One of the surprisingly popular products in the ab workout world, is the ab wheel. This simple machine has really stood the test of time, and comes at a cheap price.
In this review you will find out what an ab wheel even is? how you can use one? and of course our recommendations for the best ab wheel of 2016!
What is an ab wheel you ask and why should you get one?
An ab wheel is a very simple piece of equipment which can essentially be summed up as a wheel on a stick. They are also sometimes called ab rollers, but we prefer wheel so as not to confuse them with other roller products.
This wheel on a stick freely rolls allowing you to do a plank, with increased movement and difficulty.
There are few variations to the ab wheel and other than a strong wheel only on other thing to look out for. The number of wheels and the thickness of the wheel. In general they will either come with one or two wheels, of roughly similar width.
Choosing the wheel layout you prefer is really a balancing act (excuse the pun). The more wheels and the thicker the wheels, the more stable the ab wheel will be and therefore the easier to balance it will be throughout the movement. However having a narrower wheel forces you to engage the obliques and can offer a more thorough workout.
Even when using easier variations an ab wheel is an effective but highly challenging exercise.
How to use an ab wheel?
An ab wheel is simple to use and requires no additional equipment, unless you would like to use a mat on your floor.
Although there are many variations the most fundamental exercise relies on positioning yourself in a push-up position while holding onto the ab wheel by the handles, essentially supporting your weight on the ab wheel.
You then proceed to roll the wheel forward by pushing away from you until you are either fully extended or reach the point your current level allows.
At this point you slowly pull the wheel in toward your body as far as is comfortable, and repeat. Of course it is vital to maintain good posture throughout the movement and keep the whole process controlled and stable (easier said than done).
You can see examples of this on YouTube, or with some photographs over at Beast Skills.
What is it best at?
The ab wheel is extremely good at helping you tone your abs. Depending on the variation of exercise you use, you can target your core fully, and push your abs extremely hard. This makes the ab wheel a sculpting tool to hit your abs with intense work, encouraging them to grow and get stronger.
Being a small machine it is easily stored and transported, making it a great tool to have at home. Because they are often cheap, it allows you a versatile workout at such a cheap price, it is worth a try for anyone.
What is it less good at?
While the ab wheel will make our abs pop, in general it is not going to be a good way to lose fat or gain much fitness. Using this as fitness apparatus would risk injury, and slow controlled movements are what we recommend with this product.
Ab wheels should really be thought of as a strength training tool for intermediate to advanced trainers. The beginner workouts will help you significantly, but before you are able to do the full workout with proper form, you would probably benefit more from another less strenuous ab machine.
If you do think an ab wheel is for you, there are many good wheels out there, and at great prices: Our favorite is the CSX Dual ab wheel.
CSX Dual ab wheel review
It is worth remembering that when you are stretching out during an ab wheel plank, the only thing stopping your face from smashing into the floor is your ab wheel (with a little help from your abs). This means you need a wheel which has strength you can rely on.
We like this wheel as the foam handles provide you with a comfortable grip throughout the workout movement. The wheel itself is smooth running and incredibly easy to assemble. It is a portable system that will allow you to workout anywhere you choose.
In addition to the wheel you will get a small knee pad, which can be helpful if you take the easier exercise methods which require you to kneel. The mat is of decent quality but is small, for the knees only.
The CSX dual ab wheel also comes with a small exercise eBook – “Great Abs! The Ultimate 12 Week Six Pack Abs Workout and Fitness Program for Men and Women with an Ab Roller”. This will give you a brief overview on how to use your new shiny ab wheel, and might even give you some new ideas.
Check out the CSX Dual ab wheel on Amazon!
As an honorary mention in this review we give you the Lifeline Power wheel:
Lifeline power wheel review
The handles are soft foam, and a larger and thinner wheel allows you to really push your abs to their limits and develop the strong core you are after. If you ave low body fat percentage and want to build your core, this is a 6-pack maker.
On top of the wheel you will receive a DVD with a tutorial on how to properly use the wheel, although I have to stress you will need a fairly strong core already to really make the most of this little machine. All in all it receives a big thumbs up from us and 4 stars.
If you like what you have seen check it out on Amazon!
Or you can take a peak the other ab machines we think are the best!