There are lots and lots and LOTS of ways to work your abs. Your can do bodyweight exercises such as crunches and sit-ups, do strength training exercises such as dumbbell side bends and cable Russian twists or use any number of specially designed ab training tools such as stability balls, ab cradles and ab sliders. You could also waste your time and money on one of those electric ab-stimulating belts!
If none of those methods grab your interest or you are looking for what is arguably one of the most effective ab workouts around, look no further than the good old abs roller.
Small and portable and costing no more than a single week’s gym membership, an abs roller is a great addition to any workout regime and can be used virtually anywhere.
Abs rollers are a device with a wheel that has a handle threaded through the centre and are used for one main exercise – the ab rollout. The ab roll out is a very effective ab exercise that is far more effective than crunches and sit-ups and all those funky exercise machines combined.
To perform an ab roll out, hold the handles of the abs roller and kneel down. Place the roller on the floor in front of your knees. Keeping your arms tense and straight, your abs braced, your chest up and your lower back slightly arched, push the roller along the floor in front of you and lower your chest toward the floor. Extend your arms only as far as feels comfortable and do not let your lower back over extend. If you feel your back beginning to “go” or hurt in anyway, reduce your range of movement. Pull the roller back to your knees and then repeat.
If you feel you are ready for a more demanding workout, do your roll outs from a standing position but be warned; this is a TOUGH ab exercise.
Ab rollouts are very effective simply because the exercise demands that your abs work hard to keep your spine stable as you extend your arms away from you. This is an isometric or static contraction that closely mimics how your abs work in nature. Most people train their abs using dynamic movements like sit-ups but, in reality, your abs seldom work this way. Most of the time, your abs work to prevent movement rather than cause it. In the ab roll out, that’s exactly what your abs are doing – preventing movement. Abs rollers work your abs in a very natural, even functional, way.
So, while there are other methods you can use to condition and strengthen your abs, very few if any exercises are as effective as the abs roller. Not only does the abs roller work your abs intensely and naturally, these simple devices also deliver a time-efficient workout – ten minutes a day is all you really need. Not having time to exercise is no excuse when you use an abs roller!