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Are you ready to try an ab wheel workout?

If you see an ab wheel at the gym, the movement might look pretty advanced. To make it even more intimidating, the people using it might look pretty athletic.

But what if I told you that you could build up to that level? The truth is, the point of entry is easy for beginners.

As a trainer, I’ve personally helped people with zero experience build core strength with the ab wheel. Today, I’m going to do that for you, too. 

Keep reading to get the 12 best ab wheel exercises, plus a workout to help you get a shredded physique.

Let’s dive in.

What is the ab wheel?

ab wheel rollout

The ab wheel is a piece of core training equipment with two handles and wheel. To use it, begin in the knees or full plank position and allow the wheel to roll out in front of you.

This targets the abdominals while contracting muscles through the hips, shoulders, and arms. 

Things To Consider When Deciding on an Ab Wheel Workout

ab wheel workout considerations

Before you go all out on an ab wheel workout, read this. Here’s what you should know when deciding if this is the best piece of core equipment for your needs and goals.

Experience Level

Using the ab wheel for the first time is a strange feeling.

It requires a great deal of balancing, controlled breathing, and contracting all the muscles in your body.

Choosing the right program will help complete the exercises while providing you with the right degree of difficulty to help you build your core strength. 

Prior Injury

Ab wheel workouts can be intense since they require the whole body to contract and work together.

If you are battling back pain or muscle strain in the abdominals or arms, consider letting your injuries heal before trying these workouts.

This will allow you to hit these movements with the control required and reduce the risk of further injury. 

Floor Space

You’ll need a clear space with very low foot traffic.

Ab wheel exercises tend to require some additional space as the movements are done in patterns.

So, while it looks like it can be done in a very tight space, be sure to give yourself a bit more room.

Core Strength

Using the ab wheel requires a great deal of core strength to roll out, hold, and roll back. It can be really challenging regardless of your level of abdominal strength.

If you have good core strength, but are new to the ab wheel, we suggest taking it slow and trying the beginner program.

This will help familiarize yourself with the ab wheel and the movements. That way, you can confidently progress to the next level. 

Benefits of an Ab Wheel Workout

Related: Top 10 Weighted Ab Workouts

ab wheel workout benefits

So, why should you try the ab wheel? Here are the biggest benefits of using this one simple piece of equipment.

Increases Core Strength

The ab wheel workout is brilliant for improving core strength. 

As you perform your rollouts, your core must contract to stabilize and roll in and out.

To improve core strength, research suggests completing eight to 12 reps to build muscle mass, and 15+ reps for endurance. 

Improves Function

Performing an ab wheel workout can help improve overall daily function. We improve strength and our mind-muscle connection with our core muscles.

This helps when we perform daily tasks such as sitting down, standing up, and lifting objects because we can recruit our core muscles for additional strength.  

Improves Physique

When we do abdominal training, we increase the lean muscle muscle mass around the abdominal area and the ability to contract those muscles.

This helps make our core more muscular, contributing to a leaner, more athletic physique. 

Improves Performance

Studies indicate that improving core strength and control can help integrate function of upper and lower body movement.

That gives us an overall control of motion and force generated with dynamic movements. It’s beneficial to various sports such as basketball, martial arts, swimming, and golf. 

Engages the Entire Body

Ab wheel workouts are a great way to engage the entire body.

Ab wheel exercises require the lower body, hips, core and shoulders to stabilize while you roll out.

This means that all these joints and the muscle surrounding them need to work together and contract.

Which makes it an incredible workout, hitting all the muscles in our body.  

Which ab wheel should you use?

best wheel for ab roller workout

You can choose an ab wheel based on personal preference and budget. 

There are many different types on the market, which all have their own little design tweak such as bigger wheels or ergonomic handles. Read the reviews and check out the overall rating to find the best one for your budget. 

If you’re looking to just dabble in a bit of ab wheel training, consider using one from your local gym. While these are basic, they’ll still get the job done.

Here’s a table with a list of ab rollers for you to compare.

Ab WheelFeaturesPrice
Rogue Ab WheelsWide Wheel$75.00
Vinsguir Ab RollerStrong Stainless Steel Shaft$25.99
Target Ab WheelAffordable$9.99
Title Box Ab WheelLeg Straps, Versatile$49.99
Intent SportsResistance Band Attachment$29.87

How To Use the Ab Wheel

Before we begin the workouts, here’s exactly how to use an ab wheel, including tips for progression. Go over this carefully to avoid injury and get results.

