The ab wheel is a fantastic way to strengthen your core and make that six-pack pop.
The ab roller wheel may seem like a simple piece of equipment, but the benefits of this small rollout device can be quite effective for our work and progress in the gym.
The ab wheel is a good option because it is affordable and can seriously increase abdominal strength and power. The ab rollout motion is a compound movement, meaning it activates multiple muscle groups at once to provide better functionality and strength to the overall power of your body. While it primarily works the rectus abdominis, it can have solid impact on your obliques, lower back, glutes, shoulders, and even your chest (1). As a challenging abdominal movement, this is good for stabilizing your muscles and increasing overall core strength.
Check out the best Ab Roller for fitness on the market right here.
Benefits Of A Strong Core
While a strong front is visibly shown through those popping six-pack abs, it is important to know the functionality behind a strong core.
Benefits of strong abs include:
- Prevent lower back pain: Don’t let low back pain hurt your gains and overall performance. Strong abdominals will take stress off your low back and provide for better support with activities.
- Better balance and posture: A strong core can enhance better balance and posture, especially for those of us who sit all day. Staying grounded and more supported during those big lifts will only enhance our gains. Also, this will seriously boost your confidence.
- Easier everyday activities: Playing off of better support, your daily activities won’t seem so difficult because you will have strong abs to back you up.
- Aid in big lifts: Those big lifts require core support and with stronger abdominals anything from your squat, deadlift, bench press and more will really improve.
Ab Roller Wheel Benefits
Full Body Workout
The ab roller wheel exercise is not strictly an abdominal one. While it is true that the ab roller wheel will work to provide for a strong and solid core, as well as target smaller muscles that traditional ab exercises don’t hit, it provides for full body engagement making this a fantastic movement. Activating your glutes and lower back for support, while relying on your shoulders for stability, the ab wheel allows for a back and forth movement you can be sure will hit many muscles with the handles.
Promotes Better Breathing & Posture
A strong core will improve your breathing and posture, both beyond important as you transition to other lifts and exercises included with your general workout. The ab roller wheel requires the use of many muscles, as well as a long stretching motion as you roll out to really open your body, elongate the spine, and give you a good foundation to promote your breathing (3) and increased posture. Your confidence will improve and your workouts will seem less taxing with more capacity to breathe.
Reduces Back Pain
By increasing core strength, you rely less on your back for total support which limits your risk of back pain or injury. Back pain tends to originate from a weak core so including a regular ab routine can promote stability and reduced pain (4). The ab wheel, being full body engagement, is perfect for this type of fix and being cogniscient of your low back while performing the movement is very important. Sagging can hurt your low back so keeping a tight and braced core will go a long way.
Easy To Perform
Although this motion can be difficult, it is easy to perform and only requires an inexpensive ab wheel. For toning, this is a solid way to do so while attacking other parts of the body. Traditional ab exercises like crunches or Russian twists are still good to do, but throw in some reps with the ab roller wheel to add to those smooth gains.
How To Use It
To begin this exercise, start on your knees while gripping the ab wheel handles in front of you. Maintain a flat back and brace your core as you slowly start to roll forward. Only go as far as your body will let you to avoid injury and once at your limit, keep your abs and body tight as you return to the starting position. Form is crucial with this, so don’t let your body sag or weaken once you start to roll out to eliminate lower back and spine pain in time to be comfortable.
Common Mistakes When Using The Ab Wheel
1. Your Arms Aren’t Straight
Many people will break their arms when performing the ab rollout by bending their elbows. What this does is actually transfers the load away from your abs and more into your arms. It will feel easier because you’re making it easier. Keep those arms straight so you really maximize this movement as time efficiently as possible to be comfortable.
2. Use Your Abs
Too often do we use our arms for this motion which does nothing for our abs. This makes sense, since your points of contact are in fact your hands and arms, but have your arms be only that: a point of contact.
3. No Sagging
If you don’t brace your abs, then you run into the issue of the dreaded sag. When rolling out, you will feel your back start to arc, and maybe even feel an uncomfortable tug on your low back. This will be dangerous when it comes to unwanted pain and injury but is easily avoidable. Tighten your abs and lock out your body so it’s neutral and comfortable.
