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Best Ab Rollers

Whether called the “ab wheel” or the “ab roller,” you can call it a workout. Found in gyms across the world, these core tools make great additions to any garage or home as well. With a variety of designs on the market, each one just a bit different, the concept behind the movement remains the same. Essentially a moving plank, the ab wheel’s roll requires multiple core muscles working in conjunct. If done properly, the main driver will be the rectus abdominum, commonly referred to as “abs.” But the transverse abdominis muscles which wrap around the sides and spine, as well as the internal and external obliques, are also involved. When placing the hands upon the bars of the wheel, and rolling forward across the floor from a kneeling position into a plank, raising and lowering like a “V,” the movement requires the erector spinae along your spine and latissiumus dorsi to stabilize, as well as the chest, and arm muscles. Yet, like most bodyweight movements, the ab roller requires sufficient strength to perform the exercise before improving on it. Without sufficient strength to achieve proper form, the exercise will be a latissiuus dorsi activity at best. Consider the variety of different ab rollers on the market, as each offers a slightly different design to accommodate these differences.

Best Overall

Oileus AB Roller Wheel

Rating: 93%

Best Ab Rollers

Model

Rating

Length

Width

Height

Pricing

Reviews

Bulldozer Abs
Oileus AB Roller Wheel
Pedal Power
Lifeline Power Wheel
3-in-1
Odoland 3-in-1 AB Wheel Roller
Harbinger AB Carver Pro Ab Wheel
Rogue Ab Wheel

93%

14.5"

3.7"

13.8

91%

3.75"

16.5"

17"

89%

8.25"

5.5"

9.83"

85%

15.25"

7.75"

7.75"

84%

16"

8"

5.25"

Ready to Roll

Interested in an ab roller yet? The wide variety and styles available make for quite the selection process, and users big and small can find something for them. One of the key challenges for users is the balancing act that is placing their entire upper body’s weight onto the narrow wheel while managing the handles. Like dips, pull-ups, or push-ups, the ab roller requires sufficient strength to do it before improvement can be achieved. Wider models make this easier, but don’t discount the workout involved. By maintaining a tight core throughout the rolling process, the entire body tenses and becomes a moving plank. The good news with this exercise is that, unlike barbell exercises, it can be performed multiple times per week. Although users will find themselves pretty well spent after just one round.

Six-pack ready?

If achieving the six-pack look is the actual goal, keep in mind that abdominal visibility is more a function of body fat than actual muscle size. The value of the ab roller is that it will indeed strengthen not just the abdominal muscles, but all of the muscles associated with the V-tapered look. But if the body fat percentage is too high then they won’t be visible. If, on the other hand, one is looking to strengthen the core while reducing fat, then this is indeed a good-to-go. All things are possible in the world of fitness, and to get started, one must start things rolling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it okay to use the ab roller from a kneeling position?
A: Yes, most people have to start from the knees and roll out when first using the ab roller.
Q: Can I injure myself with the ab roller?
A: Any exercise can be done improperly. Consider performing the ab roller on a soft surface, or with a pad beneath the knees.
Q: What other body parts should I train the ab roller with?
A: Incorporate the ab roller into any ab-side workout. This can be done on any day.

1. Oileus AB Roller Wheel

Looking like a black-and-blue bulldozer, this two-wheel built-in spring design is sure to get the attention of fellow exercisers at the gym. The two-wheel design is significantly sturdier than just one, and comes with a super-wide rolling belt, which resembles a bulldozer. This product does require some assembly and does come with a knee pad. The unit itself is 2.2 pounds and sports an impressive 1,100-pound weight capacity. If maintaining balance on a more traditional, single-wheel unit has been difficult in the past, then this model might be the other end of the spectrum, as you flatten out those abs dozer-style.

 

Pros

Unique rolling belt design
Attractive blue and black coloring
1,100-pound capacity

Cons

Might be too much for some
Requires assembly
Takes up more space

2. Lifeline Power Wheel

Designed with optional foot stirrups, the Lifeline Power wheel can be used for either hands or feet on the pedals. Whereas most units are hands-only, this model affords the user the opportunity to perform hip-related roll-outs, leg lifts, and crawls, as well as front-driven abdominal work. The unit weighs 6.45 pounds and in addition to the optional foot stirrups, the handle bars also offer foam pads for palms. A uni-wheel model, the Lifeline Power Wheel is 3.75 inches long, 16.5 inches wide, and 17 inches high. No assembly is required with this model, which comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

Pros

Unique foot stirrup options
Foam pad for hands
Can do leg work too

Cons

Pricey model
Assembly required
Uni-wheel

3. Odoland 3-in-1 AB Wheel Roller

This unique 3-in-1 wheel system brings three separate wheels on the same rolling unit, making for increased stability when moving left and right. The extra-wide base and motion of the three wheels also helps newer users develop the muscles needed to perform the exercise. This purchase also comes complete with a resistance band and knee pad. The resistance band can be incorporated into the abdominal workouts or used with the ab roller as a pulley or other upper, or lower, body movements. With a unit weight of 3.09 pounds, the tool is 8.25 inches long, 5.5 inches wide, and 9.83 inches high.

Pros

3-in-1 wheel system
More stability
Wider base

Cons

Pricier than simpler models
Might be too much for some
Harder to store

4. Harbinger AB Carver Pro Ab Wheel

Built with an ultra-wide roller, the Harbinger AB Carver Pro Ab Wheel has built-in resistance and ergonomic handles. At just 4.5 pounds itself, the tool has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, and comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Designed specifically for bigger athletes, the ultra-wide roller offers stability on a wide base when moving left, right, or center. The interior kinetic engine uses a carbon steel spring for resistance to amplify the workout. With a length of 15.25 inches, the unit is 7.75 inches deep, and 7.75 inches height. Purchase of this unit also includes a high-density foam kneepad for superior comfort.

Pros

Extra wide roller
Great for big users
Spring resistance

Cons

Takes up more storage space
Pricier model
Might be too much for some

5. Rogue Ab Wheel

The first thing you’ll notice about this Ab Wheel is the 3-inch wide wheel, which provides a greater base for the roll, and therefore a more support. Built with a nickel-plated steel shaft, stretch tire and durable rubber tread, the unit has slightly rounded edges and sealed bearings for smooth rotation. Complete with NBP Rubber Easy-Grip Handles measuring 1.25 inches in diameter, the all-black model is 16 inches long, with a 5.25-inch handle. Wheel diameter is a full 8 inches. Built specifically for bigger users, the model is heavy-duty enough for hard sessions.

Pros

Simple to use
Rubber grips
Great for big users

Cons

Pricey ab roller
Uni-wheel
Bulky to store
 
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