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Ab Roller Exercise Guide

 

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Safety Warning

When properly used, the ab roller is safe and a tool that can help improve
the quality of workouts. That said, all exercise programs and equipment
carry risk. Please always use caution when performing exercises and only
use equipment as intended. Failure to do so can result in injury.
Remember, safety first.

Please read these instructions prior to using your ab roller. Reference these
regularly to ensure you fully understand the proper use of the device.
Remember, safety first.

Consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise program.
If you experience any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath when performing
any of the movements described, stop all activity immediately and consult
your Doctor. If you are taking any medication, you should consult your
Doctor before beginning any exercise program.

Do not take any risks beyond your level of experience and fitness. The exercises described in this program are to be used as guidelines only and are not to be treated as a substitute for any exercise routine that may have been prescribed to you by your Doctor. The recommendations described here are for educational purposes only and are not medical guidelines.

• Before every use check for any damage to the ab roller and do not use
if damaged. Particularly, look for any damage to the wheels, handles,
and the rod that connects the two.

• Always perform a general warm-up activity before using the ab roller.
The exact warm-up you perform should be relative to your ability and
the type of workout you will perform.

• Perform only the exercises described here, unless you have strict
instruction on how to perform additional exercises.

• Always utilize proper form. Doing so will help prevent injury and
aid in performance.

• Avoid straining, holding your breath during exercise, going to muscular
failure, and similar activities, as these increase the risk of injury.

• Perform each exercise in a slow and controlled manner, as this
reduces the risk of injury.

• Use a full range of motion during each exercise, as this increases the
effectiveness of the exercise, which should provide you with better
results over time.

Introduction

The ab roller is a tool that can effectively engage upper body and lower
body muscles. It is not just for ab work, but also for working the obliques,
shoulders, back, and, to a lesser degree, the legs. For example, when
performing various ab rollouts, the core, specifically the abs, obliques, and
lower back muscles as well as the spinal erectors are is engaged.

However, so are the deltoids (shoulders), trapezius (trap muscles, upper, middle, and lower portions), latissimus dorsi (lats or "wings"), forearm muscles, finger
flexors and extensors and connective tissues at all joints. The leg muscles,
both posterior (back side of body) and anterior (front side of body) are
engaged as well, though the degree varies based on the exercise performed.

This guide provides you with:

• Instructions for how to complete five specific exercises

• Images to help you understand each exercise

• Possible variations or modifiers for each exercise

By using an ab roller to complete the movements included in this guide, you can expect to:

• Improve core strength

• Enhance the look of your core

• Build strength in all the muscles and connective tissues listed in the first paragraph

• Increase muscular endurance in the muscles and connective tissues listed in the first paragraph

Exercises

The following exercises are go-tos for any person interested in making the
most of an ab roller. While you should perform the exercises in the listed
manner, the exact sets and reps you use will be a decision you need to make.

Due to differences in ability, each person will only be able to do what he or
she can do, not what someone else can do. For example, someone new to
the ab roller might be able to complete three sets of five repetitions for each
exercise, while a person with moderate experience and ability may be able to
complete three sets of 10-20 repetitions, and an advanced individual may be
able to perform three sets of 30+ repetitions.

Perform each exercise in the manner listed and choose rep and sets
schemes that are appropriate for your skill level, ensuring you have plenty
of rest between sets to recover and safely perform the subsequent set.
Remember, safety first.

Standing Rollout

Primary Muscles:
Anterior Deltoids, Triceps, Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back

Secondary Muscles:
Pecs, Hamstrings, Gluteals, Quadriceps

1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-to shoulder-width apart with the ab
wheel in hand, your arms extended, and the ab wheel on the floor.
Your weight will be slightly forward.

2. Engage your core, grip firmly on the handles, and keep your shoulders
tight and then slowly roll forward until you are in a full plank position,
keeping your arms extended in front of you.

3. Return to starting position by rolling back onto your feet.

 

If you already have a reasonable amount of core, leg, and shoulder strength,
you may be able to jump right into this exercise. If not, you may want to
start with the knee rollout.

When performing this exercise, you can adjust how it is executed by
changing your feet width and how far you extend your arms. For example,
in the image, the trainer ends with the arms extended out in front of him,
effectively perpendicular to the ground. However, you could continue to roll
out until your belly almost touches the ground and your arms are extended
out in front of your head (similar to an overhead press position, just on your
belly). You can see an example of this position in the oblique rollout.

Note: if you rollout to the arms extended overhead position, you
engage more of the back and shoulder muscles, notably the
lats, rear delts, and traps.

