How to use an ab roller: this cheap home gym staple packs a real gut punch

How to use an ab roller: use ab rollers regularly to sculpt your six pack – we'll show you how

how to use an ab roller
(Image credit: Implus)

Want to learn how to use an ab roller? You should: this cheap home gym equipment can help you get fit fast and is like Kryptonite to belly fat.

When you ask people what the best exercise is to strengthen your core, 99% of the time they will say doing regular planks. Planks are great and really challenging, but they are also very boring. Hence why many people don't bother with planks.

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Training your core is important, though, because it can help you perform all physical activities better and it can also help improve your posture too. Lucky for you, there is another exercise which might even better for your core than doing planks and it is also more fun to do. All you need is a barbell or an ab roller.

How to use an ab roller (correctly)

To perform an ab rollout, go down on all fours, grab the ab roller with your hands and lift your feet off the ground, like on the image above. Engage your core, as well as your arms and your glutes (bum muscles).

Then, gently push the roller away from. This movement consists of two parts: first, you straighten your back so your arms are perpendicular to your body. After this, push the ab roller forward as much as you can, ideally until your nose touches the ground.

Repeat the movement the other way around on the way up from the ground, so move your arm first then push your bum back.

If you mastered kneeling ab rollouts (won't be anytime soon), you can try the standing ab rollout version: same as above but with your legs extended. Starting position is a downward facing dog pose with your hands on the roller, then you push the roller away and then back up again. This one requires an unbreakable core so please be extremely careful when trying to perform it.

Important: If you have lower back issues, please consult your GP before you perform ab rollouts. This exercise can be difficult and potentially dangerous for people with weak core muscles and/or lower back issues.

T3's how-to exercise guides

  • How to squat right: the barbell back squat is the best exercise for a toned butt and strong legs
  • How to deadlift correctly: a full body workout in one move for stronger arms, back and legs
  • Overhead press: how to perform this classic exercise for big arms and quick shoulder gains
  • How to do barbell rows the right way: why bent over rows are great to build big back and strong arms
  • How to do thrusters: this squat variant is a leg day staple AND a one-move full body exercise
  • Chin up vs pull up: what's the difference, muscles worked and WHAT IS THE BEST ONE?
  • How to do ab crunches for beginners: the best stomach exercises to tone up
  • How to bench press effectively and safely: this classic exercise will build a massive chest and big arms and shoulders too
  • How to do hardstyle planks: try this plank variation for quicker summer body six-pack gains
  • How to do burpees: master this much loved/hated full-body cardio exercise easily
Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.