Last week I discussed the new HumanX competition gloves that I tried recently. In addition to the gloves, I also used another HumanX product called the AbX. The AbX is a curved foam board for use in abdominal, spinal erector, and hip exercises.
For home use, I used to have an exercise ball that I occasionally used for my core work. However, since a lot of my core work is accomplished by other basic movements, I couldn’t justify the space the ball took up in my house, not to mention regular maintenance )and replacement when my dog decided it was a fun chew toy). Enter the AbX. The AbX is as good or better at core isolation work than an exercise ball, but it takes up a fraction of the space. I have also used it for some unorthodox exercises I’ll mention below. (And, as a bonus, my dog doesn’t think it’s a toy.)
The AbX has a simple design. It’s basically a curved, hard foam board. The rubber flat side of the AbX goes on the floor and has a lot of grip so the AbX stays in place. I’ve used it on a variety of surfaces without it sliding around. The top side has one end with a gradual curve and another with a steeper curve to allow for different exercises. It’s about as hard as a soft foam roller, so it’s pretty comfortable to hang out on.
Now there aren’t a thousand things that you can do with the AbX, which I put in the cons section, but that’s not really a huge disadvantage. It shouldn’t be the very first piece of equipment you have in your home collection or at a gym, but it’s far from the last item on the list.
The basic crunch and sit up are two exercises you can do on the AbX. I think crunches are best done with some form of back support that allows a fuller range of motion than the floor, and the AbX delivers on that front. Similarly, it allows full range of motion oblique work and a new twist on reverse crunches.
Even better, in my opinion, is the spinal erector work you can do with the AbX. It’s much more effective and less awkward on the AbX than on a ball. I also did supermans and alternating supermans on the AbX, an unadvertised use of this product, and loved how they felt. It gave just the added range of motion to this exercise to take some of the pressure off the spine and deliver it to the back and glutes where it belongs.
On a final note, perhaps the most critical use of this product is as a mobility device for the thoracic spine. I don’t see the creators of the AbX marketing this application at all, but it seemed important to me. The part of the spine that naturally curves toward the posterior often becomes too tight and locked into excessive curvature due to a hypermobilized lumbar spine and hips that are too stiff. The hips and lumbar are easy enough to engage in corrective exercises, but in my experience as a coach, the thoracic region is particularly difficult to target. I found that the curve of the AbX was just right to allow for mobility work in this stubborn region of the body. If you’re one of many people with tight hips, back pain, and the standard host of posture problems, the AbX might be just what you need.
For core strength, postural, and spinal exercises, I found the AbX to be an excellent product for both home and gym use with no real downsides. If you’re looking for a product with either of these uses, you should definitely check it out.
AbX is available for $35.67 at Amazon.com.