Ways To Avoid Poor Form & Fix Those Mistakes
Thankfully, there are ways to fix these mistakes or stop them before they even happen. Working on breathing is key for it will help control your ab engagement as well as work to control breathing for a longer session. Starting with the wheel right under your shoulders will allow for a great set up when it comes to form and will allow you to fully engage your abs in a proper way. Keeping your shoulders and hips aligned will also help with this. Be aware of your hips during this movement and that you are not shooting them forward. This can lead to arcing and that pain we all want to desperately avoid with ab wheels so get started by keeping your core tight.
How Effective Is The Ab Wheel?
When you look at an ab wheel and all the information there is surrounding this piece of workout equipment, the results are overwhelmingly positive as to the benefits of this item. A simple yet easy to use and learn tool, an ab wheel has the potential to be one of the most effective tools in your gym bag. From increasing strength in not only your abs but other muscles, enhancing posture and balance for better lifts and every day functionality, and providing for that shredded physique we all desire, the hype around the ab wheel is all very much valid. Inexpensive, this is definitely something to consider adding into your workout routine and is effective in its mission in getting you those six pack abs.
Ab Wheel Plank: This variation is great for beginners and combines a plank with the ab wheel. Not only will this work your larger abdominal muscles, but also your obliques and those smaller stabilizers that are essential in helping to keep you strong and balanced. Hold yourself in a solid plank position on all fours and while grab the handles of the roller wheel as you elevate yourself into a solid plank position. Squeeze your core and keep a neutral spine for your desired amount of time. Gently lower and repeat for your desired number of reps for the plank.
Wide-Stance Front Roll-Out: This is slightly easier than the normal stance and is the same process, but with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. This will work different muscles and challenge your balance with a wider stance. With the wheel in front of you, have your hips around hip-width apart. With your back straight and arms extended, roll forward keeping your core braced. Repeat for your desired number of reps.
V Roll-Outs: V Roll-Outs will provide greater emphasis on the obliques and the process is the same, except when you roll forward, slowly roll at a 45 degree angle instead of straight out. This will challenge you differently as opposed to simply rolling straight out, sculpting those obliques. Begin in a normal ab rollout position, but as you begin to roll, move to the right at a 45-degree angle, then return to the starting position. Again, only this time move to the left at a 45-degre angle and return to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.
Single-Arm Roll-Out: A very challenging variation, this is the normal roll-out procedure except using only one hand. It is important to remain tight with good form for you have to focus harder to not tip over to the side. Also, your core must stay engaged throughout to avoid sagging and arcing which can that pain we are trying hard to avoid. Begin in the standard position but grab the roller with one hand. As you roll out, really stay focused and feel confident in how strong and stable you’ve become.
Rapid Rollouts: After you master the slow rollout that is our traditional exercise, increasing speed may be the next step for you. This will really put stress on your abs so you have no choice but to control your body and where it moves. This will really test your balance and core strength,
Featured Ab Wheel
EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel Kit
EnterSports Ab Roller Wheel Kit is the perfect workout package to get you started on your journey to six-pack abs makin this a great featured product. The following are included in this exercise kit: 1 super wide roller wheel, 2 push-up handles, 1 extra thick foam knee pad, and 2 premium resistance bands. Perfect for your home gym workouts, this kit is exactly what you need to round out your workouts at the gym.
Each rep of this exercise will work your muscles to see that desired strength as well as decrease your risk of injury. Superior quality ensures safety and comfort and a 100% money back guarantee should be comforting knowing this company has your back if you are unsatisfied with this featured product.
Working our abs can be challenging. We all want that toned physique but can only do so many crunches before we go insane. The ab wheel is one purchase that will seriously help improve core strength and allow for that desired aesthetic to show. More than that, the benefits of improved breathing and posture, multiple muscle engagement, and a time-saving exercise are all reasons to purchase this affordable and convenient workout tool for even people of all experience levels at the gym.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Marchetti, Paulo H.; Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Jarbas da Silva, Josinaldo; Guiselini, Mauro A.; Sisconeto de Freitas, Fabio; Pecoraro, Silvio L.; Gomes, Willy A.; Lopes, Charles R. (2015). “Muscle Activation Pattern During Isometric Ab Wheel Rollout Exercise in Different Shoulder Angle-Positions”. (source)
- Huxel Bliven, Kellie C.; Anderson, Barton E. (2013). “Core Stability Training for Injury Prevention”. (source)
- Nelson, Nicole; Beach, Ponte V. (2012). “Diaphragmatic Breathing: The Foundation of Core Stability”. (source)
- Cho, Hwi-young; Kim, Eun-hye; Kim, Junesun (2014). “Effects of the CORE Exercise Program on Pain and Active Range of Motion in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain”. (source)