The Ab Roller Wheel

Updated: May 17

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The ab roller is one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment because it a challenges me, consistently! At first glance, the ab wheel may look like an innocent gym accessory. Yet in practice, it’s an sophisticated fitness tool that delivers a game-changing core challenge by working all four layers of the abdominal muscles; the external obliques, the internal obliques, the transversus abdominis, and the rectus abdomini.

For many, the core is the main area of focus during workout sessions. Personally, when I gain weight, my core is the first place I notice fat deposits and is last area where I begin to see results. The main reason for this is because I generally have to put in, what feel like, endless amounts of work the amount of work in order to feel that the muscles have been "worked". There are times when I stop working my core because I don't feel challenged and become bored. That is not the case with the ab roller! I recently took a two year break from fitness and gained fifty pounds.


Last year, while visiting my younger sister who had just delivered my precious twins nephews, she mentioned her ab roller and brought it out for me to try. I could only do 0ne full "expert" repetition and could not do a second. I woke up the next morning and immediately felt DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)! My mind was BLOWN and my core was sore. I've done hundreds of sit ups, crunches, Russian twist, bicycles and so many more and never have I felt the results with so few reps. With this piece of equipment, I'm working more muscles fewer repetitions, sets or variations .

Because of the narrow wheel, other muscles are activated to stabilize the our body to prevent us falling on the floor the entire core muscles, such as the latissimus dorsi (the lats), quadriceps (quads), posterior (deltoid), both the lateral and long head muscle of the triceps and lower pectoralis major ( the pecs). Even the glutes are engaged!

In nutshell, this seemingly simple piece of equipment will boost your upper body strength and intensify your training sessions.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with the ab wheel, good or bad, your successes or fails, this is a safe space to share.


Sources:,, Harbinger