How to Use Ab Rollers: A Basic Guide

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Learning how to use ab rollers seems easy enough, especially as they are designed for everyone to use to their advantage. However, in order to avoid injuries and make a healthy impact on the right areas of your body, you need to have the right form. With the help of this guide, you’ll know exactly how to use an ab wheel as well as great exercises to help you tone your muscles.

The Dos and Don’ts of Ab Rollers

As with any other type of exercise, it’s important that you achieve the proper positioning while working out. Otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk for injury or not seeing as much progress as you would like. Below are the most important dos and don’ts of using an ab roller.

Do: Roll Slowly

The main objective of this type of exercise is to engage your core so your muscles will become stronger and more defined. The faster you roll, the less it’s going to engage all of the most important muscles. Even if you feel like you’re unable to finish a full set, it’s better to stop and take a brief rest than to try to power through by speeding up the movements.

The slower you take your exercises, the more you’ll be able to feel each roll in your arms, back, shoulders, and core. This is exactly what you want, as it means you’re working all of the right muscles. If you go too fast, you can easily tear a muscle.

Don’t: Kneel on Hard Surfaces

When you’re using the ab roller, you’ll essentially be putting your body in a modified pushup position. This means your knees are likely to be on the floor, at least at the beginning. Keeping your knees on the hard floor will become incredibly uncomfortable in a limited amount of time.

The most important part of any exercise is to make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible since you’ll want to focus on the workout rather than other parts of your body that are hurting. This is why it’s recommended you consider purchasing a kneepad along with your ab roller.

A kneepad will give you a stable and plush surface for your knees, helping you to spend more time working out before needing a break.

Aside from discomfort, it can also be damaging to your knees to move along hard surfaces. You’ll want to build muscle, rather than deteriorate your joints while working out.

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Do: Focus on Your Form

Similar to taking each roll slowly, you’ll want to pay close attention to your form while using an ab wheel; otherwise, it’s not going to do much of anything. You’ll have a better understanding of the proper form below, once we discuss the best exercises for ab rollers.

Making sure your body is at the perfect elongated position and that your breathing is in the right pattern will help you to expel energy in a safe and healthy manner. You may have to make slight adjustments, especially at the beginning, but it will be well worth it. Improper form means the right muscles aren’t being targeted as they should be.

Don’t: Set High Standards

This is particularly important for people who are using an ab roller for the first time. Even though they are designed to look simple, especially when compared to heavy-duty workout equipment, they are tough. It’s likely you’ll only be able to do 10 rolls at most before needing a break.

It’s best for you to not overestimate the simplicity of the workout, as it surely will make you feel quite weak the first time you use it. However, this also means that it’s a great way to see your progress over time. Even if you’re only able to complete a rep of five rolls, over time, you’ll get up to 10, then 15, and so on.

Do: Experiment with Exercises

Most people assume there is only one way for you to learn how to use an ab roller, but there are plenty of exercises you can do. To keep your workouts fresh and enticing, it’s a great idea to experiment with different movements. You may also find certain workouts are best for the problem areas you have.

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How to Use an Ab Roller: The Workouts

These are three of our favorite workouts that you can do with an ab roller. The best part is you can do them in the comfort of your own home or at the gym.

1. V Rolls

V rolls are a fantastic way to engage your core but also your sides, if you’re looking to define your obliques.

  • Step #1: In a kneeling position, grasp the handles of your roller with your arms extended.
  • Step #2: Keeping your arms in an extended position, roll your body out at a 45-degree angle and then roll back into your starting position.
  • Step #3: Repeat the 45-degree rollout with your left side and roll back to the starting position.
  • Step #4: Repeat this process for up to 10 reps, depending on your skill level.

2. Knee Rolls

The main objective of this workout is to do an ab roll without arching your back. You’ll want to focus on keeping your torso parallel with the ground.

  • Step #1: On your knees, extend your arms and grab your ab wheel.
  • Step #2: Slowly roll forward until your torso is completely parallel with the floor and your arms are fully extended.
  • Step #3: Return to your starting position on your knees and repeat the movement for up to 10 reps.

3. Single-Arm Roll

The first two workouts are fantastic for beginners and intermediate users, leaving the single-arm roll for more experienced users. This can be a fantastic benchmark to see how far you have come after using the ab roller for a while.

  • Step #1: Start by standing with your ab wheel on the ground in front of you.
  • Step #2: Bending forward, use one extended arm to grab the ab roller.
  • Step #3: Rolling outwards slowly, focus on engaging your core until you are fully extended.
  • Step #4: Return to the starting position and repeat the movement for five to 10 reps.

Final Thoughts

With the right exercises and a clear understanding of what to and not to do when learning how to use ab rollers, you’ll easily be able to tone your core. A strengthened core can assist with all other types of training, so ensure you accurately use these workouts and tips to your advantage.