Training abs is essential whatever your fitness goals, and training them well is a big challenge. It’s more than just sit-ups and planks, and an ab strap can revolutionize your core strength and control.
Today we’re going to look at the best ab straps, what they’re for, and reviews of some of the most popular ab straps.
- Top Hanging Straps for Abs Exercise
- What Are Ab Straps?
- What Do You Use Ab Straps For?
- How to Use Ab Straps?
- Key Features of a Great Ab Strap
- Our Final Thoughts
Top Hanging Straps for Abs Exercise
Getting the best ab strap means better value for money – and better results – which is why we’re reviewing products across the price range, and focusing on products like the RDX ab straps that offer a balance of quality and economy.
Read on if you’re ready to improve your core training with a single, inexpensive piece of equipment…
1. RDX Hanging Abdominal Exercise Padded Slings
This is a great place to start with the quality of attachment. This is one of the key factors for a good ab strap: it has to safely and securely hold your body up. The quality of the carabiner in this product makes for a significant benefit.
The versatility of the strap design is good, but it does use a strap and carabiner design, rather than direct. However, the quality and heavy-duty design make this a great product when it comes to the basics.
The hooked ab straps are far more difficult to use for more advanced exercises. They run the risk of coming off the supporting rail, whether that’s a squat rack or pull up bar. The carabiners remove this risk completely and produce a better overall sense of stability and durability.
On the other hand, the construction of the straps themselves isn’t as comfortable as we’d like to see. This isn’t a huge concern since it’s not always going to be comfortable, but it does feel like an area where there’s room for significant improvement.
The risk is clearly going to be present in many products; the friction of the straps on the arm is always relevant. If this was minimized, we’d really like this product. It’s got some good fundamentals, but a more comfortable product would be better.
This is a common problem, and RDX aren’t distinctly uncomfortable, it’s just the main area for improvement.
2. Armageddon Sports Premium Ab Sling Straps
The carabiners on this product are more rounded and provide stability with a reduced likelihood of ‘sticking’ on a knurled pull up bar or squat rack. The overall design is relatively heavy-duty, and we really appreciate the design considerations.
The only real concerns for this product are the generally unpleasant smell and the reduced level of padding compared to what is advertised. The smell of the product is a classic concern for quality assurance, as it has a distinctly ‘new plastic’ smell.
Equally, the padding isn’t a problem compared to the last product. The images set slightly unrealistic standards but it’s still a more comfortable and less-abrasive product than the RDX ab straps. It’s also more expensive than many of the products on this list.
3. Perfect Fitness Ab Straps
Perfect Fitness ab straps are a pretty cheap product and there are some ways where this is clear. The strap design isn’t our favorite as the link of the carabiner is right where the stress will be placed when hanging. This can lead to some uncomfortable use and the strap getting stuck during a set.
The canvas material is solid enough, but doesn’t produce the same level of durability due to the reduced thickness. There are some serious concerns about the support this will provide when loaded with bodyweight – and the momentum that comes with advanced movements.
The straps themselves tend to fray or tear when used, which is obviously a problem. The relatively good price point doesn’t count if you have to buy another product because this strap broke while being used for intended purpose.
4. DMoose Fitness Hanging Ab Straps
Another economy entry, this product has the same strap and carabiner placement we saw with the Perfect fitness straps. The placement results in undue stress on the strap where it attaches and makes it clunky to use.
The overall durability of the product matches this level of economy and questionable design. It’s a product with a serious concern for quality. There’s a distinctly light-duty build, and the padding is relatively weak for the amount of weight they’ll carry, and the straps can be a little too short.
Again, it’s nice to have economy options but this kind of product raises serious questions when the carabiner itself breaks relatively often. Durability and comfort are key factors and this product just isn’t great at either – less bad than perfect fitness, but still not great.
5. Valeo Fitness Hanging Ab Strap
These are another quality product with a good carabiner design that removes any secondary straps. This keeps the overall product high-durability since you’re relying on the ductility of metal rather than canvas or other fabrics.
