Do ab rollers work? On the quest to get a flatter stomach or a sculpted core, it’s boring to resort to the same old sit-ups. So, what other ways can you work the abs effectively?
It can be challenging to find the most suitable workout equipment, whether in the gym or looking for home gym equipment. Especially, if you’re not very experienced but you have some fitness goals you’re aiming for.
One popular option for equipment to add to your workout is an ab roller. But you might be asking yourself ‘do ab rollers work? Are they just a gimmick?‘ That’s why we thought we’d take a look ourselves and lay out what we found.
What is an Ab Roller?
What is an ab roller? At their simplest, ab rollers are surprisingly simple pieces of equipment.
Ab rollers feature a single broad wheel and two wide handles. They are usually made from stainless steel and rubber materials for durability and stability.
You can find them in most gyms as well as home gyms since they are easy to store and use.
How Do Ab Rollers Work?
An ab roller is an incredibly intense workout tool.
Combining the principles of a simple pushup with the need to balance, you’ll find that ab rollers demand an almost uncompromising level of core strength.
Using an ab roller is pretty simple – even if maintaining the workout isn’t anywhere near as easy.
Start with your hands and knees on the floor, with the ab roller just in front of you.
Take hold of both handles of the roller, ensuring it is stable.
Then, slowly, place pressure on the ab roller so it begins to move away from you. Use the handles and your core muscles to stabilize yourself during this movement.
The movement of the roller makes this position incredibly hard to maintain. This means you will need to rely heavily on your core and your abs to maintain the position.
Once stable, gently begin lowering your body until your back is as close to parallel with the floor as possible. Hold the position momentarily before bending back to your starting, triangular position, then repeat.
However, Men’s Health recommends caution with wheel roller exercises; overextending the back during the movement could cause significant strain.
Do Ab Rollers Work?
Well the simple answer is yes. They are quite effective at working on multiple abdominal muscles, but there is a catch. And that is, it’s only effective when the appropriate technique is utilised.
Not only can an ab wheel strengthen your abs, but it can work up to 20 different muscles in the body at once according to DMOOSE.
This includes your shoulders, arms and back.
But as mentioned, it is only beneficial if it is correctly utilised. Poor form and slacking off during the movement will not only result in a lower yield of results, but it will also lead to potential injury and strains.
If you are too reliant on a particular muscle in the exercise instead of maintaining a good balance across the movement, it can become too much if it is sustained for too long.
The other important thing that this also highlights is the need for a high quality ab roller.
Just like any piece of equipment, if you use one that is poor quality, it is more likely that your form will become poor and injuries will occur.
Luckily for you we have a few recommendations down below for some great quality ab rollers that you can buy for these exercises.
The Basics of Ab Wheel Exercises for Beginners
Ab wheels are exceptionally intense workouts, but they’re very difficult to get the hang of as a beginner.
So, before you begin one intensely, we’d recommend getting a feel for stability with the ab wheel roller to start with.
The first time you use an ab roller, it may be easier to maintain stability by balancing fully on your knees and legs rather than shifting your weight solely onto your knees.
Practice lowering your back to the floor slightly while balancing on your knees to get a feel for the motion of the ab roller; then, once you feel that you have mastered this, you can progress onto the full ab roller motion.
Alternatively, if you initially struggle to balance on the handles of your ab roller, try putting a block behind the roller to stop it from moving too quickly and putting you off balance.
Once you’ve mastered balancing your weight on the handles, you can gradually begin moving the roller to get used to the motion.
Some Ideas for an Ab Workout to Start With
Some good exercises to start with once you have this movement learned are:
- Ab Wheel Plank: placing it in front of you, roll it forward steadily, keeping your core muscles tight as you extend your body into a plank position. Hold for a few seconds, or longer if you can, with your posture firm and your back flat. Then, tighten your core and slowing roll yourself back to where you started.
- Kneeling Ab Wheel Rollout: kneel, placing the ab roller in front of you and slowly roll forward, engaging your core muscles, stretching out in a straight line as far as you can with your arms extended parallel to the floor.
- Kneeling Ab Wheel ‘v’ Variation Rollout: one of the variations is the same as above but you elevate your knees slightly, on a mat or small block. It will make it more challenging because it is increasing the difficulty.
There are so many more types of exercises that you can do with the ab roller, but these are just some simple and effective ones to start with that target different muscle groups.
Ab Roller Options
You will need a good ab roller to do these effectively, so the following three could be excellent options to consider.
This roller is an excellent option at just under one kilogram in weight if typical rollers weren’t already difficult enough.
The 3-in-1 ultra-wide wheel features non-slip rubber materials.
The exceptionally durable stainless steel construction means it’s also capable of supporting a massive 600 pounds.
It also includes a jump rope that can be paired with the ab roller. What a great deal this is!
Supporting up to 300kg in weight, this excellent ab roller comes in two different colors:
Each wheel measures 11 x 9 x 2.1 inches and is designed with durability in mind.
The non-slip handle and stainless steel tube make it substantially simpler and safer.
Meanwhile, the roller weighs just 0.72kg, making it one of the lightest weight models available. This also comes with a jump rope.
This unique ab roller weighs in at just 800 grams in weight and is capable of supporting up to 300 pounds.
It’s worth considering as an option for anyone looking to optimize their workouts.
Plus, this handy package offers everything you need to get started with toning your abs and chest with the double pushup bars.
The push up bars included can be great supplements to your ab workouts. You can mix some chest exercises involving push ups in between your sets to get even better results overall!
So, do Ab Rollers Work? Try it Yourself!
Hopefully this answered the original question of “do ab rollers work?”.
They are fantastic pieces of equipment that are simple to use and store, and can get results quickly for you.
Remember, it is important to warm up and use proper technique in order to get the best out of them and avoid injury.
If you have been looking for equipment and gear to change up your workouts, give these a go and see the great results first hand!