What are the benefits of the ab wheel?

Why rollouts are so effective to build strong core

In this post, I’m going to talk about the ab wheel benefits. The roller is my favorite ab exercise equipment. It’s simple and cheap, but very useful.

What will you learn here?

  • Why the ab roller workout is so beneficial.
  • How to use it correctly.
  • For whom the roller is for and for whom not.
  • Related training advice.

What muscles does the ab wheel work?

The ab rollout exercise is a compound move. That means it activates multiply muscle groups at once. That results in better functional strength and overall power of the body.

The primary muscle it works is the rectus abdominis, which is typically known as the abs. That is the part of the abdomen, which makes the six-pack look of a lean stomach. However, a study proved that it also strengthens the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor) well.

But, the muscles worked, don’t stop here. Because of the narrow wheel, other muscles are activated to stabilize the body and stop falling on the floor. These are the core muscles, such as the obliques, lower back, and glutes.

And, of course, the arms, back, and shoulders are engaged as well.

#1. Benefit: The ab wheel exercise involves all the muscles of the upper body, particularly the core.

How does it build a strong core?

proper form

If we think about the execution of the exercise, we agree that it requires strength to perform it. When the workout wheel is at the furthest position, we have to hold and handle the majority of our body weight. That puts a lot of work on the core muscles, mainly if the user is a heavy person. So, it’s a powerful strength training exercise that improves endurance.

Why is that beneficial?

Just like lifting heavy weights, such a thought bodyweight exercise increases the muscle mass and the strength of the midsection. That means better performance in any sports since the core is activated in all types of sporting activities. Plus, because of the increased size of the ab muscles, they pop out more from the abdominal wall, so visually, we have a more developed abdomen (if we have a lean stomach).

#2. Benefit: Builds strong and shaped core muscles.

Everyday health benefits

Having a strong core is beneficial not just for looking good, but also improves your general health. These are ab roller benefits we don’t usually think about.

  • It improves your core stability and balance, which has positive effects on your daily activities such as work, walking, running, etc. It also helps to avoid injuries during these actions. The same is true for workouts.
  • A solid core is required for a healthy upright posture.
  • Many people have lower back pain because of their core is weak (inactive or sedentary lifestyle). Strengthening the core can help to avoid it.

#3. Benefit: Ab wheel workouts keep your posture and balance healthy, which leads to better performance in life.

Believe it or not, it’s a versatile equipment

People think that the ab wheel is suitable for only one exercise, just for rolling in and out. However, with little modifications, we can have moves that are ideal for our fitness level or to target a specific muscle group more effectively.

Let me give you some examples.

Ab roller exercises for beginners are when we do shorter moves so they are easier to perform. Kneel in front of a wall so it stops you to roll out the wheel too far that you can’t handle. As you improve, you can increase the distance between you and the wall for a lengthier range of motion.

As we mentioned before, the primary muscle it targets are the abs, but by rolling to the sides instead of the front, we can target the obliques with the ab wheel much better. Do you want to shape your lower abs? Get an ab roller with feet straps to pull and push your lower body instead of your upper body.

What if you are an advanced trainer? Well, this device is a piece of magic that you can use to give progressive overload to your ab workout frequently. Start it from standing position or rollout with one of your feet lifted.

#4. Benefit: Useful piece of ab exercise equipment for anyone, from beginners to advanced athletes thanks to its versatility.

Here is a video for some variations.

Better and more varied ab workout

Compared to traditional ab exercises like crunches or sit-ups, the ab roller exercises more challenging and effective. If you feel your old workout doesn’t support your development, include the roller in your routine to keep gaining.

Personally, I started using the ab wheel because I was so bored with doing the same exercises. I still do the classics, but the roller is also there.

#5 Benefit: More challenging and versatile ab training.

Cheap home exercise equipment

When we think about buying stuff for home training, we are willing to think only about tools that cost hundreds of dollars. This small thing is far better than buying the latest “ab magic,” which is promoted as building abs in 3 minutes a day. ???? It costs only a few bucks, but it builds a strong midsection. You may need to get used to it since it’s not easy, but it’s going to help your build the perfect abs.

#6. Benefit: Affordable, compact, but powerful.

Are there are disadvantages?

  • The proper ab roller form is vital to enjoy the benefits and avoid injuries. Hence, it requires practice and focus.
  • Novices may find it hard to use. With progressive exercises such as planks, crunches, sit-ups, or stability ball rollouts, they can get ready for it and avoid back pain and injury.
  • It doesn’t help much to lose stomach fat, but that isn’t the purpose of this core exercise.
  • The exercise wheel puts pressure on the lower back muscles, spine, and hip flexors. If you have problems with these areas, don’t do it.
  • It demands present core strength for correct completion.

Answers to frequently asked questions

What is the ab wheel rollout correct form?

benefits of ab wheel

1. Kneel and place the wheel at your knees.
2. Push your shoulder blades up, so your upper back is rounded, but the lower part of your back is somewhat straight.
3. Roll the wheel out as till your torso is parallel to the ground, similar to the plank position. During the rollouts, lift your lower legs as well. Control the motion.
4. Pull the roller back to the starting position.

A typical mistake is that people don’t hump their upper back at the beginning, but they keep their back straight. That puts too much stress on the back and worsens the execution.

Do the ab rollouts burn belly fat?

It doesn’t burn much since it’s a strength training exercise, but it develops muscle mass, which increases metabolism. If your main goal is losing belly fat, then you should focus on your diet and do cardio workouts.


The ab wheel effectiveness is not a question. It’s a total core trainer which is suitable for almost everyone who wants to build a healthy and attractive abdominal wall. Moreover, it’s versatile, challenging, and cheap. Do we need more than that?

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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.

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