08-22-2000, 10:45 PM
I just thought I'd try to contribute something constructive to this forum, and since martial artists are often into exercise and fitness, I figured some of you might be interested in this:

(By the way, the Ab Dolly is a fitness product that has been advertised agressively recently on cable.)


I was looking through posts on a discussion forum about fitness and exercise, and I gleaned the following great advice about the ab dolly:

1) Pros:

a. A person who had been an aerobics and fitness instructor for 15 years said that the type of movement that the Ab Dolly uses has long been recognized as the BEST way to develop abdominal strength (not just the rectus abdominis, but the transverse and obliques, too), as well as strength throughout a full range of motion, and overall good-looking, toned abs.. Many of the hardcore fitness nuts in the forum agreed with her.

b. The Ab Dolly is better designed than things like the "ab wheel" that you can buy at K-Mart in almost every way. You can rest your elbows on it, hold it with your hands, put it under your knees and use it in reverse, etc., etc. Most of the 'experts' in the forum agreed that it was the best ab machine out there, period.

2) Cons:

a. The Ab Dolly is very expensive: over $100 for a small, simple little gizmo.
b. The sales and customer rep. people are very pushy and rude.
c. The sales pitch is sneaky and cons a lot of people into buying TWO of them for over $200


a. A "creeper." This little dolly is about the same dimensions as the Ab Dolly and is used by auto mechanics for sliding underneath cars. You can buy one at most auto supply places (and probably the auto section of a lot of hardware-type stores) for under $30.

b. Home Depot sells a couple of different "plant dollies," all for under $15. Some are made of wood, others of metal. Look around and find a good sturdy metal one. They usually stand up to more weight and weigh less themselves. They also have some good quality "decorative" dollies (whatever that means) for around $15 according to one poster. You might need to find a way of putting a pad or cushion on it, but that wouldn't be hard. A $5 bar stool seat from the same hardware store would be perfect.

c. You can get an Ab Wheel at Walmart for $8.95. It is a bit awkward to use at first, you can't rest your elbows on it, so it requires more arm and ab strength, but it can give you the same results.

I. P. Chi
08-22-2000, 11:16 PM
I’ve always been partial to the blow up love dolly.

08-23-2000, 01:31 AM
Now, look what you've done, Chi. You've soiled my attempt at a serious post on this forum, with your filty street talk. Someone should wash your typing finger off with soap!

08-23-2000, 02:03 AM
But everyone knows soap makes for a lousy lubricant.
Oh wait, what where we talking about?

08-23-2000, 03:06 AM
I can't believe you guys. I expected to be showered with praise for this post.

"Gee thanks, Mata. We really owe you one. You've gone from being a Gracie-worshipping ******* to one of the most beloved posters in this forum."

But no, all I get are nasty jokes! I just can't win!

[This message has been edited by Mata-Leão (edited 08-23-2000).]

I. P. Chi
08-23-2000, 03:11 AM
Mata, I read that entire post of yours waiting for the punch line and………nothing. So I added my own. I have taken your advice and washed my nasty finger off with soap. You can’t see it but I’m holding it up in front of the screen for you. (I considered using Sifu Abel’s favorite finger picture for this post, but with the new, kinder, gentler, more moderated KFO, I was worried about repercussions) /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I. P. Chi
08-23-2000, 03:13 AM
Gee thanks, Mata. We really owe you one. You've gone from being a loathful Gracie-worshipper to one of the most beloved posters in this forum.

08-23-2000, 03:27 AM
LMAO! Chi, you are easily the funniest person I've met in a long time.

Thanks for the finger and the sincerity of your complement.

08-23-2000, 03:33 AM
Oh, and sorry for disappointing you by not having a punch line for my original post on this thread. IT IS ACTUALLY A SERIOUS POST.

I have been looking for a good way to work on my abs for a while now, and the dolly/roller thing is definitely the way to go, according to lots of hardcore fitness people.

08-23-2000, 03:38 AM
A dumbell with weights on it will work just as well. Be careful about compressing your lower spine, though. It's easy to do with those......

08-23-2000, 03:52 AM
Good suggestion, Iron Monkey. I personally think that is one of the reasons why a little "creeper" or dolly would work better. You can rest your elbows on them, and the risk of compressing your spine is WAY less. It is actually a pretty safe exercise if you use some kind of a little dolly instead of using something where you have to extend your arms. Of course, after you've gotten your ab strength up, you can grasp the dolly with your hands if you want to increase the difficulty level.

