There are lots and lots and LOTS of methods to work your abdominals. You could do bodyweight workouts such as crunches and sit-ups, do strength training workouts such as dumbbell side bends and cable Russian twists or make use of any number of specially designed ab training tools such as stability balls, ab cradles and ab sliders. You could also waste your money and time on one of those electrical ab-stimulating belts!
If none of those methods grab your interest or you are looking for what is arguably one of the most effective ab workouts around, look no further than the good old abdominals roller.
Small and portable and costing no greater than a single week’s gym membership, an abs roller is a great addition to any exercise regime and could be used virtually anywhere.
Abs rollers are a device with a wheel that has a handle threaded through the center and are used for one main physical exercise — the ab rollout. The ab roll out is a very effective ab exercise that is much more effective than crunches and sit-ups and all those funky exercise equipment combined.
To do an ab roll out, hold the handles of the abs roller and kneel down. Put the roller on the floor in front of your knees. Keeping your arms tense and straight, your abdominals braced, your chest up and your lower back a little arched, push the roller along the floor in front of you and lower your chest toward the floor. Extend your arms only as far as feels comfortable and do not let your lower back over extend. If you feel your back starting to “go” or hurt in anyway, reduce your range of movement. Pull the roller back to your knees and then repeat.
If you feel you are ready for a much more demanding exercise, do your roll outs from a standing position but be warned; this is a TOUGH ab exercise.
Ab rollouts are very effective just because the physical exercise demands that your abdominals work hard to keep your spine stable as you extend your arms away from you. This is an isometric or static contraction that closely mimics exactly how your abdominals work in nature. Many people train their abdominals using dynamic movements like sit-ups but, in reality, your abs seldom work this way. Most of the time, your abdominals work to prevent movement rather than cause it. In the ab roll out, that’s precisely what your abdominals are doing—preventing movement. Abs rollers work your abdominals in a very natural, even functional, way.
So, while there are other methods you could use to condition and strengthen your abdominals, very few workouts are as effective as the abs roller. Not only does the abs roller work your abdominals extremely and naturally, these simple devices also deliver a time-efficient exercise — ten minutes a day is all you actually need. Not having time to exercise is no reason when you use an abs roller!
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