Ab rollers are one of those exercise devices that fall in and out of vogue. Depending on your point of view, they can be considered really effective or downright dangerous. Whether you are trying to get yourself a summer six-pack or simply want to increase your core strength, using an ab roller can help, but only if you use the right form.
Ab Roller Crunches
Place the device on the floor on top of your exercise mat and then lie with your head resting on top of the foam pad. Bend your legs and place your feet flat on the floor.
Reach up and grasp the handles. Exhale and use your abdominal muscles to roll your shoulders and head up. Keep your head in contact with the foam pad.
Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor, exhaling as you do so. Immediately perform another identical repetition.
- Complete Book of Abs; Kurt Brungardt
- The Complete Guide to Abdominal Training; Christopher M. Norris
- For variation, perform this exercise with your feet off the ground, your thighs vertical, and knees bent to 90 degrees.
- Rotating and holding your knees to the left or right will target your oblique or waist muscles as well as your abs.
- Keep your lower back pressed into the floor at all times.
- Perform this exercise slowly in sets of 10 to 20 repetitions.
- Do not use your arms to raise your shoulders and head as this decreases the amount of work your abdominals do.
- Only lift your head and shoulders a few inches off the floor. Sitting up further will place an inordinate stress on your neck and upper back and may lead to injury.
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.