Ben introduced me to this little tool – the ab wheel! It’s a fantastic little device that’s very effective in working core muscles. Having good core strength is necessary for runners. The core muscles are crucial in providing balance and stability as we run. A strong core keeps your torso relatively still and quiet as you move your limbs, so that most of the energy is used in propelling us forward, rather than leaking out because our body is bobbing all around. In addition a strong core helps to prevent injuries.
The ab wheel works by engaging the core. The easiest ab wheel exercise is the kneeling ab rollout. We use a folded towel to place underneath our knees. We grip the ab wheel. The abs should be tucked in and the back slightly rounded. Then we breathe in as we push out. Ben is able to go out all the way, but I can only go part way down. When we’re as extended as we can be, we roll back in. We do as many repetitions as we can. This roll out is such an effective exercise that we can’t do several repetitions. I’m only able to do a half dozen at best. The farther I roll out, the fewer repetitions I’m able to do. I’m more interested in developing the strength to roll out all the way like Ben, rather than completing several repetitions.
Look at this YouTube clip to see how to do a proper ab rollout.
The ab wheel can easily be adapted for harder exercises. It takes incredible core strength to do a standing ab rollout, where you start out from a standing position.
The ab wheel is such a simple and cheap device. You can pick one up from Amazon for less than $15. It’s a great way to work the core so effectively in a few quick minutes.