How To Perform an Ab Wheel Rollout

  • Kneel on a mat while holding the ab wheel with both hands.
  • With straight arms, lean forward and place the ab wheel on the floor.
  • Ensure that your shoulders are directly over your hands and the ab wheel.
  • Exhale and brace your core.
  • Slowly lean forward and roll out while keeping your arms straight.
  • Roll out until your torso is at a 30-degree angle.
  • Once you reach this position, pull the wheel toward you and return to the starting position. Repeat.

Ab Wheel Progression for Beginners

  • Beginners should start on their knees, this will help reduce the difficulty of the rollout.
  • Start with your knees apart. This will provide you with additional stability.
  • When rolling out for the first time, do a short roll out, testing your range each time. This will help you get used to the movement and sensation and help you build up to a parallel rollout.  

Related: 16 Best Low Impact Cardio Machine: Most Effective For Weight Loss

12 Best Ab Wheel Exercises 

best ab wheel exercises

Here’s a list of the 12 best ab wheel exercises to help you get a shredded core. 

1. Kneeling Ab Rollout

The kneeling ab wheel rollout is a great introduction to this piece of equipment.

Performing it on your knees reduces the strength entry requirement while remaining safe on the floor.  

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Kneeling Ab Rollout

  • Kneel down on the mat, holding the ab wheel with both hands.
  • Brace core and place the ab wheel on the floor with shoulders directly over the wheel.
  • Push the ab wheel forward and roll out until your torso is at a 30-degree angle.
  • Once you reach this position, pull back to the starting position. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Engages entire body
  • Improves physique

Pro Tips

  • Focus on breathing, exhaling as you roll out and inhale as you return. This will increase ab activation.
  • For beginners, start with smaller rollouts and test your range of motion. This will allow you to gradually increase strength while maintaining technique. 

2. Standing Ab Rollout

The standing ab wheel rollout is an advanced ab exercise that will shred your core.

Getting up onto your feet distances points of contact and makes for a great ab workout.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Standing Ab Rollout

  • Stand upright and hold the ab wheel with both hands.
  • Bend forward at the hips and place the ab wheel on the floor. 
  • Roll the ab wheel forward until your body is at 30 degrees. 
  • Once you reach this position, pull back until the ab wheel reaches your feet. Repeat. 

Benefits

  • Full body activation
  • Targets abs

Pro Tips

  • If you are attempting this for the first time, test your range of motion with smaller rollouts until you get familiar with the sensation of the movement.
  • Before you roll out, exhale and engage your core. This helps make your body rigid, improving stability and control.

3. Shoulder Ab Wheel Rollout

The shoulder ab wheel rollout is similar to the standard rollout, except the movement comes from the shoulder joint.

This is great for building shoulder strength and stability.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Shoulder Ab Wheel Roll Out 

  • Kneel down a mat holding an ab wheel with both hands.
  • Place the ab wheel on the floor.
  • Roll forward so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle with shoulders directly above.
  • Begin by allowing the ab wheel to roll using your shoulder joint.
  • Roll out until your body is at a 30 degree angle.
  • Once at the bottom, pull the ab wheel back until it is directly under your shoulders. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Puts great emphasis on shoulders and lats
  • Engages core

Pro Tips

  • When performing this exercise, focus on the contraction of your shoulders, upper back, and lats. This will help with activation and improve results.
  • Hold your body at a 45-degree angle for the duration of the set. This will make your shoulders the focus of the movement.  

4. Pause Ab Wheel Rollout

The pause ab wheel rollout mixes up your ab training by making you hold the outstretched position of a rollout.

This requires a tremendous amount of strength and control to hold and return to the starting position.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Pause Ab Wheel Rollout 

  • Kneel down on a mat holding the ab wheel with both hands.
  • Place the ab wheel on the floor, positioning it directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Start by rolling the ab wheel forward until your body is at 30-degree angle.
  • Pause in this position for one to two seconds for each rep.
  • Pull back to the starting position. Repeat. 

Benefits

  • Pause increases abdominal contraction
  • Improve physique

Pro Tips

  • Beginners should test their range of motion with each rollout and start with a small pause to begin. This will help you build up to longer holds.
  • Engage core prior to rolling out. This will give you greater control through the duration of the set. 

5. Ab Wheel V Rollout

The ab wheel V rollout is a diagonal rollout that is designed to target the obliques. It’s great for framing your abs and improving your physique. 

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Ab Wheel V Rollout

  • Kneel down on the mat holding the ab wheel in both hands.
  • Place the ab wheel on the floor and position it directly below your shoulders.
  • Begin by rolling the ab wheel forward on a 45-degree angle until your torso is at 30 degrees.
  • Once at the bottom, pull the ab wheel back to the starting position.
  • From here, roll out to the opposite side at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Pull yourself back to the starting position. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Targets obliques
  • Improves physique

Pro Tips

  • Ab wheel V rollouts provide a different challenge which can be difficult for beginners. Start with slow, controlled movements. This will help you work on technique and help you build strength.
  • Before rolling out, engage core and exhale as you lower. This will improve stability. 

