Ab rollers (a.k.a. ab wheels, exercise wheels, power wheels). At first glance, you’d probably think “What can a wheel with 2 handles really do for me?”
Well, you won't be saying that after you’ve tried an ab wheel rollout 😉
Research shows that the ab roller is one of the best tools to actively engage your rectus abdominis – a.k.a. your “6-pack muscle”.
But the ab roller benefits go far beyond just chiseled abs. When you use an ab roller you’ll be working pretty much all the major muscle groups including your core, arms, back, glutes, etc. Add to that a plethora of other benefits such as improved stability, flexibility, posture, and athletic efficiency.
Ready to find out more about the benefits of ab rollers?
Benefits of ab rollers
1. Help you build a STRONG core.
The ab wheel mainly engages your ‘rectus abdominis’ or what is better known as the “6-pack muscle”. This muscle holds your internal organs in place, keeps your body stable during movement, and even helps you breathe.
So, does the ab roller only help in getting those drool-worthy 6-pack abs? Not at all!
Ab rollers also recruit your transverse abdominis (the deepest core muscles), your internal and external obliques (muscles along the sides of the core), and your multifidus and erector spinae (the deep muscles in the back that run along your spine).
All this translates to a SUPER STRONG core!
And studies have shown that having a strong core, leads to a multitude of benefits including
- higher muscular endurance
- improved balance, stability, and flexibility
- fewer chances of injury
- good posture
- quicker injury recovery
- reduced fatigue
- enhanced athletic performance
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2. Work your entire body
If you thought ab wheels work only your core, think again!
Ab rollers work a host of muscle groups including your
- latissimus dorsi or lats (the muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column)
- deltoids (your shoulder muscles)
- biceps and triceps
- hip flexors (a group of muscles near the top of your thighs)
When you roll out using the ab wheel, your lats and shoulders are actively engaged, while your core (particularly your rectus abdominis) is fired up during the rolling-back phase.
All your muscles starting from your hip flexors right up to your shoulders need to work in synchrony to execute a perfect ab wheel rollout. And the fact that you only have those short handles on the ab wheel to support your entire body makes it all the more challenging!
Talk about a hard-core full-body workout, right?!
3. Can help reduce belly fat
Nope, we’re not saying that using an ab roller is a magic pill to reduce belly fat.
But as earlier mentioned, an ab wheel recruits multiple muscle groups simultaneously leading to higher muscle growth. More the muscles, the higher the calorie burn which in turn translates to a reduction in overall body fat percentage.
So, by incorporating an ab roller into your regular exercise routine, you are bound to shed off some stubborn belly fat provided you are also paying attention to your diet, sleep patterns, etc.
4. Strengthen your joints and ligaments
Ab rollers help in fortifying your joints and ligaments.
As you keep using the ab wheel, your joint integrity increases, and hence your joints become stronger and more stable.
More stable joints equal lower chances of injury.
5. Double up as a cardio workout
Perform around 10 reps of any ab roller exercise and notice how quickly your heart rate goes up.
The back-and-forth rolling in and out of the ab wheel supercharges your upper and lower extremities and thus helps you blast more calories than your usual sit-ups, crunches, or back extensions.
6. Perfect functional fitness tool
Functional fitness is all the rage in fitness circles these days. Functional training generally involves compound exercises that mimic everyday movements that in turn help make your daily activities easier to perform.
The ab roller is one of the few fitness tools out there that forces your core to work together as one unit thus improving the functionality of all the core muscle groups together.
Thanks to the ab roller, you can train your core no matter where you are!
Carry it in your backpack to the gym or pack it in your suitcase – this tiny but mighty wheel is super portable. Not to mention lightweight and affordable too!
8. Boost your mental agility
One thing about the ab wheel rollout, it’s not as easy as it looks! (as you can see in this video).
When you use an ab roller, you have to really focus on keeping your torso still and ensure that you are not bending at your waist throughout the movement. This boosts your concentration thus making it a great mental workout.
9. Improve posture and prevent back pain
Your core is responsible for various functions: trunk flexion and extension, rotation, lateral flexion, bracing, etc. But it’s also in charge of stabilization and “anti-movements” i.e. resisting any unwanted movement throughout the spine to protect it from injury.
One of these anti-movements is “anti-extension”. This is when your core prevents your back from over-arching when you perform activities such as sitting in front of a computer, throwing a ball, etc. When there is an excessive amount of curvature in your spine (due to a weak core), it increases the stress on your spine leading to lower back pain.
Ab wheel rollouts are one of the best anti-extension exercises. Every time you roll forward, your core has to work super hard to prevent your back from arching into extension. Regularly training with an ab wheel could thus help in improving your posture and preventing lower back pain.
10. Enhance athletic performance
If you’re an athlete, then investing in an ab roller is a no-brainer! Thanks to it being one of the best anti-extension training tools, of course!
Anti-movement or anti-core training helps you stabilize your hips and spine resulting in a solid base that can efficiently transfer power between the upper and lower body. This ability to transfer power allows you to not just generate powerful movements during running, jumping, etc. but also makes you less prone to injury.
On the other hand, if there is excess movement at the spine and hips (owing to a weak core), a lot of power is ‘lost’ leading to less explosive movements, slower sprints, weaker pushes, etc.
Ab wheels are also a great way to train athletes to lock their spine into place during loaded exercises. This ensures that they can safely perform various exercises including deadlifts, overhead shoulder presses, etc. without compromising their form or injuring themselves.
Our favorite Ab Roller
No prizes for guessing our favorite ab roller 😉
Burnlab’s extra-wide ab roller is made of sturdy stainless steel, non-slip rubber, and PVC, with high-density foam-covered handles that’ll make your ab rolling experience a kick-ass one!
Ready to get your core quaking? Buy Burnlab’s ab roller right here!
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Whether you want to lose belly fat, get shredded, or improve your performance on the track/ field, the ab roller has got your back!
With so many benefits like these, this is one fitness tool you don’t wanna miss!
So, pick an ab wheel today, and let’s get rollin’!