Training

Ab Roller Workout To Strengthen Your Core

How to use an ab roller

  1. To begin, kneel on the floor holding the ab roller in both hands. The ab roller will be in front of you as you kneel.
  2. With your weight over the ab roller, roll out as slowly as you can until you are stretched out in a straight position.
  3. When you have straightened out, pause and roll yourself back to the starting position without touching the floor.

What is the proper ab roller form?

Beginner & Advanced variations on using an ab roller:

It is certainly an exercise where you will be tempted to cut corners as a beginner, but perseverance is key. To that end, correctly performing ab rollouts is akin to planks. Engage your core at all times, keeping it tight and tense for stability.

Make your aim to go as close to the floor as you can without your body touching the floor. You can develop your range by beginning with a smaller movement for each rep and increasing the distance with each set.

As a beginner, keep the movements simple and focus on breathing in as you roll out, breathing out as you roll in. Then work on your plank, holding it as long as you can. As you become more advanced, you can experiment with the speed, distance and number of repetitions that you perform. The slower you go, the harder and more effective the exercise will be at hitting as many muscles fibres as possible.

Benefits of using an ab roller

The key to stronger, more defined abs is getting away from the two- dimensional approach to abs workouts that you are used to. Stomach crunches are the go-to exercise for everyone seeking a six-pack.

While it can certainly help you on your way to that goal, it does so as one element in a larger repertoire of abdominal- focused training. Crunches work your mid- to upper- belly mostly. That leaves your obliques (sides), your lower back and your lower- belly – not to mention important functional strength, including twisting, bending and flexibility, which are movements that require more than one part of your abs at any one time.

Like crunches, the ab roller is another vital ingredient in developing core strength and steel abs. In fact, they’re actually harder work that crunches, meaning that you will benefit from a higher level of muscle involvement. Each ab rollout works an estimated 20 muscles.

While you may be here for stronger abs, the ab roller actually targets your hip flexors and obliques, using your abs along the way.

Balance is another key benefit. By targeting and strengthening your core it can help to improve your balance and improve your posture. If you work a job that involves a lot of sitting, or find that your lower back, in particular, is suffering from bending a lot, ab rollouts are a good way to straighten and strengthen the muscles that support keeping you upright.

How effective is using an ab roller?

Ab roller exercises to strengthen your core

Ab roller plank

This is the standard move, but when you reach the end, hold the planking position for 30 to 60 seconds before rolling back in, and repeat 3 times.

V- Roller Out

Kneeling on the ground, perform a standard roll-out, but move out to the side at a 45-degree angle before returning. This is a great workout for your obliques.

Narrow stance front roll-outs

Stand with your feet together and bend at the waist to grip the handles with the roller on the floor. Roll out until your arms are over your head, and return to the starting position

Wide stance front roll-outs

This involves standing with your feet wide apart (beyond shoulder width) and going through the same motions as previously mentioned.

Single arm roll-outs

For these, you can kneel or stand. Holding the roller with one hand, perform a standard rollout. This will involve serious core engagement to keep you from wobbling.

One leg rollouts

Rollout with one leg supporting and the other out straight behind you. This can be done from a kneeling or sitting position.

Bridges

This involves laying on your back with your feet attached or placed on the handles of the roller. Arching your back with your hips up, bring the roller towards your glutes, and stretch back out.

Take home message

An ab roller is a simple piece of kit that can open your abs workout sessions up to a whole new realm of possibilities. For flexibility, better posture and back pain (not to mention rock- hard abs), variety is key and an ab roller provides just that.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Master of Science in Sport Physiology and Nutrition. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/.


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