12 Ab Roller Wheel Exercises To Strengthen Your Core

Ever seen an ab roller? 

It’s a wheel with handles attached on either side. (yep, that’s all).

But this seemingly nondescript piece of equipment can pack a MASSIVE punch when it comes to your abs.

We’re talking washboard, Greek-God-like abs that a lot of us dream of.

But the ab roller isn’t just about ‘looks’. 

Ab wheel exercises help strengthen your core which results in improved posture, a better quality of living, and reduced chances of injury.

And the best part: They’re compact and affordable. So, no reason why you shouldn’t get one.

In this guide, we’ll tell you 

  • Who can use an ab roller
  • How to use an ab roller with proper form
  • Benefits of an ab roller
  • 12 ab roller exercises to take your ab training to the next level

Ready? Let’s go!

Who can use the ab roller?

Performing ab roller exercises is NOT a piece of cake! You need to have a HUGE deal of core and upper-body strength and control.

This is why we recommend this mean machine only for advanced users.

So, if you’re a beginner, take your time to practice these progression exercises that can build your core strength and help you master the mighty ab roller:

1. Inchworms


2. Planks


3. Exercise ball rollouts


4. Exercise ball knee tucks


5. Exercise ball pikes



Things to remember while using the ab roller

  • Maintain a stable position during the rolling in and rolling out phases of the exercise. 
  • Ensure your knees and arms are together for a tighter roll.
  • Tighten your ab muscles during the exercises, to avoid injury.
  • When you’re starting, don’t try to roll out too far as you might cause unnecessary stress on your spine. Start easy and gradually increase the length of the rolls.
  • Remember to breathe! Inhale while rolling out and exhale while rolling in.

How to use the ab roller with good form

Here’s a video that demonstrates how to use an ab roller the right way. It also focuses on the common mistakes that people make while using this equipment.



Best ab roller exercises to strengthen your core

1. Ab Wheel Plank


Want to get a feel for the ab roller? The ab wheel plank is the best exercise to begin with.

It will teach you how to grip an ab roller while balancing your body weight on it. 

How to do

  • Place your hands on the ab roller handles and get on your knees in a modified push-up position.
  • Ensure that your arms are fully extended.
  • Now lift your knees off the ground into a plank position, so that only your toes and the ab roller are on the ground.
  • Your body should be in a straight line from head to heels.
  • Engage your core and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Ab wheel Knee rollout


This basic ab wheel exercise will help you build your core strength and help avoid lower back injury. 

Master this and you can move on to the trickier exercises.

  • Begin by kneeling on a yoga mat or a pad.
  • Grasp the ab roller handles with your arms extended.
  • Keeping your abs engaged, slowly begin to roll it out until your belly is just above the floor.
  • Ensure that your lower back and hips stay in a straight line.
  • Return to starting position by rolling back into your knees.
  • Repeat.

3. Kneeling Ab Wheel ‘V’ Rollout


A variation to the standard ab wheel knee rollout that’ll get those obliques burning!

  • Begin by kneeling on a yoga mat or pad.
  • Get a firm grip on the ab roller handles.
  • Slowly push the ab roller away from your body to your left, contracting your core muscles.
  • Pull your arms back towards you until you reach your starting position.
  • Now repeat the same roll out to your right.

4. Elevated knee rollout


Take things up a notch by lifting your knees during your ab wheel knee rollouts. 

Doing this expands your range of motion and makes it crazy hard to stay stable. Hello, shredded abs!

  • Begin by kneeling on a raised platform. You could use a bench or a stack of mats.
  • Grasp the ab roller handles.
  • Engaging your core, slowly roll the ab wheel out.
  • Roll forward until your arms are fully extended and your back is flat.
  • Use your core to roll back into starting position by pulling your arms back towards you.
  • Repeat.

5. Ab wheel march


Get your legs moving with the ab wheel march that’ll give your abs and your balance a serious challenge.

  • Begin in a high plank position with your hands on the ab wheel handles and your arms under your shoulders. 
  • Lift your right leg slowly, while keeping your core engaged so that your back is straight.
  • Now slowly bring your right leg back down.
  • Repeat with your left leg.

6. Ab wheel push-up


The amazing benefits of a push-up and an ab wheel ‘rolled’ into one kick-ass exercise.

  • Begin on all fours with your hands gripping the handles of the ab roller placed in front of you. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Extend your legs back so that your torso is off the ground and your feet are hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your abs engaged, inhale as you bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the ab roller.
  • Exhale and push back up through your hands, returning to the start position.
  • Repeat.

7. Bird Dog Ab Wheel Rollout


Sounds innocent? You’re in for a surprise!

