment. In my opinion, it’s best to avoid gimmicky features and focus on getting high-quality standard features, along with a high degree of comfort and good resistance.
In the end, I think the Bowflex Blaze takes the biscuit due to its simplicity, comfort and high-quality technology. All of the machines here offer a great home workout, but the Blaze’s compact design, easiness to set it up properly, adjustable resistance and focus on ab workouts, make it my overall favorite.