The Ab Roller is a classic piece of exercise equipment that everyone has heard of. It’s been around for years, and if you’ve spent any considerable amount of time in a commercial gym, you’ve most likely already used one before.
As the name suggests, the ab roller is a device that works your core/abdominal muscles. They’re normally some kind of wheel, ball or wheel/ball hybrid with a handle running in the middle.
To use it, you get down onto your knees, grip the handles at both ends, engage your core and roll the ab roller from your knees outwards, stretching your body closer to the ground. The “engaging your core” part is extremely important if you don’t want to immediately face-plant the floor.
As a BJJ, MMA or other combat sports athlete, having a strong core is incredibly important. Your core is used in pretty much every facet of combat sports, both striking and grappling, and having a weak core is going to stick a very low ceiling on your progress and abilities. The ab roller is the perfect device to increase core strength and stamina in a way that more static exercises, like crunches and leg raises, just simply can’t do.
Best Ab Roller Reviewed
There are so many ab wheels available to choose from that it can be quite intimidating when deciding which one to purchase. Luckily, we’ve done the hard graft for you and picked what we believe to be the best five ab rollers on the market today.
Fitnessery Ab Machine Wheel Roller
Fitnessery have made strength and durability the major factor when crafting this ab roller. If you’re a bigger guy or gal and are concerned about the ab wheel roller being able to sustain your weight, then purchase this roller and ease your mind. Made of tough stainless steel, non-slip rubber and durable PVC, it can withstand even the toughest, most gruelling workouts without faltering.
The handles themselves are made of super-comfortable EVA foam padding to ensure that you can get a good, tight grip on the roller whilst your hands remain comfortable at all times.
This isn’t just an ab roller, it’s a complete ab roller workout set. Fitnessery provides you with three, free great gifts including a knee pad to improve comfort, an ultimate ab workout e-book and even a Six Pack Abs Nutrition e-book so you can have both the training and nutrition sides of things covered.
Valeo Ab Roller Exercise Wheel
This ab roller is perfect for people of all fitness levels. Regardless of how fit/strong you are, you can get a solid workout from this single piece of equipment.
The dual-textured treads of the wheel offer you superior traction and grip as the wheel rolls along the floor, allowing you greater control when exercising so you don’t slip or roll out too far, too quick, etc.
The wheel features a five-spoke design; the five spokes are arranged equally to provide perfect weight distribution which makes the roller more structural sound, which in turn allows it to work better for longer.
Another great feature is that the grips are wrapped over a solid inner steel handle that runs through the entire structure. Some of the cheaper rollers just stick handles on the side but they eventually fall off or break. But with the steel inner tubing, this will not be the case.
Sports Research Sweet Sweat Ab Wheel
Workout equipment doesn’t always look that great. How the equipment looks is so very far down on the list of priorities, that some companies don’t even bother at all to make their product look nice. They just make sure it works well enough and then chuck it out there. Hell, some companies don’t even bother making their product work properly!
However, there is no reason that you can’t have a great piece of kit that works well, lasts long and looks great. Sports Research believes this too and have made sure that style and design haven’t been neglected here. They’ve made a strong ab wheel that can withstand heavy, frequent workouts but that will also stand out physically with it’s stylish grey/yellow appearance.
Iron Gym Speed Abs Complete Ab Workout System
Most ab rollers feature handles/grips that stick out at 90-degree angle. This isn’t a problem per se and many top companies have released great ab wheels that also have this angle of handles. But Iron Gym has gone one step further and included handles that are slightly more angled and ergonomically to better support your wrists. This makes using their ab wheel even more comfortable to use than before, with your wrists placed at a more natural angle so you can focus completely on working your abdominals.
Iron Gym has made sure that you can use this excellent product on any floor surface without compromising exercise effectiveness. Carpet, wood, laminate, it doesn’t matter; you’ll get the same great workout no matter your flooring.
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Roller
This roller is much wider, blocker and almost ball-like compared to most of the common ab wheels you’re more familiar with. This ultra-wide wheel offers superior stability, especially when doing multi-directional exercises, allowing you to tailor your workouts in ways that are simply impossible with a more traditional, thinner wheel. As you might expect, this same ultra-width makes all exercises far safer and you’re much less likely to slip or twist unexpectedly.
The ergonomic grips provide excellent support for your wrists and can even be removed from the wheel so you can better store the device away when not in use.
If you’ve never used an ab wheel before, then you might be in for a surprise. Whilst people of all fitness levels can use them, they can be hard. Few other pieces of kit can provide you with such a quick and effective workout. The kind of core strength that you’d gain from using an ab roller regularly will give you a massive edge over your BJJ and MMA competitors.