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Why the Ab wheel is such a challenging and effective exercise machine

At first glance, the Ab wheel may look like an innocent – and maybe even fun – accessory for the gym. Still in practice? It is an advanced tool that offers a very intense challenge at the next-level level .

To prove it, you can watch an Instagram video posted last week by star trainer Jeanette Jenkins, in which she and the singer-songwriter Mike Posner practices the most common off-the-bike Exercises, roll-outs, while he moans audibly.

"A challenge of the day," wrote Jenkins, creator of in Los Angeles. who worked with Pink Alicia Keys Mindy Kaling and Bebe Rexha among others.

You can watch the video on @msjeanettejenkins, here:

The Ab wheel represents a "really big challenge". James Brewer NYC Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Spin- and TRX Instructor, says SELF. Properly performing a full-ab-wheel rollout from the stance to the push-up position like Jenkins and the Posner demo says "a lot [about your core strength]," says Brewer. "It's not easy to do."

Ab-wheel rollouts are so harsh for a variety of reasons – and so effective.

Jenkins and Posner groan aside, it seems they can easily roll in and out of the wheel is not easy. Why? "Your entire body weight is on this bike," says Brewer. "You need to have plenty of strength to hold yourself up and stop the face." As the name implies, the primary muscles that are trained during abdominal muscle rolling are your abdominal muscles (technically referred to as your rectus abdominis), the "Most Important Are Drivers [of this movement]" Stephanie Mansour a Chicago-based certified personal trainer, tells SELF. "That's the power that needs to be built to make progress [the exercise]."

That is, compared to other core-oriented motions such as crunches that require only strength Your abdominal muscles require Rollouts also essentially attack your entire body, including your transverse abdominal muscle (the deepest abdominal muscle that extends around your sides and back) spine), slanted surfaces (muscles on the sides of your stomach) and stabilizing muscles that run along your spine Mansur says your latissimus dorsi (or lats, the widest muscles on each side of your back), deltoids (shoulders), and triceps ,

The rolling movement affects mainly your lats and deltoids, while the second half of the lats movement – rolling in the section – really targets your core, specifically your rectus abdominis, says Brewer , In this section, "You really need to adjust your abs from lower abdominals to the upper abdominals," adds Mansour.

But abdominal muscles not only require strength for your abdominals and abdominal muscles the other called muscles. They also require a synchronized controller. During the rollout, you need to "have that much control over your hip flexors down to your shoulders," says Mansour. "The entire chain [of muscles] has to work together and there can not be any breaks in the chain." In addition, moving through the very small surface becomes even more difficult – just the short grips on the wheel where you place your hands – that you need to support your entire body.

Off-wheel rollouts, however, are not a great exercise for everyone. Before you try them out, you need to know the following:

Depending on your current fitness level, it may take a few months of hard work to build up the strength needed to effectively perform the Abrad rollouts presented by Jenkins and Posner. says Mansour.

If misappropriated, the roll-out of off-wheels could become a lat-focused exercise and possibly strain the lower back, Brewer says. If you feel Lower Back Pain while using the Ab Wheel, stop and build up your nuclear power with other exercises such as planks and walking aids (see below) before trying again. [19659018] It's also easy to dive into the joints as you perform the rollouts and overstrain your shoulders, wrists, elbows and back, Mansour explains. If you have had injuries and / or injured yourself at one of these places in the past while doing this exercise, stop the exercise and step backwards.

Here's a progress recommended by Brewer and Mansour that will help you work up to wheel rollouts.

The first move is an exercise in body weight, the second requires an exercise ball, and the third and fourth require a wear wheel.


  • Stand apart with your shoulders.
  • Fold forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor.
  • Walk slowly with your hands until you are in the plank position with palms on the floor and shoulders above your wrists. The nucleus is locked, the gluteal muscles compressed and flat (not curved or rounded).
  • Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor to perform a push-up.
  • Slowly walk with your hands to your feet and return to a standstill. This is 1 repetition.
  • Repeat this repetition for 10 repetitions.