Another important issue here is correct body position or posture. I don't know how to describe it, exactly, but it involves not brining your hips too close to the ground.

08-23-2000, 09:21 AM
I'm not American! What's a dolly? You have me completely confused! Can anyone describe this equipment and the exercises you use it for please!

08-23-2000, 09:40 AM
me too can you put a picture up as i dont know what a dolly is anyway(except for the blow up one)
see ya

08-23-2000, 10:21 AM
You should keep your back straight, don't go into a yoga-type Cobra or Upward Facing Dog on the thing. For beginners, it might be good to have somthing to rest the elbows on, but if you want more of a work-out, especially in your arms, do it without the support...

08-23-2000, 10:37 AM
Do what already?!?!

08-23-2000, 12:06 PM

We are talking about an abdominal exercise machine. Most versions of this design have the user extending their upper body out from their knees starting from a down on all fours position. The idea is to slide out and back in, using your abs and arms to keep you off the ground. They work pretty well. The machines themselves can be anything from a wheel with handles that moves freely, to a machine with a place to put your knees and handles which slide back and forth along a track.

[This message has been edited by Iron_Monkey (edited 08-24-2000).]

08-23-2000, 12:13 PM
Mata! LOL!
I can't believe you posted this here too! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
I guess it is a serious post then. You know what? I have a question. Just how effective do you think the "ab dolly", "ab tiger" etc are? I do weighted crunches and they seem to work well. I have tried doing the movement with just a dumbell, and I do feel it in my stomach, but I get more of a burn in my shoulders and triceps.
What do you think?


08-24-2000, 04:18 AM
Yes, Ryu, it is serious. Not only do I think it works, but from what I've been able to gather, so do many long-time, hard-core fitness buffs like aerobics instructors and such.

The barbell excercise you describe is similar but not exactly the same as using the dolly. Your version is more like using the Ab Wheel. The problem with doing it this way is that the barbell or wheel gets extended way out in front of you. This puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your upper arm, pecs, lats, and delts. It also puts unnecessary strain on your lower spine.

The dollies work better for people of average strength. You can rest your elbows on them, or you can kneel on them with your hands on the floor and extend your legs.

Of course, after you've built up your strength, you can grasp the dolly with your hands and use it like the wheel or dumbbell.

08-24-2000, 04:27 AM
Serpent, the best way to describe the Ab Dolly, for someone who's never seen one, is to simply say that it is like an automechanic's "creeper." You know, those padded boards on wheels that that automechanics lay on so they can slide around underneath cars.

The way it works is like this: You kneel down on the ground and then place your elbows on the dolly (this is already easier and safer than the Ab Wheel or barbell method). You sorta look like you're on all fours. Then you extend you body forward allowing the dolly to roll. As you do this, your hips extend, your upper body gets closer to the ground, and you have to flex your abs to keep from falling face down on the ground. Fully extended, you end up in something that looks lik the "push-ups" position only with your elbows still on the "creeper". Once you've extended as far as you have strength, you flex your abs to pull the dolly back toward your knees, and you go back to "all fours." The overall motion makes you look something like an inch-worm, skooting out and then back.

You can also roll the dolly off at angles to either side of you, and make circular motions with it. This will build up your transverse and obliques.

Once you gain enough abdominal strength, you can increase the difficulty of the exercise by grasping the dolly with your hands instead of resting your elbows on it. Then you use it like you would the Ab Wheel, more or less. Even here, though, the dolly is safer, more stable, more versitile, etc.

One thing you can do with the dolly that you can't do with the Ab Wheel, is you can kneel on it, place your hands on the ground, and then skoot your knees away from you and then back. Doing it this way gives a completely different feel, and does a great job of working the abs as well.

This type of excercise is widely regarded as the BEST way to work your abs, and some kind of dolly (not necessarily THE Ab Dolly™) is the best way to do this type of exercise.

Ryu, I'm sure that situps, crunches, etc. WORK. The question is, does the dolly work BETTER. I don't know. I honestly don't. However, I know a lot of people who've been doing fitness and exercise as a full-time job who say that the dolly thing is better.

Like I said, I'm off to Home Depot this weekend to check out some of the less-expensive creepers and dollies.