With its wheel and padded handles, the ab roller looks like a kid’s toy. But once you start using it, you realize it’s anything but fun: rolling the wheel out and back while holding yourself up with your arms burns. Frequent use, however, builds up the abs and side abs, helping to form a six-pack. It also strengthens the shoulders, chest and lower back.
The most common way to use an ab roller is via kneeling rollouts, which can be done with variations like with a V motion (side to side), with one hand, with one leg extended, or any change thereof. Other methods include stabilizing yourself with your arms and rolling the wheel out with one leg at a time.
Having a strong core allows mountain athletes—skiers, rock climbers, alpinists, runners—stability. A strong center increases balance, poise, and boosts overall power.
Start slowly with few reps, focusing on form over quantity and build from there. Extend the ab roller all the way out in front, hold it there, then slowly bring it back. Repeat 20 to 30 times with two-minute rests in between.