How to use an ab roller for beginners: ab wheel your way to a quick six pack

How to use an ab roller? We'll show you the ropes so you can focus on building a solid core

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

Want to learn how to use an ab roller? Probably many people have been gifted ab rollers (or ab wheels) for Christmas, mainly because they are cheap, but don't let the reasonable price tag deceive you: ab rollers can help you get fit faster and doing ab rollouts regularly will get you a six pack – and a strong core – in no time.

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

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.

New to resistance training? Check out our other how-tos, like how to do deadliftshow to do a bench press, or how to do squats. Maybe you would like to know how to do an overhead press correctly to build bigger arms and shoulders or how to do bent over rows for big back gains and strong biceps? How about learning how to do ab crunches or push ups? We have it all.

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how to use an ab roller

Step 1: go down on all fours and lift your feet off the ground

(Image credit: Future)

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.

how to use an ab roller

Step 2: push the ab roller away and don't fall on your face

(Image credit: Future)

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.