Lifting one knee off the floor at a time tests your core and lower-body balance and strength. Plus it’ll help you build strength and mass on the left and right sides of your core.

  • Kneel on a yoga mat or pad.
  • Position your hands on the ab roller handles and move into a tabletop position with your hands right below your shoulders. 
  • Now lift one leg off the ground and extend it out behind you, while keeping your back straight.
  • Push the ab wheel away from you, lowering your torso towards the floor, until your arms are fully extended and your body is in a straight line. 
  • Roll the ab wheel back to the starting position.
  • Repeat, either by completing all reps on one side or alternating legs.

8. Ab wheel bear crawl


Put your stability and balance to the test with the ab wheel bear crawl.

Crawl your way into those toned abs and obliques! 

  • Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your hands gripped on the ab roller handles. Position your shoulders directly above your hands.
  • Now lift your knees 1 to 2 inches off the ground, such that you are supporting your body only with your hands and the balls of your feet.
  • Ensure that your hips and knees are at 90-degree angles and your back is straight. 
  • Keeping your abs engaged, start crawling forward with small steps.
  • Ensure that your body is in a steady and stable position as you move.
  • Move slowly and with intent.

9. Bear crawl rollout

Want to ignite your hip flexors and lower abs and get your form right? The bear crawl rollout will do just that!

  • Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your hands gripped on the ab roller handles.
  • Now lift your knees a few inches off the ground, such that you are supporting your body only with your hands and the balls of your feet.
  • Ensure that your hips and knees are at 90-degree angles and your back is straight. 
  • Roll your arms out maintaining the right angle position. 
  • Don’t try to roll out too far. (Your range of motion will be much lower for this exercise.)
  • Pull your arms back in and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

10. Ab Wheel Kneeling Elevated Leg

This one’s sure to challenge your balance skills and your lower-body strength. Extra brownie points if you can hold your position without wobbling!

  • Begin in a tabletop position with your hands gripping the handles of the ab roller placed in front of you.
  • Now lift one leg above the ground until it is fully stretched out behind you.
  • Keeping your abs squeezed, start pushing the ab roller away from your body as far as you can go.
  • Slowly pull the ab wheel back towards your body.
  • Repeat.

11. Ab wheel rollout to push-up

Get your core and upper body super pumped with this variation of an ab wheel rollout. 

Warning: It’s not as easy as it looks!

  • Start in a kneeling position with your back arched and your hands gripping the ab roller handles.
  • Roll the ab wheel out as far as you can go with your arms locked straight.
  • Pause for a second and slowly pull the ab roller back towards your chest, without moving the rest of the body.
  • Once the ab roller is directly underneath your chest, push up and return to the original position.
  • Repeat.

12. Standing rollout

A savage core workout, if there ever was one! Suitable for ab wheel whizzes only.

This exercise will torch not just your abs, but also your arms, hips, shoulders, back, and glutes.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your ab roller on the floor in front of you.
  • Bend at your waist and firmly grip the ab roller handles.
  • Start to roll the ab wheel away from you, while keeping your arms straight and your spine in a neutral position.
  • Keep rolling until your arms are ahead of you and your body is straight and close off the ground.
  • Slowly pull the ab roller back towards your feet and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Benefits of ab rollers

1. Help you build a STRONG core

The ab roller 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.

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 lower back muscles.

All this translates to a SUPER STRONG core!

And a strong core means higher muscular endurance, better balance, fewer chances of injury, good posture, and rock-hard abs, of course.

2. Work your entire body

Ab rollers don’t just work your core, they work your

  • erector spinae (the muscles that run along the length of your spine)
  • latissimus dorsi or lats (the muscles that connect your arms to your vertebral column)
  • deltoids (your shoulder muscles)
  • chest
  • biceps and triceps
  • hip flexors (a group of muscles near the top of your thighs)
  • glutes

Just think about all the ab roller exercises for a second. 

Every time you roll out and roll back in, you have to use your entire body to keep your spine straight and strong. 

Total body workout – check!

3. Strengthen your joints and ligaments

Ab rollers help in fortifying your joints and ligaments. 

As you keep using the ab roller, your joint integrity increases, and hence your joints become stronger and more stable.

More stable joints equal lower chances of injury.

4. 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.

Those ripped abs are just an ab roller away! Get yours right here at Burnlab!

About Burnlab

Burnlab is a company by fitness lovers for fitness lovers and enthusiasts.

Burnlab provides premium, reliable, best-in-category, quality workout gear that is curated for performance, the right function, and body support at affordable prices.

We carry products across various categories in fitness.

Jump ropes, gym gloves, resistance bands and tubes, yoga mats and accessories, ab rollers…You name it, we got it!

Want to take a closer look at our products? Visit our website today!

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