The ab roller is a killer exercise for building core strength as the entire abdominal region is being worked, unlike many abdominal exercises like the sit-up during which time only the upper abdominal come into play.
Don't have access to an ab roller? No problems - a small barbell will serve the same purpose.
Note: If you've got lower back problems DO NOT perform this exercise.
Required: Ab Roller or Barbell
Ab Roller Form:
Hold your ab roller or barbell with both hands infront of you while you assume a position on your knees on the floor.
You should now be in a position similar to that if you were going to perform a push-up from your knees.
Proceed to slowly roll the ab roller in front of you until your torso is as close to the ground as possible without touching it.
Pause in the fully extended position for 1 second.
While maintaining a tight abdominal region begin to roll the ab roller back in to the starting position.
Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Ab Roller Variations
Oblique Ab Roller
The oblique ab roller is similar to the regular ab roller, however instead of extending the ab roller directly infront of your in a straight line alternate between each side for your repetitions in order to increase engagement in the obliques.
Here's The Ab Roller I Use & Recommend
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Common Ab Roller Mistakes
Using A Partial Range Of Motion
You won't be engaging the entire abdominal region unless you're rolling all the way out and all the way in!
If you're aiming to perform 10 reps of the ab roller but you can only perform 6 with strict form that's fine - continue to build up your core strength and endurance by performing full repetitions.
6 repetitions of full range, controlled pace ab rollers are going to be far more beneficial when compared to 10 or 15 performed too fast with a minuscule range of motion.
Putting Your Lower Back At Risk
Don't round your lower back or over extend when using your ab roller - if you feel unstable or feel as if your lower back is beginning to pinch it's time to stop!
As mentioned if your lower back is or has caused issues before then it may be best to give this exercise a pass, there's a ton of other super-effective exercises for building core strength and stability (see the substitute exercises below for example!).
Similar & Substitute Exercises
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Dragon flag