Ab rollers are a very effective tool for getting a full body workout in just one move and it comes as no surprise that ab rollers are one of the most bought home gym equipments. In this article we will go through what a ab roller is, benefits of using it, variations you can do and how to include it in your training.
Related: Calf Machine
What is it
The ab roller is basically a wheel with two handles on, and while that might sound simple it can be used for very hard exercises that as the name suggests work the abs and core but it is a full body workout tool that also work everything from shoulders and arms to your legs and back.
Benefits of the ab roller
1. It involves a lot of muscles
Most abdominal exercises focuses on targeting just the abs and core, but this tool helps you work your whole body in one move which makes it a good bang for your buck exercise. This is great if you do full body workouts or are pressed for time.
2. Better balance
As you need to keep the wheel balanced during the movements the movement does not just work your muscles to get stronger but also to increase your balance.
3. Can help with bad posture
As you use your whole body to stabilize yourself, you will soon find that you have a week link somewhere in the body and this exercise will help balance that out which can improve your posture and movement.
4. It is convenient
The ab roller is small, easy to learn the movement and can be done at home. It’s one of the most bought workout equipment remember? So if you live a hectic life and dont have the time to go to a gym, get a ab roller to keep at home. Just warm up and start rolling at home to get results!
5. It might help you prevent back pain
As it is one of the best if not the best core exercise in existence it will get your core really strong which is crucial for protecting your back from injury.
Related: Farmers Walks
Progression to get to ab rolls
If you are new to training or have a weakness somewhere that makes ab rolls to hard from the beginning, use this awesome progression plan to get you ready for one of the best core lifts. With these exercises you will soon be able to use the ab roller and see its benefits.
1. Planks and push ups
Ab rolls are basically a plank where you extend your arms forward, so being able to keep your whole body stable is crucial. Start doing planks by starting laying on the floor with only your feet and forearms touching the floor. Keep your back straight and your whole body completely stable focusing on tensing the abs. Work up to 3 sets of 1 minute.
Do push ups as well to practice being stable while your arms move. Set up with your hands and feet touching the floor, back completely straight and a tight core. Lower yourself down towards the floor slowly and then press yourself back up. Work up to 3 sets of 15 reps.
If you want to go harder try combining planks and pushups. Do a set of pushups and without taking a break go down to your forearms and hold a plank for as long as you can.
2. Roll outs from the knees
When you have mastered the first step it is now time to up the difficulty. Start at a position where you have grabbed the ab wheel with your hands and have your knees planted on the floor. Start by rolling forward as far as possible with the wheel while still being able to roll it back. The goal is to get down so your arms are parallel with you upper body, but this takes practice so just go as far out as you can handle and focus on going lower down each session. Focus on keeping the body stable just like you have done in the planks. Work up to be able to get 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
3. The full ab roll
You are now ready to try one of the most hardcore core exercises there is!
Start standing with feet close together, bend down at the hips and grab the ab wheel on the floor. As always you should tense your abs, keep the back straight and body tight. Start rolling the wheel forward as far as possible, the goal is for you to able to get to parallel with the floor with arms extended overhead. Bring yourself back up by rolling the wheel back bending at the hips.
Tip: If you do not have a ab roller available at your gym, take a barbell and put a weight plate on each side and you can use that the same way.
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How to put it in your workout
Ab rolls are very tough so preferably they should be placed quite early in your workouts so you can be fresh while doing them, at least until you have mastered it then you can put it after you liking. But remember to alway do your compound movements (squat, deadlift and hip thrusts) first as they need the core stability for you to perform at your best. Do as many reps as possible and always try to progress bu going lower in the movement or adding reps. If you do them at home, warm up before doing them to avoid the risk of injury.
So here you have one of the most badass and hardest lifts! But the results are just as badass so try them and take your physique to the next level!