Getting your abs in check involves maintaining an ab routine. Of course, you could repeatedly do several activities such as sit-ups, push-ups, and sets of planks. But incorporating an ab roller in your training could make all the difference. If you’re wondering how to increase your shape and strength and build your abs, then an ab roller is what you need. It may look like a simple tool, but it’s an intensifying and advanced training accessory.
What is an Ab Roller?
It’s also known as an ab wheel or wheel crunch. It’s a wheel containing grips hooked to the sides that you hold on to move outwards while performing crunches or other activities on the floor. It’s a great and effective tool for ab workouts, but you need to be extra cautious to prevent straining and injuring your muscles.
What Muscles Are Targeted by an Ab Roller?
An ab roller mainly targets the rectus abdominis muscle (six-pack muscles). The six-pack muscles flex your abdomen and bring your ribcage closer to your spine. So when you start your ab training with the ab roller and other workout equipment, the abdominal muscles give you the six-pack shape. The roller also targets other upper and shoulder muscles but only when you do it correctly.
How to use your ab roller
To utilize the ab roller properly, you must have strong core power in a plank position and upper body strength. So your shoulders, forearms, and back must be stable and strong.
To see results, it may take a few months of training to gain the stamina required to perform ab wheel rollouts successfully. But, this is dependent on your current fitness condition.
Now, you can use your ab roller in various ways that may include:
Kneeling Ab Roll Out
It would be best to have a soft mat/pad to do this. The aim of rolling out is to stretch far as possible while maintaining tightened abs and keeping the torso in a solid plank position. Once you do this, follow the below steps:
- Begin on both knees. Put the ab roller on the floor and this should be in front of your torso.
- With your arms fully extended, tighten your abs and gradually roll the wheel forward while your torso is symmetrical.
- Tighten your abs without arching your back, then roll back to the beginning position and repeat.
- If you’re a beginner you can do 8 -10 reps, for intermediate 12-15 reps, and 20-30 reps for advanced level.
But if this rollout feels too easy for you, you can up your workout and use your toes. To do this:
- Begin in a standing position, then bend from the hips, extend down, and touch your toes.
- Place the ab roller in front of your feet.
- Hold your abs tightly and stretch your arms fully before slowly rolling the wheel forward as your torso is parallel to the ground.
- Squeeze your core and roll back to the beginning position.
- You can attempt to finish 5- 8 reps without pausing.
Plank With Arm/Leg Lift
On all fours, raise into a high plank position with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, arms stretched, palms flat on the ground, and wrists below your shoulders. Keep your abs, buttocks, and quads tight.
- Hold the posture for two counts while holding your core, hips, and lower half. By lifting your right hand and left leg off the floor, stretch these limbs out as straight as possible.
- Put them back on the floor and take a rest.
- Repeat with your other limbs, raising your left hand and right leg as you keep an appropriate plank position.
- You can repeat this for 30-60 seconds.
Doing these extensions puts your core to the test on a stable surface. But if you find these activities difficult, you can reduce the movement to merely lifting one limb at a time.
Swiss Ball Forearm Plank Rollout
Doing this workout engages your core muscles and the smaller supporting muscles. If rolling the ball is too tough, you can place a plank on top of the ball.
- Position yourself on all fours with a swiss ball in front of you.
- Place your forearms on the ball and bend your elbows.
- Lift your legs from the ground with your toes and put your body into a forearm plank pose, resting your shoulders over your elbows. Keep your abs tight, glutes compressed, and back flat.
- Maintain focused abs and a flat back as you roll the ball forward a few inches. You can then return to the beginning position. Try and perform 8 -12 reps.
Walkouts strengthen your core and train your body in the fundamental standing movements to perform pushup positions on ab wheel rollouts.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Fold your torso forward and rest your hands on the floor.
- Slowly move your hands out without moving your legs until you’re in plank position, resting your hands flat, shoulders above your wrists, core tight, glutes compressed, and back flat.
- Bend your elbows, then drop your chest to the ground to complete a pushup.
- Return to standing by slowly, walking your hands back toward your feet. Try and do 10 reps.
Ab Roller and a Treadmill
- Place the ab wheel in the center of the belt on the ground. Ensure it is at the base of a treadmill set to a 2.5 mph speed.
- Roll out to an entire plank posture over the treadmill with both legs firmly put on the floor, both arms fully stretched, and core braced.
- Now that you are in a plank position, you can start spinning on the wheel from side to side as quickly as you can manage with time control.
- Return to the starting point and repeat the process.
The above workout is ideal for anyone. Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate, or a pro, you can benefit significantly by using an ab roller.
If you have previously experienced low back issues, you can start slow. In addition, it would be best to work with someone who can guide and monitor you as it might save you hours of agony and regrets.