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Why The AB Wheel is Your Six Pack Shortcut

By: :Thomas Frazer 0 comments
Why The AB Wheel is Your Six Pack Shortcut

At first sight the ab roller looks like a cute and fun little workout accessory. With that said, in practice it is an advanced tool that warrants respect as it is capable of delivering seriously intense core workouts.

If you need any proof of this you can watch the plethora of online social media posts of our favourite influencers and celebrities rocking the ab wheel and demonstrating how it is the best ab workout around. For instance, our favourite comedian Kevin Heart posted a workout with baby Kenzo on his back captioned - “Ab rollers: increase core stability, strength, and endurance.” Check out the video - @getvitahustle on Instagram.

AB Roller Wheel Effectiveness 

The ab roll-out demonstrated by Kevin Heart (with the addition of his son) is a more advanced variation of the workout, as a result of the added weight and balance requirement. That being said, the principle movement remains the same and is a fundamental exercise that can be executed by even beginner ab wheel users.  The tool isolates the core, when talking about the core it is not just the visible abdominal muscles but also the layers of stabilizer muscles beneath the abdominals. These muscles run around the entire torso, including along the sides and lower back, and when these muscles are collectively strengthened, they act list a corset, pulling everything in. This is where this tool excels as it provides both aesthetic results and functional strength.

AB Roller: How To Use

Using the AB Wheel can appear daunting, for good reason. There is an excursion of pressure on the lower back as well as the joints in the shoulders and elbows. Therefore, it is important to take note of the below key safety points when using the AB Roller:

  

  • Avoid Arching the Lower Back: As you roll out, avoid arching the lower back, you will be able to feel a pinching sensation in your lower back if this arching takes place while performing the roll-out. To avoid this you can either; shorten your roll and/or perform the roll out on your knees.
  • Keep your head down and in neutral position: With your chin slightly tucked in during the roll-out. This helps with reducing the pressure on your lower back and neck.
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    AB Wheel exercises for beginners should be limited to doing simple planks, this is recommended because it takes time to develop and build a solid core foundation that is capable of supporting your full body weight when performing the roll-out. Once you are able to do this with relative comfort you should then move on to the knee roll-out and then finally onto the full roll-out and other advanced variations. Although this may seem frustrating, it is a great way for you to keep track of your progression as you move to the more advanced movements.

    Top 5 - AB Wheel Workouts

    Let’s get started with some of the best ab roller exercises that will tighten your core like nothing else on the market. We will move from beginner ab workouts and end with advanced ab roller variations. 

    1. AB Wheel Plank

    As noted, this exercise is the best starting point for ab wheel roller beginners because it provides the fundamental strength in the stability muscles. It also builds your confidence on how to hold the roller while maintaining your balance.

     

    1. Begin on all fours in front of your roller.
    2. Grasp the handles of the roller with both hands, one on each side of the wheel, palms facing down.
    3. Push your torso up into a plank position with your body in a single straight line from head to heels.
    4. Engage your core and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
    5. Repeat 3 to 4 times.

    2. Knee Roll Out

    The next natural progression comes in the form of the Knee Roll Out. As was mentioned you need to avoid the arching of the back while performing this movement, ideally lowering your torso to inches from the ground. If you are not able to go this low in the beginning then try only performing the movement half-way. You may also chose to use a pad for your knees for extra support.

     

    1. Begin kneeling on the floor.
    2. Grasp the handles of your wheel with your arms extended.
    3. Engage your abs and slowly roll forward until your belly is just above the floor, keeping your arms extended in front of you.
    4. Return to starting position by rolling back in to your knees.
    5. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps.

    3. Wide-Stance Front Roll-Out

    This is the next easiest movement before taking on the full roll-out (with feet together). As your core strength progresses, narrow your stance until your legs are together and you can complete the full roll-out.

    1. Begin standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart, wheel on the floor in front of you.
    2. Bend at your waist and grasp the handles.
    3. Keeping your back straight and arms extended, roll forward until your arms are over your head and your body is just above the ground in a straight line.
    4. Roll the wheel back toward your feet, bending again at the waist to return to your starting position.
    5. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps.

    4. Narrow-Stance Front Roll-Out

    Once you have mastered the Ab Wheel Plank and the wide-stance roll-out its then time for you to graduate to the full roll-out. With this motion you will notice a significant difference, you will feel the engaging of your arms, back, and shoulders - almost as much as your abs.

    1. Begin standing with your feet together, wheel on the floor in front of you.
    2. Bend at your waist and grasp the handles.
    3. Keeping your back straight and arms extended, roll forward until your arms are over your head and your body is just above the ground in a straight line.
    4. Roll the wheel back toward your feet, bending again at the waist to return to your starting position.
    5. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps.

     5. V Roll-Outs

    This variation implements the same fundamental as knee roll-outs, but, it places more emphasis on the obliques.

    1. Begin kneeling, grasping the handles of your roller.
    2. Keeping your arms extended, roll out slowly to your right at about a 45 degree angle.
    3. Return to your starting position, then roll slowly at an angle to your left.
    4. Repeat, alternating sides, for 5 to 10 reps.

    The Best AB Wheel Roller 

    Now that you have a repertoire of exercises to chose from to build killer core strength it is important to make sure that you make the best decision when purchasing your ab roller. Like with all successful workout accessories, your choices are endless. This does not mean that all are of equal quality.

    When making your purchase decision there are a number of factors to consider:

    • Quality and Sturdiness: As with anything, quality is important, which is especially the case when buying an Ab Roller. There are a number of Flimsy and cheaply made products on the market that are liable to break mid use which will cause your body harm. It is important that you purchase a wheel that is strong and will not wobble or buckle under the pressure of your body weight.
    • Portability: The size of the wheel and functionality are also important, it is important that you can easily dissemble and reassemble your wheel so that you can use it anywhere, anytime.
    • Price: The price is important and is not always indicative of quality so make sure to read the reviews!

    We highly recommend the tried and tested AB-Buster AB Wheel from Specialty Select. As far as a tool for beginner ab workouts this is the best in the market, with a free knee support mat, a steel bar for pressure absorbance and easy disassembly you can trust this tool not to wobble or falter use after use. 

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