Makers of the Ab Lounge call it the "ultimate ab machine." It looks like a beach chair, but facilitates a crunching action that works the front of your abs -- the rectus abdominis -- and core muscles in your back.
The supported action of sitting in the chair and essentially folding yourself to create a jackknife-like exercise does activate your abs, but it isn't going to burn a ton of calories.
You're always burning calories -- even when sleeping -- but increasing your calorie burn significantly comes when you do large, rhythmic movements for a sustained period of time, such as running or dancing. Your size and the intensity of an exercise affects the number of calories you burn. The Ab Lounge movement is quite targeted, so you can't expect it to be a big calorie burner.
Calorie Burn Calculation
The ab lounge comes close to the classic crunch in terms of muscular activation of the upper, lower and side portions of your ab muscles, found a 2012 study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise.
It likely burns about the same number of calories, too. In 10 minutes of crunches, or sit-ups, a 150-pound person burns about 50 calories. If you weigh more or less a calories-burned calculator can help you estimate how that will affect your total number.
If you're an advanced user of the Ab Lounge and have worked up to a full 30- to 60-minute workout that uses the machine as recommended by the manual, you'll burn far more calories. Use the included Ab Blaster DVD that comes with the Ab Lounge to burn closer to 153 calories per half hour. It includes upper body moves and calisthenics along with the standard jackknife moves you do on the machine.
Burn Calories with Cardio
The manual for the Ab Lounge goes into great detail about the importance of regular cardiovascular activity, as it will strengthen your heart, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. You're encouraged to work up to 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio on most days of the week. This cardio is done in addition to the basic Ab Lounge exercises. If you do the Ab Blaster workout, that counts as your cardio.
The calories you burn in cardio workouts depends on the activity you choose. On average, in 30 minutes, a 150-pound person burns:
- 176 calories in power yoga
- 176 calories walking at 4 mph
- 238 calories indoor cycling
- 238 calories jogging
Why Calorie Burn Matters
Burning calories helps prevent you from storing energy as fat. When your calorie intake from food and drink exceeds what you burn, you'll gain weight; eat fewer calories than you burn and you lose weight.
Working a specific area on your body, such as your abs with the Ab Lounge, doesn't help you lose fat there. You're better off taking on a comprehensive fitness program and amending your diet to eat fewer calories to lose the fat. The Ab Lounge does help you work the ab muscles that lie underneath the fat, so when you drop pounds, you'll be more sculpted and defined.