Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro vs SKLZ Core Wheels: which is the king of ab rollers? What's an ab roller anyway? What do you do with them? Why would you spend twice, maybe three times as much for these six-pack machines than you'd pay for a run-of-the-mill ab roller? Let's start at the beginning.
An ab roller is a deceivingly simple-looking piece of home gym equipment: imagine a wheel with a long-ish bar as an axis, and voila! You have ab rollers. However, the rollers in this comparison are a bit different. The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is the best ab roller for various reasons, a couple of them being the sturdy design and comfortable handles. At the same time, the SKLZ Core Wheels offer a completely different yet equally demanding workout experience than the Ab Carver Pro.
As for how to use an ab roller: as well as reading the linked article, you should also be careful not to overexert yourself while performing this demanding core exercise. The tool might look simple, but the actual exercise is indeed very challenging for most. For those with little to no core strength – an area that includes both the abs and the lower back – ab rollouts might be too much at first. Pushing the ab roller just a little further out each time can help build core strength brick-by-brick until you can perform the full movement without much effort.
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro vs SKLZ Core Wheels: price and availability
Although we mentioned the comparatively high price of these ab rollers a lot in this article, compared to other pieces of home gym equipment, neither of them is too expensive. The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro can be bought for under $40/£40 at Amazon, both in the US and the UK.
The same goes for the SKLZ Core Wheels: this capable ab roller is even cheaper and can be bought for under $35/£35 in the US/UK. For the best ab roller prices, please check the widgets below (the best deals are shown based on your location).
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro vs SKLZ Core Wheels: Design
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro looks like a standard ab roller on steroids: sure, it has a wheel at the centre and two handles on each side, but this is where the similarities end. The wheel itself is much bigger than the ones found on standard ab rollers, and it is also more stable for the same reason. It also houses a coil spring, which we'll discuss later in detail. The curved shape of the roller allows it to be steered, which, in theory, can help work the obliques more.
The handles of the Ab Carver Pro are also wider, flatter and more comfortable than those narrow plastic bars unbranded ab rollers have. The Ab Carver Pro's handles are covered with a soft, textured rubber layer, making it easier to maintain grip when you're in the most vulnerable position (fully rolled out).
The SKLZ Core Wheels look entirely different from your average ab roller: it consists of two smaller ab rollers, each with two little wheels on the end of a bar/handle. This allows you to move each arm separately from one another and move the rollers sideways if you want to.
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro vs SKLZ Core Wheels: Performance
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is a sturdy device. The wider wheels make this ab wheel more stable than those ab rollers with one wheel in the middle. You can even steer the Ab Carver Pro sideways by tilting it as you roll out; that works the obliques more than regular ab rollouts.
There is a coil hidden inside the chunky wheel which provides resistance as you roll out and helps you roll back in too. The coil doesn't add a whole lot of extra resistance, so beginners don't have to worry too much about it. If anything, the coil makes it easier to use the Ab Carver Pro as it 'hardens' towards the end of the movement, making it easier to control the ab roller.
One issue we found with the coil is that it hasn't got a long enough range. During our tests, a 6' 1" (185 cm) tester couldn't roll the Ab Carver Pro all the way out without the coil 'jumping'. Granted, this only happened right before the very end of the journey the ab roller took, but anyone taller than that will surely find the coil limiting.
The SKLZ Core Wheels enable users to perform a range of different ab rollout exercises. You can, of course, do the standard two-handed rollout, but also a one-handed version – if you are strong enough – and a variety when you roll the arms out sideways. This move works the lats beautifully, as well as a lot of other muscles.
The handles on the SKLZ Core Wheels might be smaller than the Ab Carver Pro's, but they are comfortable nevertheless. The SKLZ handles are covered with a soft material that's easy to hold, even when your hands are sweaty. The unilateral movement the SKLZ Core Wheels allow might not be too accessible for untrained individuals, but until you build up your strength, you can always 'just' do standard ab rollouts with them.
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro vs SKLZ Core Wheels: Verdict
Should you spend twice as much on the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro or the SKLZ Core Wheels? We think both ab rollers are worth the price because they are premium home gym equipment that was designed to be used more than just a couple of times. Unlike the $10/£10, no-name version you often find at Amazon.
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro might be a better option for beginners who need a little extra support and guidance, while the SKLZ Core Wheels have more potential to increase the intensity of your core workouts.
If you are in the gym (or a well-equipped home gym), you can use a barbell with weight plates to perform ab rollouts, but admittedly, most people won't buy a barbell set just to be able to do ab rollouts at home. For them, either of these ab rollers is a good option.