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If you lack core strength and want to build it up without going to the gym, one of the best ways to do it is to get an ab roller to use at home or practically anywhere. The best ab roller wheel will work all your core muscles in your lower torso as well as across your back from the shoulders to the pelvis.
How Effective are Ab Wheels?
Unlike stomach crunches which concentrate on building a 6 pack or only toning stomach muscles, ab roller exercises give you a more overall workout for your core. Benefits of the ab wheel include improved posture, stability and core strength to tackle technically harder routines while reducing the risk of injury. There is a balanced approach to muscle group targeting because you work your abs, obliques and back muscles all at the same time.
But are ab rollers good if you want to get a 6 pack? Not if you use it alone, as that is not its main function. You will see your entire midsection looking tight and toned in a short while, though. Results can come faster than with planking or push ups because you have to work harder for each rep.
Are they good for weight loss? No. If that’s also a goal, then a weighted hula hoop should be considered, as it is good for cardio as well as abdomen toning.
However, you should not attempt to do these workouts if you have lower back trouble or had a past hernia. You also have to be careful to do the exercises correctly or you may injure yourself. Ab wheel effectiveness depends largely on this.
What to Look for in an Ab Roller
1. Two wheels or one: In general, two wheels or one wide wheel gives you more stability that one thin wheel. For those who find it tougher to stay stable and not veer off the intended path, this makes a difference.
2. Ergonomic handles: You should you have soft grips for the handles for comfort and the handles should be long enough to grip properly. Some wheels come with slightly angled handles for a more ergonomically sound grip.
3. Any extras like knee pads or mat: Save your knees and use a mat underneath! If the wheel doesn’t come with a mat or a pair of pads, then get your own or use something like a yoga mat.
4. Movement over different surfaces: Some wheels may damage hardwood floors if made poorly, while others may gather carpet fibres. Make sure that the design allows for smooth movement over the type of floor that you will use.
We’ll soon explain how to use one of these simple pieces of equipment, but first take a look at our ab roller wheel reviews below to choose the perfect one for you. You can also find a whole range of them on Amazon.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Effective are Ab Wheels?
- 2 What to Look for in an Ab Roller
- 3 Best Ab Rollers for Beginners
- 4 Ab Wheel with Resistance Built In
- 5 Ab Wheel with Foot Straps and Pedals
- 6 Best Ab Roller for Hardwood Floors
- 7 Ab Wheels for Planking and Push-up Variations
- 8 How to use an Ab Wheel
|Product||Rating (out of 5)||Number and type of wheels||Extras||Price|
|Elite Ab Wheel Roller||4.7||2 narrow||-||$|
|Valeo Ab Wheel||4.4||2 narrow||-||$|
|Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro||4.4||1 wide||knee pads||$$$|
|Lifeline Power Ab Wheel||4.5||1 narrow||-||$$$$|
|Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Sport||4.4||1 wide||-||$|
|BIO Core Roller||4.7||2 narrow||knee mat||$$$|
|SKLZ Core Wheels||4.6||n/a||training guide||$$|
Best Ab Rollers for Beginners
Elite Ab Wheel Roller
Its rubber-gripped, ergonomic handles enable you to maintain a sturdy grip and ensure that your wrists don’t tire before you complete your workout. It is one of the few ab rollers designed with dual wheels placed a few inches apart to reduce wobble and help you maintain proper form. Because the wheels are separated to offer good balance, you will remain completely sturdy as you glide.
An instructional video, which will answer any questions you have about using the ab wheel, is also included. Gain a full upper-body workout and the strength to complete daily tasks with the Elite ab wheel. It’s a great buy for your money and includes a warranty.
Valeo Ab Wheel
Next, we have a slightly cheaper option. The Valeo dual ab wheel requires some assembly, but does not disassemble for transporting. Fortunately, it weighs only one pound and is only 8.5 inches wide. It includes assembly instructions and an instructional fitness guide.
The Valeo ab wheel doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but features two non-skid wheels and easy-grip handles. The wheels are separated by a small spacer and are good for using on carpet. The handles lack an ergonomic design; they are simply a straight polymer tube with molded finger grooves. You might want to wear gloves when you use this ab roller to help increase your stability.
For the price, this is a good ab roller for beginners. Intermediate and advanced athletes should invest in an ab roller of higher quality. You will be able to work all of your core muscles, but you will get what you pay for.
Ab Wheel with Resistance Built In
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro
Our next ab wheel is more advanced than the previous models. The Perfect Fitness ab Carver Pro includes a foam kneepad, which provides extra cushion to protect your knees, and a downloadable 21-day workout plan. You can easily remove its handles to pack it in your workout bag or to store it.
The Perfect Fitness ab Pro features the most ergonomic handles of all of the models discussed thus far. Their angling causes additional muscles in your arms to be engaged in your workout. In addition, this ab roller contains an internal kinetic engine carbon-steel spring, which provides resistance as you glide forwards by winding up, and provides assistance by unwinding as you glide back. The ultra-wide wheel base provides increased stability and allows you to glide from left to right easily so that you can target your oblique muscles.
