If you want six pack abs, a flat stomach, or a killer core, this article will show you how to get these results using nothing but an ab wheel roller.
Some of you may believe that an ab wheel roller is dangerous and can hurt the back. Well, you’re not alone – I held the same belief for so many years. But later I discovered that an ab roller is one of the most important workout equipment one can ever own. That’s right. This cheap and simple equipment can completely transform your body.
You see, the ab rollouts don’t just activate the ab muscles. They strengthen the shoulders, oblique muscles, arms, legs and the entire core. And if performed at high intensity, they can build muscular endurance and improve cardiovascular health.
This may surprise you, but some of the people walking around with flat stomachs and abs have weak cores. That’s right! Some folks look fit but they’re not actually fit. Well, that won’t be the case for you if you use the ab roller. This equipment builds extraordinary core strength.
And as you may know, having a strong core improves posture, reduces lower back pain, and improves athletic performance. So this exercise won’t just transform how you look but how you feel as well.
Ab rollouts are a full body exercise which burns lots of calories, but they cannot get rid of all excess body fat. Your diet has to be on point for you to lose belly fat.
Read this article on how to lose body fat fast. For men, abs show at 10-12% body fat and women need a body fat percentage of 17-20% for the stomach to be flat.
It’s true that ab rollouts can hurt your back, but only if they’re not performed properly. So make sure you master proper form first, before you work on increasing reps. If you focus on doing many reps before mastering proper form, you’ll end up hurting yourself.
I’ve noticed that in some youtube tutorials, folks make a crucial mistake that could potentially hurt the back. That is, doing ab rollouts with an arched back. You should keep your back rounded when performing this exercise – this activates the ab muscles more and protects the spine.
Unlike exercises like crunches and sit-ups where one has to do numerous reps to build ab muscles, the ab rollouts fully activate the ab muscles after only a few reps. Doing 3 sets of maximum reps after each workout is all you need to strengthen the core and build ab.
Frankly, ab rollouts are a challenging exercise but don’t let them intimidate you. I will show you how to easily perform this exercise, even if you’re a beginner with a weak core.
Now let’s dive right in, here are two ab rollout variations you can do – kneeling ab rollouts and standing ab rollouts.
Kneeling Ab Rollouts
The kneeling ab rollouts are the best variation for beginners, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Most beginners can’t perform a single ab rollout properly. But I’ll show you a beginner variation anyone can do.
How to perform
Kneel and place your knees on a cushion or mat to avoid discomfort.
Grab the ab wheel roller with both hands and place it on the floor – directly below your shoulders.
Round your back by lifting the middle back up and then tighten the abdominal muscles.
Slowly roll out as you keep the ab muscles tight. Roll out as far as you can while keeping the back rounded. Stop when you notice the back starting to arch then roll back to starting position.
Ask someone to hold your heels to avoid the feet from going up, alternatively you can wedge your toes under a chair.
By the way, the ab wheel rolls better a hard surface than it does on a carpet or a mat.
You’ll need to use a wall for support to make this exercise less challenging. Most beginners are not able to stop the wheel from rolling out, so they end up falling on their face. This happens because of weak ab muscles.
Performing the exercise in front of a wall will stop the wheel from rolling forward. And this will make the exercise a lot easier.
To perform the beginner variation – Kneel a few inches from the wall (facing it) – the distance between you and the wall will determine the difficulty of the exercise, the closer you’re the easier the exercise will be.
Slowly roll out until the wheel hits the wall then slowly roll back to starting position. This variation will build the strength you need to perform the kneeling ab rollouts.
The key to progressing fast is to increase the distance between you and the wall after each workout.
If you still find this variation too challenging, just do the rollouts without rolling back to starting position. Simply, roll out until the wheel hits the wall then walk back with your hands and roll out again.
You just need to be consistent and keep progressing, and eventually, you’ll be able to perform kneeling ab rollouts at a full range of motion.
Standing Ab Rollouts
This is arguably the best core exercise you’ll ever do. It’s far more effective than crunches or sit ups.
Even though the kneeling ab rollouts are great, the standing ab rollouts are greater and they’re the ones you should do more. And you can use the ‘wall variation’ I explained above to perform this exercise.
How to perform
Stand upright and keep the feet a few inches apart.
Bend and place the ab wheel on the floor. Curve your back, tighten the ab muscles then roll out as far as you can while keeping the back curved. And don’t bend your knees, keep the feet straight throughout.
Then slowly roll back to starting position and repeat.
When you perform the standing ab rollouts at a full range of motion, you should roll out until the chest is a few inches off the floor. But you need a really strong core to do a full range of motion with proper form.
Like I said earlier, first master proper form before you start increasing reps because this exercise can hurt your back if not done properly.
Just like the beginner variation for kneeling ab rollouts – stand in front of a wall then roll out until the roller hits the wall then roll back and repeat.
Stand further from the wall if you want to make the exercise more challenging.
Choosing a ab wheel roller
Frankly, any ab wheel roller can work – I once had a homemade wheel and it worked just fine. Anyway, here’s what you should consider when buying an ab wheel.
Width – A wider wheel has more stability and is easy to use, so buy a wide wheel or the rollers with 2 wheels. Narrow wheels are unstable and they can damage the floor.
Radius – The bigger the radius of the wheel, the better. A bigger wheel rolls smoothly on the floor while a smaller one doesn’t roll smoothly, and can scratch your hands against the floor.
Doing ab rollouts after each workout will give you the coveted six-pack abs and a killer core. You just need to make sure your diet is on point.
Note that you still have to train other muscle groups, don’t focus on abs alone. You’ll get rid of belly fat faster if you do exercises like squats, lunges, pull-ups and so on.
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