Having a mission to build a rock-hard set of abs requires a commitment to losing fat and toning the area with aerobic exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of challenging core workouts. If you're fed up with the monotony of crunches, grab an ab roller to perform any number of rollouts. You'll gain several health benefits by using this simple piece of equipment.
Involves Several Muscles
Ab wheel rollouts, as they're commonly known, effectively strengthen a long list of muscles. Some core exercises, such as crunches, work only a minimal number of muscles. ExRx.net notes that crunches work just your rectus abdominus and obliques. However, each repetition of the rollout exercise works nearly 20 muscles; among them the iliopsoas, the lats, deltoids, pecs, rectus abdominus and obliques.
Tougher Than Crunches?
Let's just say, different than crunches. Along with the myriad of other muscles in play, it's the degree of muscle involvement for your abs and obliques that makes a difference. Since there's little to no waist flexion during the rollout, the rectus abdominus and obliques contract isometrically.
Ace Fitness weighs in by saying that you can do crunches or buy equipment that could cost a lot of money and get the same results. A little tough to hear when you think you've bought the solution to getting six-pack abs. And, according to an earlier study by ACE, both exercises generate significantly less abdominal muscle involvement than the bicycle maneuver and captain's chair exercises.
Better Balance, More Confidence
Strength-training exercises, including those with the ab roller, improve your overall health and fitness in a variety of ways. Regular dedication to this form of exercise increases your stamina, prevents a number of diseases, helps you manage your weight, strengthens your muscles to limit your chance of injury, improves your balance and even reduces anxiety, says the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Building strong muscles can also have positive effects on your self-esteem. Strength training two to three days a week, combined with the recommended 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderately intense cardio, is the perfect all-around prescription to get or keep fit.
Bid Farewell to Back Pain
Strengthening your core with the ab roller, even if you don't end up with a six pack of abs, is beneficial in a number of ways. A strong core helps you perform a long list of daily movements with greater ease and a reduced risk of injury.
As Harvard Health Publishing says, no matter what action you perform, whether it's a lower body or upper-body activity, the movement originates in your core. If you frequently experience lower-back pain, a strong core can provide relief. If you're lacking in that area, a regimen of core-strengthening exercises is often recommended along with the traditional fixes, such as therapy or medications.
Core strength also contributes to the good posture you may have lost slouching over your computer or craning your neck towards your phone. Good posture also makes you look more confident. Not a bad first impression to give.