What are the best ab wheel alternatives?

Don’t you have an ab wheel at home? You can’t yet perform the rolling exercise correctly, or you feel pain while you do it? I’m going to show you some ab wheel alternatives that strengthen your core the same way as an ab roller. Or, check out the best ab rollers that provide an excellent workout experience.

#1 Barbell Rollout

In this case, we use the barbell to substitute the ab roller. Since weight plates are attached to the bar, it will be much harder to perform the move because of the additional load. Hence, this ab exercise is recommended for advanced level athletes.

  • Kneel with and catch the bar at about shoulder-width.

  • Push the bar away from you until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor.

  • Pause for a moment and hold this outstretched state for a moment.

  • Then, pull the bar backward to get into the starting position.

#2 Ab wheel substitute – Your office chair

Let's substitute the wheel with an office chair. Why not? It let us do the same movement. In this video, Brendan Meyers shows us how to have complete ab training at the office in 5 minutes. What a fantastic idea.

#3 TRX Roll Out

The suspension trainer is the ultimate tool to strengthen your core muscles. No matter what type of TRX exercise you do, it'll work your abs. But, with the rollout, we target the abdominal muscles as much as we can, but it also stimulates the back well.

  • Adjust the TRX to such length when you kneel, the handles are at your hip level.
  • Grap the handle and push them forwards with straight arms. Try to make a similar move like Superman.
  • When you're fully stretched, pause for a moment.
  • Pull the handles back with aligned arms to get back to the starting point.

#4 TRX Spike

Another ab roller alternative, which strengthens the abs perfectly, but it isn't easy. It also works the arms, shoulders, and chest.

  • Place your feet in the handles and get into the plank.
  • With straight legs, lift your hips towards the ceiling. Try to lift your buttocks as high as you can so your thighs are almost right-angled to the ground.
  • Slowly get back to the plank state.

#5 Plank Walkouts

If we analyze the ab wheel rollout, we can agree that it's similar to the plank. Of course, rolling requires more power to fulfill the move, but that's why it works the abs so well.

With the plank walkout, we combine the two ab exercises. Get on all fours and tighten your abs. Walk your hands as far as you can, and stop for a moment. Then, walk back to the start position.

A harder variation is when you get into a plank position, so you stay on your toes. Walking forward, that way is much more difficult.

#6 Ab rollout with towel

In this exercise, we use a towel instead of the wheel. You kneel the same way and tap on the towel. Then you push yourself towards. The toughness of the move depends on the smoothness of the floor and your body weight. But, since you use both of your hands, it's easier to keep the balance. You won't sway to the sides so easily.

An alternative is the towel pull in. In this case, you get into the plank pose with your toes on the towel. Then, you pull your lower body towards your chest, next push it back to the starting point. This move works the lower abs a bit better than the previous.

#7 Rollouts with stability ball

The stability ball is versatile exercise equipment, and we can use it to do ab rollouts. These moves are excellent ab wheel progressions for beginners to get ready for the wheel. They aren't as difficult as the rollouts with a wheel, but similar to them since we are in an unstable state.

The first is the ball rollout.

  • Kneel and place your forearms on the fitness ball.
  • Slowly push the ball away from you as far as you can.
  • Stop for a moment.
  • Pull the ball backward till your get into the starting point.

The second alternative to ab wheel exercises is the ball roll in.

  • Place your foot on the ball (or your toes, but that's much harder) and get into a plank position.
  • Pull your lower body towards your chest by carefully rolling the ball.
  • Squeeze your abs.
  • Push the ball back to the starting position.

Why get a roller for home?

Ab rollouts without a wheel are effective, but the best is if you get the equipment. It’s affordable, and the results are amazing. It works the entire core, not just your abs but also the hams, obliques, transverse abdominus, and back. An ab wheel workout gives a total upper body workout besides building a six-pack. If you are interested in you can check out all the ab wheel benefits here.

I recommend the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro since that ab roller is equipped with a kinetic engine and ergonomic design that helps to perform the rollout more correctly and may help if you have lower back pain while exercising.

To conclude

The mentioned ab rollout alternatives are excellent moves to develop core strength. Give them a try and tell us how they worked. By the way, we have a detailed ab roller workout guide.


ab wheel alternative exercises

Written by Imre

Imre has been working out for over 20 years. He likes all sorts of strength training and boxing. Since he's a busy father he works out only at home.