Benefits of Exercising with an Ab Roller

The ab roller is a device that's easy to use, inexpensive, and allows you to get more out of your ab workouts.
Benefits of Exercising with an Ab Roller

Last update: 30 November, 2018

This is the latest technique in cardio training. With an appropriate plan that, of course, includes a perfectly balanced diet, discipline, and consistency, it offers great results. We are talking about the ab roller, and it’s here to push the traditional crunch aside. 

The practicality of the ab roller is why it’s become a welcome accessory in the gym. It’s also achieved a special place for those who exercise alone in their own homes. It’s neither a miraculous nor magical exercise tool, though. It still requires commitment and even a certain level of patience.

It’s just a wheel?

The ab roller couldn’t look simpler! It’s a wheel with an approximate diameter of around 37 cm. It actually looks like the front wheel of a wheelbarrow used by construction workers!

Through the center of the ab roller, there’s a handle. This is for the people working with this device to hold on to. Using it is easy – simply kneel on the floor and make it roll forward and backward. But, not everything is as easy as it seems!

Woman working on ab roller

The ab roller isn’t the right choice for everyone. Even people in good physical shape who play sports frequently aren’t necessarily able to use it.

Aside from needing a certain level of abdominal strength, you need good motor coordination and control over your body. These qualities need to be developed progressively.

A good way to measure whether someone has the strength or physical capacity to get started with the ab roller is the abdominal plank. People who are good with abdominal planks should also be able to use this device without any major problems.

The newcomer should also be able to execute, without too much effort, some of the variations of roller exercises. One of these is the plank with alternating areas of support – the exercise otherwise known as “superman.”

Extensions – the basic exercises using the ab roller

Some instructors call this exercise “the wheel.” This is the standard exercise with the ab roller, from which most of the work that can be done with the ab roller begins. In order to get the results you want and to minimize risks and problems, it’s essential for you to pay attention to all the details.

Man training with ab roller

To start, you have to kneel, resting your knees against some sort of pillow or soft surface that can soften the weight you’re putting on them. Then, you need to grasp the ab roller with both of your hands and roll it forward, stretching out your body.

In the first level, the person doing the exercise should place his or herself near a wall or column that can be used as a sort of brake. Another aspect that requires special attention during the movement, is to flex the wrists when nearing the end of the frontal movement. You should also keep your elbows extended at all times.

You should flex your hips before starting the return movement to the initial position. The first goal is to perform at least three repetitions with the correct form.

Those who can’t perform these exercises or have lower back pain should return to abdominal planks until they’re ready for the ab roller.

The progression

Once you can perform 3 sets of between 10 and 12 repetitions at the basic level, you’re ready to move on to the next stage of difficulty. This is assuming that you’re keeping the correct form throughout the session.

You should move the starting position progressively further from the wall or column that acts as a brake on your forward movement. You should continue with this until you can perform the whole movement without using the “brake”. Your abdominal muscles should stop you from going further and they should bring your body back to the original position.

For the complete extension, which is the stage reached by only the most advanced ab roller users, the starting position changes. You start standing, with your legs open at shoulder-width, knees slightly bent, and hips flexed. The objective of the exercise is the same: push the ab roller forward until your body is in the plank position.

You can, use a rubber band to control your movements and make it easier to get to the starting point. At the basic level, you can use a wall or column to limit your forward movement.

A comprehensive workout

You use around 20 different muscle groups when you execute the ab roller movements correctly. The rectus abdominis is the group that benefits the most, along with the glutes, the lumbar muscles, and the obliques. You’ll also be using the deep muscles of the spinal column, as well as the pelvic flexors and extensors.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.