Walkouts train your core and teach your body the basic movements of standing to push up the roll rollouts, Brewer says.

Stability Ball Forearm Plank Rollout

  • Get on all fours with a Stability Ball in front of you.
  • Bend your elbows and place your forearms on the ball.
  • Push through your toes to lift your knees off the floor and pull your body into the body for a forearm plank position, with shoulders above elbows, firm core, depressed glutes and flat back (not curved or rounded).
  • Maintain an indented core and flat back as you roll the ball forward a few inches, pause, and then roll it back to its starting position. This is 1 repetition.
  • Do 8 to 12 repetitions.

This exercise trains your core, including the smaller stabilizing muscles. If it's too much from a fully extended plank, you'll fall on your knees, Mansour says. If the rolling part is too difficult, just hold a plank on the ball, she adds.

When you perform this movement (and the sequences listed below), it's easy to bend over your upper back and shoulders and not hurt your triceps properly, Mansour says. Think of pulling your shoulders down (do not let them pull up to your ears) and make sure your neck stays long. Push through your forearms and life from your upper back to activate your lats and shoulders, she says.

Kneeling and Planked Off Wheel Rollout

  • Get on all fours and place your knees on a mat and your hands on the mat floor.
  • Grasp the belly wheel firmly with both hands and place your shoulders over your hands. Your knees should be hip-width apart.
  • Squeeze your abs together to support your core, and make sure your back is flat (not rounded or arched).
  • From here lean your torso forward as you turn the wheel
  • At the end of the movement, stop for a moment and slowly roll the wheel back in until it stops about halfway. You do not want to go back to the starting position, says Brewer, as this would reduce the tension in your core and essentially reset the movement. This is 1 repetition.
  • If you are a beginner, try 3 to 6 repetitions. If you are middle-level, aim for 8; If you're advanced, try using 12 to 15, recommends Brewer.

Regarding the speed at which you roll in and out, "The slower the better," says Brewer, because it keeps your abs under tension for a longer time. As you get stronger, you can increase the difficulty of the movement by increasing both the time and distance of each repetition. If you are a beginner, you should run two counts at a time. If you are advanced, you should do three to four counts each. Ideally, you want to roll in and out at the same time, says Brewer, but since the inner part is more difficult, it's shorter at first than the outer part, and that's fine.

Once you're there, you can master the kneeling roll-off rollouts (ie, you can easily make 12 to 15 reps in a row with the right shape) to improve movement by lifting your knees off the ground and the knees Rollouts from a plank position. If you've mastered the rollouts from this position, you can try the variations of Jenkins and Posner.

Standing Off-Wheel Rollout

  • Hold the B-Wheel from a standing position in both hands and fold it forward in the waist.
  • Place the down wheel in front of your feet on the floor and roll it slowly forward, holding a solid core as you extend your body to a plank position.
  • Hold your back as flat as possible in the plank position and then support your core to slowly roll back to its starting position. This is 1 repetition.
  • Start with 1 to 2 repetitions and increase the number as you build up your strength.

If you do not have a belly roll, you can buy one here.

Among the highest rated on Amazon were the Valeo Ab Roller Wheel ($ 11.44 with an Amazon Prime subscription), the Elite Sportz Ab Gear Rollerball (17, $ 97 with Prime) and the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver ($ 32.99 with Prime), which offers a wider wheel for more stability in your rollouts. There are also castors with foot straps, such as the Lifeline Power Wheel ($ 39.99 with Prime), which allow you to perform extra moves, such as pikes and slideways.

Whichever wheel you remember It takes a lot of control and strength to use the tool properly, both from the core and the entire body. If you need to retract your movement, this is fine. "Do not feel discouraged," says Mansour. Stay tuned instead – grunts and everything.

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