6. Single Leg Ab Wheel Rollout

The single-leg ab wheel rollout adds an element of instability by taking one knee off the floor. The challenge can take your results to the next level.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Single-Leg Ab Wheel Rollout

  • Kneel down on the mat holding the ab wheel with both hands.
  • Lean forward so that your shoulders are over the ab wheel.
  • Lift one knee off the mat.
  • Start by engaging your abs and rolling the ab wheel forward until your body is at a 30-degree angle.
  • Once you reach this position, pull the ab wheel back to the starting position. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Increases difficulty by reducing stability 
  • Strengthens abs

Pro Tips

  • Beginners should start by introducing a small knee lift. This can be difficult as it greatly reduces your stability.
  • Test range of motion with each rep. This will help you build up strength to a full rollout. 

7. Kneeling Ab Wheel Plank

The kneeling ab wheel plank is ideal for building muscular endurance and stability through the entire body.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel
  • Mat

How To Perform the Kneeling Ab Wheel Plank

  • Kneel down your mat and place the ab wheel on the floor in front of you.
  • Position the ab wheel directly below your shoulders. 
  • Start by rolling forward until your body is at a 40-degree angle.
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then roll back to the starting position. Repeat.  

Benefits

  • Increase ab endurance and control
  • Full body activation

Pro Tips

  • Holding the plank position with the ab wheel can be challenging, so beginners should start with a smaller range of motion. This will allow you to get the same benefits and build strength to go lower.
  • Focus on breathing for the duration of the hold.

8. Ab Wheel Plank

The ab wheel plank is a natural progression from the kneeling version and requires a jump and full body stabilization and control.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel

How To Perform an Ab Wheel Plank

  • Stand upright holding the ab wheel with both hands.
  • Bend forward at the hips and place the ab wheel on the floor.
  • Roll the ab wheel forward until your body is at a 45-degree angle and the ab wheel is directly below your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Once the time is completed, lower knees to the floor. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Full-body exercise
  • Targets core

Pro Tips

  • Focus on controlled breathing and contracting your abs for the duration of the set. This will improve stability and control.
  • Start with a smaller duration first and gradually increase. 

9. Ab Wheel Planks Body Saw

The ab wheel plank body saw takes the ab wheel plank and adds a sawing motion. This is great for training yourself to contract and adjust to a changing stimulus. 

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel

How To Perform the Ab Wheel Body Saw

  • Hold an ab wheel with both hands.
  • Lean forward at the hips and place the ab wheel on the floor.
  • Position your shoulders directly over the ab wheel.
  • Begin rocking the ab wheel back and forth while maintaining position. Repeat. 

Benefits

  • Rocking focuses abs to react to changing stimulus
  • Engages entire body  

Pro Tips

  • Beginners can perform this exercise on their knees. This will decrease difficulty.  
  • Tense abs and focus on small, controlled breaths. This will help you remain calm and in control for the duration of the set. 

10. Ab Wheel Mountain Climbers

Ab wheel mountain climbers get the heart rate up. Your entire body engages to hold the ab wheel in position. 

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel

How To Perform Ab Wheel Mountain Climbers 

  • Standing in the upright position, bend forward at the hips and place the ab wheel on the floor.
  • Position shoulders over the ab wheel.
  • Start by tucking your knee up to the chest and returning it to the floor.
  • Alternate knee tucks for the duration of the set. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Improves abdominal stability 
  • Improve physique

Pro Tips

  • Beginners should start with small knee tucks to familiarize themselves with the movement.
  • If you are new to the exercise, consider starting with fewer reps. 

11. Ab Wheel Knee Tucks

Ab wheel knee tucks are an excellent exercise that sees you perform the roll out in reverse.

This is great for targeting your lower abs and engaging the shoulder stabilizers.

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel (Foot Straps)

How To Perform Ab Wheel Knee Tucks

  • Kneel on the floor and place your feet into the ab wheel foot straps.
  • Place your hands on the floor and lift knees off the ground to assume a plank position.
  • Begin by rolling the ab wheel up and tucking both knees up toward your chest.
  • Tuck until your knees are bent at 90 degrees.
  • Extend knees back to the starting position. Repeat.

Benefits

  • Targets lower abs
  • Full body activation

Pro Tips

  • Before you begin, contract abs. This will help you target them for the duration of the set.
  • Beginners should start with smaller rolls so get used to the movement.  

12. Ab Wheel Bear Crawl

The ab wheel bear crawl takes an already tough exercise and adds a balance challenge with the ab wheel. This is great for developing full body control and coordination. 