The stitching isn’t as high-quality as we’d like, since this is some of the most important quality in the product. It’s going to support your whole weight and there’s a durability issue when it frays a little too easily. The product isn’t falling apart, but it does wear a little faster than we’d like.
They’re pretty comfortable and strike a good balance between quality and economy, however. We like these straps, and we’re really being picky, but the sewing quality and the screw quality are the only major ‘cons’ with this product.
Overall, a quality choice if you’re looking for regular use for a few years.
6. RIMSports Ab Straps for Pull Up Bar
These are pretty basic and pretty effective. The design of the product should be pretty standard if you’ve paid attention to the list so far. It’s a strap with a pair of D loops and a connecting carabiner – which introduces some clunky movement and some concerns for longevity in the canvas loops.
This makes it less useful/durable than a carabiner-only design, as the straps do tend to take the brunt of wear and tear. They’re pretty good quality, but the design concept is a little inferior to the others we’ve seen on this list.
Even so, this is a pretty good product and another example of quality vs economy being balanced well. One of the big selling points for this product is the comfort, as it is pretty well-padded without any unnecessary material.
A good product, overall!
7. Iron Gym Ab Straps
This is the classic economy product for this list and it honestly represents some of the worst problems associated with cheap production and sale. Fitness equipment isn’t always the best place to scrimp and save when it comes to hanging from a bar!
They’re sold as a secondary piece of equipment with a home pull-up bar, which already makes them something of an after-thought. The canvas has the appearance of quality but the design with the strap and carabiner design does still leave it open to easy over-stress and damage.
The carabiners themselves are tiny and may be problematic if you’re looking to hang from a piece of gym equipment in the standard 2” diameter. You better have somewhere specific in mind to get anything from this product!
The length of the clasp is short, the overall loop is very tight, and the carabiner is both cheap and small. This lets the product down as the straps themselves are tolerably good for the price. They’re a little rough, but for a product at this price, we’re not surprised.
The lesson here is simple: sometimes it’s a cheap product because it’s poorly-considered or just doesn’t do the job well!
What Are Ab Straps?
Ab straps are suspension training kit that designed to support the body while hanging from an overhead bar. They’re hanging straps for ab exercises like the hanging leg raise, side crunch, or toes to bar.
What Do You Use Ab Straps For?
The main role of the ab strap is for suspended core training. By taking the legs off the floor, you’re effectively putting the load on your core. These muscles are forced to do the work when using ab straps.
The support of the arms reduces the amount of stress placed through the grip, which can also be useful if you’re dealing with elbow or wrist pain. It allows you to train without worrying about these joints, as well as allowing you to hang longer and focus on core strength.
It’s also pretty common to see these products used as ab straps for pull up bars in a home gym. They offer a new way of training core in a relatively small space without much equipment – and without any weights.
There are a number of quality exercises that you can perform with hanging ab straps that offer a chance for versatile and effective core training:
- Knee tucks
- Hanging leg raises
- Hanging side crunches
- Windscreen wiper (with or without tuck)
- Front lever training
There are tons of options, these are just a few of the clear options. We recommend thinking about what kind of ab training you’re looking for and what kind of use your ab straps might get.
How to Use Ab Straps?
Fortunately, ab straps are super simple to use. They’re simply loops of durable fabric materials that you attach to an overhead bar. This could be the bar of a power cage, a strong beam in your home, or you can use ab straps for a pull up bar.
Whatever you’re using, make sure it’s a solid and unmoving structure. There’s going to be a combination of weight and momentum when it comes to training with ab straps, and that places a lot of stress on your overhead support.
Be safe, and don’t just jump in headfirst if you don’t trust your overhead support bar!
Key Features of a Great Ab Strap
Are Ab Straps good? Well, that depends on a few factors.
Here’s a brief run-down of the important factors you should look for. These are going to make the difference between a good, bad, and amazing ab strap product.
