The ab roller wheel has been around for a long time. For most of that time, however, it has been considered an exercise gimmick rather than a serious training device. In the last ten years, however, the ab roller wheel has revolutionized itself. It has become more stylish, more hi-tech, and more versatile.
The marketing departments have had a field day with the ab wheel, making all sorts of extravagant claims about losing masses of weight and developing ripped abs from just a few minutes of using the ab wheel each day. While these claims are over-the-top, the ab roller wheel is a great device for targeting and strengthening the core.
Of course, there are still plenty of cheaply manufactured ab wheels out there that don’t deserve to be classified as exercise equipment at all. We have delved into the ab roller wheel market to bring you the best ab roller wheel. In this article, we present the top performers.
Summary: The Best Ab Roller Wheels
Do Ab Roller Wheels Really Work?
Most people who purchase an ab roller wheel off an infomercial end up being disappointed with the results they achieve. That’s not the fault of the equipment. The marketers of these products have so overhyped the fat reducing benefits of the ab roller wheel, that the reality is never going to live up to the expectation.
The result is that many people buy an ab roller wheel in the expectation that it will get rid of body fat around their waist. They also have an idea that it will carve out an impressive set of six pack abs.
The truth is that no ab roller wheel can do those things. Reducing body fat comes about as a result of sustained cardiovascular exercise and a sensible nutritional program. It is scientifically impossible to spot reduce body fat from one area of the body. That means that no amount of targeted abdominal work will reduce belly fat.
So, what will the ab roller wheel do?
The abdominals are muscles, just like your biceps or pectorals. Working them with the ab roller wheel will allow you to develop them. They won’t get appreciably larger, but they will get stronger. Strong abs are very important. The abdominals are like a girdle that embraces your core. Keeping it strong will give you a dynamic power base allowing you to be a better runner, jumper, and thrower. Strong abs also take the pressure off the lower spine. This helps to prevent the lower back pain which is the lot of so many people.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) commissioned a 2014 study to determine the effectiveness of a number of popular abdominal exercise devices, including an ab roller wheel. The research was carried out by experts at the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse. 16 volunteers were used to test the equipment. Researchers used electromyography to test the amount of muscle stimulation brought on by each piece of equipment.
Results showed that the ab wheel was the most effective exercise at stimulating the external obliques. The ab wheel was, in fact, 80% more effective at targeting this area than the traditional crunch exercise.
The ab roller wheel will only work for you if you use it properly and regularly. Your device will come with instructions and, if you’re lucky, a training guide. However, there are plenty of instructional videos online that will give you further guidance. Check out this comprehensive instructional and workout video – it’s the best we found.
Ab Roller Wheel Reviews
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is a very innovative ab device that will allow you to effectively hit all areas of your abs.
Designed by a Navy Seal in his mission to find a more effective way to train the core of the men under his command, the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is unique in every way. It features a kinetic resistance by way of a carbon steel spring. The benefit of this adaptation is that it allows for increased resistance as you roll the wheel out. It also provides stabilizing assistance as you bring the wheel back in toward your body.
The track of the Ab Carver Pro is wider than on most ab wheels. This increases the balance of the unit while taking the strain off the lower back. Another unique aspect of this ab wheel is that its track is angled, This allows for greater engagement of the obliques as you perform the carving motion that gives the device its name.
The handles are also angled slightly downward. This puts more emphasis on the triceps and less emphasis on the shoulders. As well as giving you more control, this slight ergonomic adaptation turns your ab wheel into an ab and arm wheel.
Value for money
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro can be purchased for around $40.
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is constructed of an extremely hard-wearing plastic molding. The component parts fit together very securely and the dual wheels provide you with a very solid exercise experience.
- Extra resistance on the roll out
- Extra assistance on the roll back
- Wider than normal tread
- Digital workout support
- Knee pads provided
- Lockout mechanism may prevent tall people from getting a full extension
- The spring is not removable
- Handles may buckle slightly for heavier users
The Valeo Ab Wheel is a solid yet basic ab wheel. It will provide a reliable workout. At a price point of $10, however, you don’t get any extras.