Knee Rollout

Primary Muscles:
Anterior Deltoids, Triceps, Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back

Secondary Muscles:
Pecs, Hamstrings, Gluteals, Quadriceps

For this exercise, use a kneeling mat, yoga mat, or some other soft,
supportive item to protect the knees. Even if you are on a rubberized floor,
this exercise can cause discomfort in the knees.


1. Start in a kneeling position, legs hip- to shoulder-width apart with ab the
wheel in hand, your arms extended, and the ab wheel on the floor.
Your weight will be slightly forward.

2. Engage your core, grip firmly on the handles, and keep your shoulders
tight and then slowly roll forward until you are in a plank from
knees position, keeping your arms extended in front of you.

3. Return to starting position by rolling back onto your knees.

This exercise is ideal for beginners, people who do not have sufficient
strength to perform a standing rollout, and people who have weakness or
injury (for example, rehab for an ab or back injury). As with the standing
rollout, when performing this exercise, you can adjust how it is executed by
changing your knee width and how far you extend your arms. For example,
in the image, the trainer ends with the arms extended out in front of her, just
beyond perpendicular to the ground. However, you could continue to roll out
until your belly almost touches the ground and your arms are extended out
in front of your head (similar to an overhead press position, just on your
belly). You can see an example of this position in the oblique rollout.

Note: if you rollout to the arms extended overhead position, you engage
more of the back and shoulder muscles, notably the lats,
rear delts, and traps.

Oblique rollout

Primary Muscles:
Anterior Deltoids, Triceps, Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back

Secondary Muscles:
Pecs, Hamstrings, Gluteals, Quadriceps

1. Start in a kneeling position, legs hip-to shoulder-width apart with
ab the wheel in hand, your arms extended, and the ab wheel
on the floor. Your weight will be slightly forward.

2. Engage your core, grip firmly on the handles, and keep your shoulders
tight and then slowly roll forward at a 45-degree angle until your belly
is close to the ground and your arms are extended "above" your
head, as in the extended portion of a shoulder press position
(just on your belly).

3. Return to starting position by rolling back onto your knees.

4. Again, keeping the muscles tight, slowly roll forward at a 45-degree
angle in the opposite direction (if you went to the left the first time,
go right this time) until your belly is close to the ground and your
arms are extended "above" your head, as in the extended
portion of a shoulder press position (just on your belly).

5. Again, return to starting position by rolling back onto your knees.
If you have difficulty with the full extended position, you can
shorten the range of motion. Over time, you can work to
increase the range in which you execute the exercise.

Note: if you rollout to the arms extended overhead position, you engage
more of the back and shoulder muscles, notably the lats,
rear delts, and traps.

Plank

Primary Muscles:
Anterior Deltoids, Triceps, Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back

Secondary Muscles:
Pecs, Hamstrings, Gluteals, Quadriceps

The plank is a common core and yoga exercise. By modifying it for use
with an ab wheel, you increase the level of difficulty.

1.Start in a kneeling position, legs hip-to shoulder-width apart with
ab the wheel in hand, your arms extended, and the ab wheel on
the floor. Your weight will be slightly forward.

2. Engage your core, grip firmly on the handles, and keep your shoulders tight. Push one leg "downward" until fully extended, resting on your toes and the ball of your foot. Do the same for the opposite leg. Your arms should be extended out in front of you, approximately perpendicular to the floor. You are now in a full plank position.

3. Hold this position for a time relative to your ability.

4. Return to starting position by step back onto your knees.

 

Note: If you have trouble with the full plank position, you can perform
this exercise with the knees on the ground until you can safely
transition to the full plank.

Glute Bridge

Primary Muscles:
Gluteals, Hamstrings, Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back

Secondary Muscles:
Muscles Of The Arms, Deltoids, Traps, Lats

This exercise is best performed with an ab roller that has a strap attachment
in which you can slide your feet. If your roller does not have this attachment,
you can use a pair of resistance bands to strap your feet to the roller.
The exact way you do this depends on your foot size, roller used, and
bands used. Two 12-inch bands were used for these images.

1. Start lying on the ground, with your backside down and feet strapped to
the ab roller. Place your hands at your sides on the ground.

2. Raise your hips upward, drawing the ab roller in toward your glutes until
your legs are roughly perpendicular to the ground.

3. Maintain a neutral (straight) spine position. To do so keep your glutes
flexed, core tight, and legs stiff.

4. Hold for an appropriate time for your ability.

5. Return to the start position.

 

Note: The goal of the exercise is to keep everything tight in order
to engage the glutes and the core. Loose glutes will lead to less
activation of these muscles while a loose core will
lead to poor body position.

Thanks for reading this ab roller exercise guide. We hope you have found it useful.

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