If you’re springing for some new kit for your home gym, it’s important to keep your eyes open for these basics.
While you might not weigh 10,000 lbs, you’re going to need an ab strap with a good rating. When you consider the amount of use a product like this would see, it’s always great to have more weight tolerance than you need.
This is especially true if you’re considering more-advanced core training exercises in the future. These may include movements that stress the straps in directions other than straight-up/down. On top of this, momentum affects the force you put through straps in the first place.
The lower-rated straps aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re going to be a significant factor in the durability of your ab straps. The best ab straps offer more weight rating than you need and more than you can reasonably use.
The more surplus the better, especially when you get into the 1000s of lbs!
There are 3 main carabiner designs that determine how well a product is going to work – and how long for. This is a factor in the ease of use, as well as the longevity of your hanging ab straps.
The 3 key styles we’re looking at are the direct carabiner, strap and carabiner, and the direct hook.
This is our favorite kind of hanging ab strap. It features a single, large carabiner that is directly sewn into the strap. This provides a great opportunity for heavy-duty stitching and a solid product.
It also reduces the number of moving parts since the main point of stress is the (often) steel carabiner, rather than a fabric. The movement of this kind of product tends to be smooth on the bar you’re attaching it to, as well.
The end result is a durable, high-quality product. There are obviously some issues still if the stitching is poor-quality or the carabiners themselves are made cheaply. However, this is one of the best ways of producing a quality ab strap.
Strap and Carabiner
This is a design using a smaller carabiner that has a series of straps connecting the arm-support to the attachment. This introduces a lot of smaller, less-durable material to the equation and thus tends to be a cheaper, lighter-duty choice.
You’ll see this design on economy products because it tends to mean less metal – and thus less cost in production. The results, however, tend to be a more difficult user experience. The moving parts can get caught on your supporting bar and tend to stress the weaker parts of the product.
The result is reduced durability, which means a pretty good chance of breaking and replacing a product. This is why we advise investing a little extra money in a model with a direct carabiner style. It’s always cheaper to buy once than continue replacing a poor quality product.
Hooks are like the direct carabiner approach, but without most of the benefits. These aren’t included in our list because they’re terrible.
They have the same design but without a closed-loop and, accordingly, they risk increased movement and may not stay attached to the supporting bar. This is obviously a real problem; with the amount of movement, you could expect doing leg raises and other forms of pivoting movement.
The hooks are open, and this makes them very limited. This takes out the versatility that we value in the ab straps, so it’s a real problem. Avoid these products; they offer very little.
Stitching Quality and Durability
Durability is always good, but it can be hard to gauge sometimes.
One of the key factors we want you to think about is stitching quality. If you get a good direct carabiner design then all the weight is likely to be placed through the stitching.
Make sure you invest in a product with quality, heavy-duty stitching. We’ve included this during our reviews above for exactly this reason: it’s going to make sure your ab straps are built to last and keep bringing you great training for years to come.
Padding and Comfort
This is always going to be relevant. If you’re trying to get your ab work in, it’s easier when hanging from the bar doesn’t hurt.
Padding and comfort are important when you’re working longer sets – either with high reps of to-failure. Padding keeps the arms safe and pain-free during these times is going to make your training less of a problem and let you focus on your performance.
Better padding makes a better product, but tends to come with the more expensive ab straps. It’s a luxury you pay for, but it does pay off in the long-run.
Our Final Thoughts
Good ab straps can take some of the tedium out of an ab workout, offering versatility and better training. But you want to get the best ab straps possible, and you don’t want to replace them at your own expense.
Our favorite ab strap is the RDX hanging ab straps. It does all the basics really well and the only real concern is that it’s no more comfortable than other premium hanging ab straps! It scores high on durability and comfort.
Alternatively, the Armageddon sport straps are great if you’re willing to splash on a very small upgrade to comfort!
If you’re looking to improve your training and build core strength, this is a fantastic choice and offers a great experience without a huge price tag.