The Valeo Ab Wheel features a double wheel system with a nonskid track. This ensures superior stability when rolling the wheel out and pulling it back in. The easy grip handles have a contoured finish to allow for ease of grip and to prevent slippage.
The Valeo Ab Wheel has not one but two ab wheels, which fit together to provide you with better balance and increased resistance. They are extremely high quality. The unit fits together in 30 seconds.
Value for money
The Valeo Ab Wheel is available for around $11. It does not come with an instruction manual.
The Valeo Ab Wheel is made from high-density plastic. It fits together securely and will not rattle when you put it through its paces.
- Dual wheels for extra strength and stability
- Nonskid track
- Easy grip non-slip handles
- No spring resistance
The SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Core Strength Trainer is able to provide an effective ab workout as well as serving as the basis for an entire upper body workout. Its unique two-wheel system thus makes it more versatile than many of its single wheel competitors.
The Core Strength Trainer is actually two separate ab wheels. They are slightly smaller than most wheels as each wheel is controlled by a single hand. Having two wheels allows you to isolate and define each side of the abs separately.
Two wheels open up the training experience to allow you to work the entire upper body. You are able to use them for a variety of push-up type movements that engage the chest, triceps, and shoulders. In addition, the use of the ab wheels adds a level of instability to your training that works your core as it hits the other areas.
Value for money
The SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Core Strength Trainer can be purchased for around $30.
The Core Strength Trainer is made from heavy-duty plastic and thick cushioned foam on the handles. The nonslip wheels move together for safety and control. They can be used on a variety of surfaces without impairing performance. The wheels are lightweight and portable.
- Two nonslip wheels
- Comfortable foam grips
- Can be used on any surface
- No spring resistance
The Lifeline Power Wheel is a heavy-duty ab wheel that allows you to work from both the hands and the feet, opening up a new range of core exercises options. The thick rubber wheel works well on all surfaces. This device will give you a very effective upper body workout.
The Lifeline Power Wheel is a large wheel that features adjustable toe and heel fasteners. This allows you to extend the range of exercises beyond the conventional handheld type to include planking and push-up type movements.
The handles of the Lifeline Power Wheel have soft foam grips. The wheel has a thick, contoured tread which allows it to work on any type of surface.
A foot pedal provides intensity and workout versatility.
Value for money
The Lifeline Power Wheel can be purchased for around $40.
The Lifeline Power Wheel is constructed of heavy-duty plastic with a thick, contoured rubber wheel. The wheel’s diameter is 14 inches and has a total weight of 6 pounds.
- Large wheel
- Contoured rubber wheel
- Smooth rolling non-slip wheel
- Foot pedals
- Adjustable secure straps
- Grip is not very comfortable
The Iron Gym Speed Abs provides a very effective core workout. It is a hard-wearing, robust device with a heavy-duty wheel and hardy tread.
The Iron Gym Speed Abs uses coil technology to challenge you on the forward drive. It also provides assistance as you pull the wheel back toward your body. It features a super-sized, ultra grip tire that works equally well on hard floors or carpet. The curved rubber tread provides precision handling in all directions. This creates dynamic instability, which engages the core stabilizing muscles of your mid section.
The speeds abs features ergonomic grips to maximize comfort and control.
Value for money
The Speed Abs is available online for around $15. This represents very good value for a spring loaded wheel with such a thick wheel.
The Speed Abs wheel looks and feels very rugged. It features a fat rubber tire that has a lot of grip (in fact, it looks much like a motorcycle tire). However, it should only be used on non-slip surfaces. The wheel has a maximum user weight of 300 pounds.
Inside the wheel are wind up springs that provide a resistance as you push out from your body. When you return the wheel, the springs uncoil themselves to provide slight assistance.
The detachable handles are wide and offer a firm rubber gripping surface.
- Thick rubber wheel
- Contoured handles
- Spring loaded resistance / assistance
- Detachable handles
- Curved wheel tread
- Springs can provide too much assistance for intermediate or advanced users
Ab roller wheels are a great addition to your home gym. They will allow you to target your upper and lower abs along with your intercostals and obliques like nothing else. By following our best ab roller wheel suggestions, you’ll be able to bypass the duds and get yourself a wheel that will deliver the workout that your abs need!