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Ab Roller Exercises

The ab roller is unique in that it is relatively inexpensive and compact, yet very versatile. The device can be used to target each of the four abdominal muscle groups as well as many shoulder and upper back muscles. There are many different exercises that take advantage of the Ab Roller's ability to challenge a variety of areas.

Read more: Moves to Shrink your Belly, Butt, and Thighs

1. Roll Outs

HOW TO DO IT: Begin on your knees with your hands on the Ab Roller’s handles. Contract your abs without holding your breath. Slowly roll forward without losing control until your arms are fully extended over your head.

Continue to hold your abs tight and do not allow your low back to arch as you complete. Once your arms are overhead, hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position

Tip

This exercise can be modified by curving to the side as you roll out. This helps activate the oblique muscles.

2. Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Holding the handles of the ab roller, extend your elbows and lift your body up onto your toes while you contact your abdominal muscles. Hold this position in the air without allowing the ab roller to move.

Your back should remain straight and your pelvis should not tilt. Make sure to continue breathing throughout this exercise. After holding for 10 to 15 seconds, release the position by bringing your knees to the ground.

Warning

Discontinued the Ab Roller if the exercises cause pain. Consult your doctor with any questions or concerns prior to beginning a new exercise routine.

3. Pike

HOW TO DO IT: Begin this exercise in the plank position by holding the Ab Roller with your arms extended and your body lifted onto your toes. Slowly roll your arms backwards as you bend at the waist and lift your buttocks in the air.

Once the ab roller has reached your feet, hold this “upside-down V” position for 1 to 2 seconds. Then, slowly roll forward and return to the starting position.

4. Knee Tucks

HOW TO DO IT: With your feet strapped to the Ab Roller’s handles, assume a plank position with your elbows extended and your hands under your shoulders. Your abdominals should be engaged and your buttocks should stay in line with the rest of your body.

Slowly bend your knees under you as you move the Ab Roller forward. When your knees reach your arms, hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds. Slowly straighten the legs and return the Ab Roller back to the starting position.

5. Bridges

HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet secured to the handles of the Ab Roller. Contract your abs and then slowly lift your buttocks off the ground without allowing the roller to move.

Hold your buttocks in the air for 5 to 10 seconds without losing abdominal contraction. Then slowly return to the ground.

Warning

To improve abdominal strength, perform two sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise two to three times per week.

Read more: The 41 Hardest Ab Exercises

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About the Author

Tim Petrie is a sports medicine physical therapist and a certified orthopedic specialist practicing in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to treating patients of all ages, he is passionate about writing about health and wellness topics. In his free time, Tim loves to run and travel with his wife and two kids.

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