Having a mission to build a rock-hard set of abs requires 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 abdominal muscles and obliques. However, each repetition of the rollout exercise works nearly 20 muscles. Though it has the reputation of being an ab exercise, it also targets your hip flexors and also involves your abs, obliques and several other muscles throughout your body.
Tougher Than Crunches
If you find ab wheel rollouts more difficult than traditional crunches, your mind isn't playing tricks on you. Part of the benefit of this exercise is its degree of muscle involvement for your abs and obliques. According to a study conducted by San Diego State University and sponsored by American Council on Exercise, the exercise generates more muscle activity in your abs and obliques than traditional crunches. Both exercises, however, generate significantly less 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. Building strong muscles can also have positive effects on your self-esteem.
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. If you frequently experience lower-back pain, a strong core can provide relief. Midsection strength can also improve your posture, which can give you a more confident look.
- ExRx.net: Crunch
- ExRx.net: Wheel Rollout
- ExRx.net: Iliopsoas
- American Council on Exercise: New Study Puts the Crunch on Ineffective Ab Exercises
- Better Health Channel: Resistance Training -- Health Benefits
- Harvard Health Publications: The Real-World Benefits of Strengthening Your Core
- Best Health: 5 Reasons to Strengthen Your Core