Because of the rubber wheels, carpet fibres will tend to stick to it if that’s the surface you work on.
The small additional cost that you will pay for this ab wheel is worth the additional workout that you will gain. Since it comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, you have nothing to lose except your weight.
Ab Wheel with Foot Straps and Pedals
Lifeline Power Wheel
The Lifeline ab wheel is an option for moderate to advanced users. It offers a full upper-body, lower-body, and core workout, and it is the most expensive model on our list yet. It is fully assembled in the box and includes an instructional download.
This ab roller features one thin wheel, which is made of plastic. Because it is thin, it does not offer the stability that our previous models offer so beginners should not get this one. Additionally, the plastic wheel is not skid-proof and one user says that it may damage hard floors.
The width of its foam handle grips allows you to put less pressure on your elbow joints than models with narrower handle widths do. Your arms will not fatigue as quickly, and you will decrease your risk of injury. The adjustable stirrups set this model apart from our previous ab rollers. They allow you to exercise your leg and glute muscles in a 3-in-1 workout. Even though the foot straps are adjustable, the pedals will probably not fit wide feet. All athletes will want to wear narrow shoes when they use this ab roller.
Although this model is a great idea for versatile training, it is not meant for everyone. The features are great, but you might want to think twice before you spend the money on this ab roller.
Best Ab Roller for Hardwood Floors
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Sport
This ab roller is great for intermediate and advanced athletes. You pay for just the ab roller; no instructions, knee pads, or fitness DVDs are included. It is heavier than others and weighs slightly more than two pounds, but is not so bulky that you can’t travel with it.
Unlike the Carver Pro model above, there is spring inside to add forward resistance or backward assistance. It features one 2.75-inch plastic wheel with thin rubber coating, which allows you to maintain control when you use it on hard floors. A sturdy metal bar for the handle grips is attached to the wheel. Perfect Fitness again features its unique, angled handles on this model to strengthen and tone your arms. Its performance-rated grips allow you to maintain both poise in your shoulders and control of the roller to get a quality workout. It’s great for both forward and lateral rotations.
Overall, this ab roller appears to exhibit superior quality. It will serve its purpose well both in your home and in the gym. Although you won’t get any extras when you purchase this ab wheel, the price you will pay for the quality you will get is hard to beat.
BIO Core Ab Roller
Our next model, the BIO Core ab roller, is great for beginner and advanced athletes. It supports up to 450 pounds, comes disassembled, and includes a foam knee mat. It also includes a lifetime warranty.
BIO Core is the first to use two eurothane wheels and a stainless steel axle for its rollers. This construction will have you gliding with ease and stability without sliding on or sticking to your workout surface. Its memory foam grips provide optimum comfort for your hands. The handles slide on and off easily so that you can carry it conveniently in your gym bag; however, they are spaced very closely and can create an awkward workout experience. The knee mat is made of EVA to offer protection and cushion for your knees. It would be better if it were bigger and thicker, but it’s better than not using anything at all to support your knees.
This ab roller’s unique features plus its lifetime replacement guarantee make it a good purchase. The only downside is the narrow width of the handles, which would be a problem primarily for athletes with broad shoulders. For other individuals, the price for the top-notch materials used in this ab roller is worth it.
Ab Wheels for Planking and Push-up Variations
SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Strength & Ab Trainer
Lastly, we have ab equipment of a different variety. The SKLZ ab trainer is a set of two lightweight rollers, which are designed for use in each hand to isolate your muscles and to provide pillar strength to your torso, hips and shoulders. These rollers will enhance planks and push ups. It comes with a training guide and one-year warranty.
SKLZ has updated design flaws of their previous model and has constructed this set to last. The ergonomic foam handles are designed with your comfort in mind. Each unit is covered in plastic to protect all inner parts from wear and tear and to allow them to glide effortlessly over the thickest carpets and hardest floors.
The price you pay for this set is unbeatable. SKLZ markets these rollers to all individuals; however, if you do not already have some core training, these rollers are probably not for you. Build your core strength with a regular roller wheel before you take your planks and push ups to the next level with the SKLZ ab trainer set.
How to use an Ab Wheel
To use an ab roller wheel, hold it by the handles, kneel on the floor and place it in front of you so that your back is straight and parallel to the floor and your arms are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly push outwards and stretch your body until your whole torso is straight but not touching the floor. To return to the original position after a pause, slowly exhale while you pull yourself backwards.
If you’re a beginner, start by placing the wheel no more than 12 inches in front of a wall and push out until the wheel touches the wall. This prevents you from extending yourself fully and losing control of the wheel. It also makes it easier to pull yourself back to your starting position.
Advanced users can also do lateral movements, i.e. moving the wheel at a slant to the right and back and then to the left and back. This works your oblique muscles more.
The best ab roller exercises are the ones you can perform safely. You have to maintain proper technique to prevent muscle strain so don’t arch your back and keep your abs and glutes contracted. If you find that you can’t do that, start and stay at beginner level in front of a wall until you can.