Ab Rollers: Why They Work and How To Use Them
Properly building and strengthening your core is a goal that many people are always working towards but struggle to find efficient ways to do so. Exercises like crunches do not always engage the entire core and are often not performed properly which can lead to lack of results as well as injury or strain. However, maintaining a strong and healthy core can have major positive impacts on your health.
If you are looking to build up your core strength but hate crunches and find planks boring, an Ab Roller might just be the piece of fitness equipment you have been looking for. While there are many benefits of ab rollers that we will go over in the article, the reason we love ab rollers the most is because they engage your entire core, not just your ‘abs’. This fact alone is the reason ab rollers have so many benefits!
Anatomy of the Core
To fully understand why ab rollers provide the benefits they do, let’s first make sure we understand the anatomy of the core and all the muscles that make it up.
Image via Jenny Craig
There are 4 main muscles that make up your core:
- Rectus Abdominis: the most well known muscle in your midline, and is located on the front line of your abdomen. These are the muscles that will provide you with a ‘six-pack’.
- Transversus Abdominis: is located under the obliques and is the deepest abdominal muscles. It wraps around your spine to protect your back.
- External Oblique: is located along the front and side of your abdomen.
- Internal Oblique: is located under the external obliques and runs in the opposite direction.
To build up a truly strong core, you need to activate each of these muscles. It is rare that one type of workout will be able to do that, but an ab roller can! Ab rollers are able to effectively work your entire core in addition to your deltoids, lats, forearms, and back muscles for a truly incredible workout.
Benefits of Ab Rolling
Build Core Strength
Because Ab Rollers target every muscle within your core all at the same time, you will be able to effectively build a stronger, more stable core over time. Building and maintaining strong core muscles is incredibly important as your core is responsible for stabilizing your entire body. A strong core will help keep your spine, hips, neck, lower back, and abdomen healthy.
Improve Lower Back Pain
A weakened core is one of the most common causes of back pain. Not having a strong core can lead to poor posture and lower back pain. Building up your core strength will help you sit and stand up straighter and more comfortably which helps reduce pain and muscle strains.
Convenient to Use Anywhere
Exercises that are beneficial to your overall health are great, but if they aren’t convenient to perform then there is a low likelihood of actually taking advantage of them. Luckily, ab rollers are incredibly convenient to use and can be done just about anywhere! From the gym, to your home, or even a hotel room, an ab roller can be used anywhere.
How To Use An Ab Roller
Before beginning your ab rolling exercise, you will want to get either a fitness mat or knee pads to protect your knees.
To begin, kneel on the ground with the ab roller about 12 inches in front of you. If you are a beginner, we recommend starting 12 inches from a wall to ensure you do not lose control of the roller.
Firmly grip the handles of the roller. If the handles are labeled for ‘right’ or ‘left’ make sure you hold the roller accordingly.
Keep your feet on the ground, using your toes for balance and stability.
With your belly button flexed firmly towards your spine, roll your ab roller straight outwards as far as you can before your back begins to arch.
Hold the position monetarily before slowly returning to the starting position.
Repeat 4 sets of 10 reps.
When done properly, ab rolling is perfectly safe for anyone to complete. However, performing this exercise incorrectly or over-exerting yourself can lead to injury.
Maintain a straight back. If you find that your back is arching when completing this exercise, reduce the distance you roll out.
Keep your core engaged. Making sure you are flexing your core and keeping your abdomen to spine will help increase the benefits and protect your back.
Keep your arms straight. There is a tendency to bend your elbows as you roll out, however, proper form requires your arms to be straight throughout the entirety of the exercise.
The movement should come from your core, not your arms. Keeping your arms and elbows in a fixed position will encourage you to use your core strength for optimal results.
Types of Ab Rollers
Most of us are used to seeing the standard wheel variation of ab rollers, but did you know there are many different kinds?
Here are our top choices of Ab Rolling:
Ab Roller Pro Core
With its unique design, the BodyPro Pro Core Ab Roller enables the user to roll forwards and backwards as well as side to side. This range of movement safely allows the obliques to be engaged for maximum benefits. It also includes a knee pad for optimum comfort.
Get it here for $35.95.
Pro Ab Roller with Smart Display
This device is not your average Ab Roller. It takes the guesswork out of your workout by keeping track of your reps and calories, allowing you to keep focused. This BodyPro ab roller also features a built- in spiral alloy spring mechanism that provides smooth resistance out and stable assistance as the user rolls back in. Lastly, its curved wheel design allows the user to roll out side to side to fire up the oblique muscles.
Get it here for $98.25.
If improving your core strength is one of your fitness goals, an Ab Roller should be high up on your list of equipment to use. Not only will it help you carve your core muscles, but it will help improve stability, posture, and reduce lower back pain.
Shop BodyPro Ab Rollers for sale here.