An ab wheel is one of those old school workout tools that is making a quiet comeback. And with good reason too. Ab wheels or ab rollers as they are called are a great way to get a functional workout for your abs and torso. Used correctly, an ab wheel will strengthen your abs, your back, shoulders and arms. While it looks deceptively simple, the workouts on an ab wheel can be scaled right from a beginner level to an advanced level where only your feet are on the ground with the rest of your body extended over the wheel. Attaining this level of mastery requires some real core strength. Lets look at how ab wheels work and what you should look for when purchasing one.
How does an Ab Wheel work?
An ab wheel is a fairly simple piece of equipment. It is a wheel with two handles sticking out from its sides. To do the exercise, you get down into a kneeling position and grab the handles with the wheel in front of you. You then move the wheel forward, extending your torso as you do this. As your torso moves forwards, your abs comes into play as they have to stabilize your body. Getting the wheel back to its original position requires a contraction of the abs which gives them a good workout.
You can also move the wheel sideways to give your obliques a workout. Your shoulders and back muscles also get involved in the exercise as accessory muscles and your arms get a workout by having to support your body weight too.
As you get stronger, you can gradually roll out the wheel further forwards and eventually take your knees off the ground to give your abs a further challenge.
Most ab wheels have 2 wheels attached together to provide further stability and balance. This is great for starting out. As you get stronger, you can go with a single wheel which will be more challenging.
What should you look for in an Ab Wheel
There are a few things you should be aware of before purchasing an ab wheel for home workouts.
Comfort and Ease of Use
The most important thing in an ab wheel when you are starting out with is its comfort and how easy it is to use. You are looking for a stable base, cushioned grips and a smooth rolling action to make sure that you can get started with the exercise immediately.
When starting out, it is a good idea to get an ab wheel that has 2 wheels on it. This will provide greater stability and reduce the initial difficulty level. As you get more proficient, a single wheel can be used which will challenge your core.
Storage and Portability
The next thing to look for in your ab wheel is how easy is it to store and transport. Most ab wheels have detachable handles. After removing the handles, the entire unit becomes fairly easy to store as it can be packed flat. This makes it easy keep in a cupboard or to even take along with you if you are traveling.
Extras – Kneepads?
Finally, some ab wheels also comes with kneepads included. Since you will be in the kneeling position when you start out, it is important to have good cushioning for your knees.
Cost and Value for Money
An ab wheel is a very simple piece of equipment. After making sure that it has good stability and construction, it should not really be very costly.
Ab Wheel Buying Guide – Wrap Up
That was our quick buying guide for getting an ab wheel – one of the simplest and most effective pieces of exercise equipment you can get for working out at home. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments.