Do Ab Rollers Work & Which Muscles Are Worked?

Woman showing ab rollers do work

Do ab rollers work? It’s a question that many people ask, especially when they’re looking for a way to tone their stomach muscles. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.

While some people swear by ab rollers as an effective toning tool, others find that they don’t see any results after using one.

So, what’s the verdict? We share the results and some other facts about how ab wheels work and what muscles are targeted below.

Ab Roller: Muscles Worked

An ab wheel targets many muscles all over the body, however, this simple piece of equipment’s main focus is the core muscles.

Core muscles

These muscles include:

Rectus abdominis (the “six-pack muscle”)

Transverse abdominus (deepest of abdominal muscles)

External obliques (found on each side of the “six pack muscle”)

Internal obliques (under the external obliques)

The rectus abdominis is the muscle that most people are trying to target when they use an ab roller. This muscle runs vertically along the entire length of the stomach.

The internal and external obliques are located on the sides of the six-pack muscle and help to stabilize the spine.

All of these muscles work together to help us bend at the waist, twist our torso, and maintain good posture. When these muscles are strong and toned, they can help to give us a flatter, more defined stomach.

Man showing six pack

Full-body workout

But, it’s not just the abdominal muscles that benefit from an ab wheel.  For example, using an ab wheel can help to strengthen the upper body and entire body, by working the:

  • arms
  • hip flexors
  • shoulders
  • back
  • glutes
  • hamstrings

This means you can add ab roller exercises into calisthenics workouts, push days or pull days, full body workouts, or upper body and lower body splits. It’s a versatile and very portable piece of equipment.

How Do Ab Rollers Work?

Simply put, ab rollers work by engaging all of the muscles in the core. This includes both the front and side abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles in the back.

When these muscles are engaged, they have to work harder to stabilize the body as you move the ab roller back and forth. This extra effort leads to muscle development and toning over time.

How to Use an Ab Roller

Man doing an ab roller workout

If you’re new to using an ab roller, it’s important to start slowly, gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts.

Here are a few tips on how to use an ab roller:

  • Start in a kneeling position and have the ab wheel directly in front of you.
  • Place your hands on the handles of the ab roller, making sure that your palms are facing down.
  • Slowly roll the ab roller forward, keeping your back straight and your core engaged the entire time.
  • Once you reach full extension with straight arms, pause for a moment. Then, slowly roll the ab roller back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this motion for 10-12 repetitions.

As you become more comfortable with the ab wheel rollout, you can try doing it from a standing position.

You can also increase the number of repetitions or add weight to make the exercise more challenging.

Ab Roller Exercises

You may think you’re limited in the exercises you can do with an ab wheel, but that’s not the case. In fact, there are several different ab roller exercises that you can try to target different muscle groups.

Here are a few of our favorite ab roller exercises.

Seated (kneeling) ab rollout

This exercise is great for beginners or those with back pain.

  • Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and the ab roller in front of you. Your back should be slightly rounded.
  • Place your palms on the handles and slowly roll the ab roller forward, keeping your core engaged.
  • Once you reach full extension, pause and then roll back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10-12 times.

Plank ab rollout

This exercise is a bit more challenging, but it’s great for working the entire core.

  • Start in a plank position with the ab wheel in front of you.
  • Place your palms on the handles and slowly roll the ab roller forward, keeping your core engaged and your body in a straight line.
  • Once you reach full extension, pause and then roll back to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10-12 times.

V roll-outs

This exercise is great for working the oblique muscles.

  • Start by kneeling.
  • Hold the ab wheel in front of you with both hands and back slightly rounded.
  • Roll out slowly to the right at about a 45-degree angle, with arms extended.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Do 10-12 repetitions on each side.

How Effective is the Ab Roller?

The ab wheel’s effectiveness depends on some factors, including how often you use it, how intense your workouts are, and what other exercises you’re doing to tone your stomach.

If you only use the ab roller occasionally, you’re not likely to see any major changes in your muscle tone.

However, if you make it a regular part of your workout routine and combine it with other core-strengthening exercises, you may start to see some results.

To get the most out of using an ab wheel, we recommend adding it to a well-rounded fitness routine. This should include both cardio and strength-training exercises.

This will help you burn fat and build muscle all over your body, giving you the toned stomach you’re looking for.