Equipment Requirements

  • Ab Wheel

How To Perform the Ab Wheel Bear Crawl

  • Standing upright and holding the ab wheel, lean forward at the hips and place it on the floor.
  • Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle so your body weight rests on the ab wheel and the balls of your feet.
  • Begin by walking forward and allowing the ab wheel to move forward.
  • Perform this for the desired length. Repeat.  

Benefits

  • Engages entire body
  • Great for shoulder, core and hip stability

Pro Tips

  • Beginners should perform this for shorter durations and build up their strength before attempting further distances.
  • To increase difficulty, consider crawling slower. This will require great control. 

Best Ab Wheel Workout Program

Best Ab Wheel Workout Program

Below are two ab wheel workouts programs for beginner and advanced rollers.

These workouts will be short and sharp and can be completed at the end of your usual workout. 

For beginners, we recommend performing two sessions per week with three weekly sessions for advanced users.

These programs will come complete with a weekly schedule and training split so you can plan ahead.

Beginner 

The beginner ab wheel workout will be completed as a part of a full-body split training program, two times per week. 

This is just an example and can be added to the end of the chosen training split.

This program only has four exercises, as using the ab wheel can be challenging for beginners. 

MonTuesWedThursFriSatSun
Full Body/Ab WheelRestFull BodyRestFull Body/Ab WheelRestRest

Beginner Workout

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Kneeling Ab Wheel Rollout28-1045-60 sec
Kneeling Ab Wheel V Rollout28-1030-45 sec
Kneeling Ab Wheel Plank210-20 sec45-60 sec
Kneeling Ab Wheel Body Saw28-1030-45 secs

Advanced

The Advanced ab wheel workout is part of an upper and lower body split program.

It contains five exercises and will be completed at the end of your workouts. This is just a guide and can be modified to suit your training split. 

MonTuesWedThursFriSatSun
Upper/Ab WheelLower/Ab WheelRestUpper/Ab WheelLower/Ab WheelRestRest

Advanced Workout

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Standing Ab Wheel Rollout312-1545-60 sec
Standing Ab Wheel Bear Crawl320m30-45 sec
Ab Wheel Mountain Climbers330 secs45-60 sec
Ab Wheel V Rollout32030-45 secs
Ab Wheel Body Saws230 secs30-45 secs

Related: 32 Foods That Burn Belly Fat Fast – Get Rid Of Your Belly Fat Today

Pro Tips for Ab Wheel Training

Here are a list of pro tips to help you get  the most out of your ab wheel exercises.

Contract Abs

When performing your ab wheel exercises, focus on tensing your abs.

This will help improve your mind-muscle connection, improving muscle activation and results. 

Focus On Breathing

Focusing on your breathing is one of the best ways to increase core awareness and activation.

When you perform your sets, exhale as you roll out, and inhale as you roll in. This will not only increase core muscle contraction but increase rigidity of your abs and stabilize your body. 

Don’t Arch Your Back

When you are doing your ab wheel exercises be sure your lower back does not arch.

When our lower back arches, it puts the pelvis into an anterior tilt, applying pressure to our lumbar. This can lead to pain and injury.

It happens due to weak abdominal control. Ensure your hips are in the neutral position and your glutes are activated prior to rolling out.

Or, consider regressing your ab wheel exercises and perform them on your knees.

This will not only reduce the occurrence of lower back pain but improve your ability to activate and contract your abs. 

Take Your Time

Ab wheel exercises are challenging for everyone. If you want the best result, focus on your technique and keeping your abs engaged for the duration of the set.

This will yield you a far greater result in the long run.  

Final Thoughts

The ab wheel is a simple yet incredibly effective piece of equipment that almost everyone should try.

Its ability to activate the entire body makes it one of the best bang-for-your-buck exercises. And at a low price point, it’s a must-have for anyone setting up a small home gym or staying fit on the go. 

Just be sure to focus on your breathing and contraction and take your time, and the results will come.

So, are you thinking about adding the ab wheel to your training routine?

What exercise are you most interested in trying? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this list with your friends. 

Is the ab wheel effective?

Yes, the ab wheel is effective at targeting the core and engaging the glutes, shoulders, and arms.

Are ab wheels good for belly fat?

The ab wheel can help you lose belly fat provided you are in a caloric deficit.

The ab wheel itself does not eliminate belly fat because there is no such thing as spot reduction. However, it can increase lean muscle mass and burn calories. This can contribute to overall fat loss.

Can you get abs with an ab wheel?

Yes, the ab wheel targets the abdominal region and can get you abs.

Can I do ab wheel everyday?

Yes, you can use the ab wheel everyday. However we recommend that you allow for 48 hours rest for your muscles to recover.