The bottom line is that the ab roller is a great piece of equipment to add to your workout routine, but it’s not a miracle worker.

If you want to see results, you need to be consistent with your workouts and make sure you’re doing other exercises to tone your whole body.

Are Ab Wheel Roller Exercises Better than Sit Ups and Crunches?

Woman doing a crunch while smiling

There is some debate as to whether ab wheel rollers are more effective than sit ups and crunches. While both exercises can help strengthen and tone the core muscles, some people believe that ab rollers offer a few advantages.

For example, ab rollers require you to engage your stabilizer muscles to maintain balance, which can lead to a more well-rounded workout.

Additionally, ab rollers can be more gentle on the spine than sit ups and crunches, making them a good option for those with back pain.

At the end of the day, though, it’s up to you to decide which exercise is right for you.

If you’re looking for a challenging core workout, we recommend trying both ab rollers and sit ups/crunches and seeing which one you like best.

How Often Should I Use an Ab Roller?

The frequency with which you use an ab roller depends on your fitness goals.

If you’re just starting out, we recommend using the ab roller two or three times per week. As you become more comfortable with the exercise, you can increase the frequency to four or five times per week.

If you’re looking to tone your stomach and build six-pack abs, we recommend adding the ab roller to your daily workout routine.

Toned woman doing a crunch on gym floor

However, if you’re just trying to improve your overall fitness level, two or three times per week is probably sufficient.

No matter how often you use it, be sure to listen to your body and take a break if you start to feel pain or discomfort. And, as always, speak with a doctor before starting any new fitness routine or program.

Caution: Using an Ab Wheel Correctly

There are a few things you should keep in mind when using an ab roller.

First, be sure to warm up before your workout and cool down afterward. This will decrease the risk of injury and make the exercise more comfortable.

Second, don’t roll too far out – only go as far as you can while still maintaining control. This will help you avoid strain on your lower back.

Third, your back shouldn’t collapse while rolling out. Start with a slightly curved back – the same as the cat yoga position.

And finally, be sure to use slow, controlled movements when rolling out and in. Don’t try to go too fast – this can lead to injury.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you’re using your ab wheel correctly and getting the most out of your form and workout.

Ab Roller Results

If you commit to using your ab wheel regularly and combine it with other exercises, you can expect to see results over time.

Here are a few things you may notice:

  • Improved muscle tone in the abdominal area
  • Stronger core muscles
  • Better posture
  • Reduced back pain (if you have existing back pain)
  • Increased stability and balance

If you stick with it, you may even start to see a six-pack! Remember, though, that everyone’s body is different and results will vary from person to person.

It may take some time to see the changes you’re looking for, but if you stay consistent with your workouts, you’ll eventually get there.

Man and woman looking at woman's abs showing do ab rollers work

Do Ab Wheel Rollers Get You Abs?

Ab wheel rollers are popular exercise tools that are often used to tone the abdominal muscles. But, do they actually get you abs?

The answer is: it depends.

If your goal is to simply strengthen and tone your ab muscles, then using an ab roller can definitely help you achieve that. However, if your goal is to have visible six-pack abs, then you’ll need to do more than just use a roller.

In addition to regular ab workouts, you’ll need to focus on two other things: diet and cardio.

Eating a healthy diet that is high in protein and low in calories will help you reduce body fat and reveal your ab muscles.

Man eating a healthy diet

And doing regular cardio exercises or HIIT workouts will help you burn even more calories and further sculpt your midsection.

So, using an ab roller alone is not enough if you’re looking for a six-pack.

But, if you want to tone your ab muscles, it can be a helpful tool to add to your workout routine.

Does the Ab Roller Really Work?

Overall, we found that ab rollers do have the potential to tone stomach muscles. However, results vary from person to person.

Some saw visible results after just a few uses, while others didn’t see any difference at all.

Using an ab roller is not a quick fix – it takes time and commitment to see results. So, if you’re looking for a quick way to tone your stomach, an ab roller may not be the best option.

If you decide to give a roller a try, we recommend doing the research to find one that’s comfortable and easy to use. Otherwise, you may end up frustrated and give up before seeing any results.

We’ve made life easy with you with this simple guide to the top ab wheels and rollers.

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