I have done almost every exercise you can think of. And I’ve come to know that the best way to train is to keep everything simple.
While there are many ways to train your abs, no ab exercise gives you better “value for time” than the classic ab wheel.
Here is the right progression so even a complete beginner can work their way to a standing rollout:
1. Kneeling Rollout using a Ramp
Sometimes, guys will ignore the ab wheel since it is simply too hard. Instead, they will go with easier (inferior) exercises. You won’t lose fat and build muscle if you take the easy road.
For some new exercisers, even the kneeling rollout might be too hard or place unneeded stress on your low back. But you can get rid of that risk simply by doing the ab wheel at an up angle, making the move both easier and safer.
2. Kneeling Rollout
This is the best starting point for most guys. Make sure you fully extend on every rep, maintaining posterior pelvic tilt (squeezing your glutes) throughout the whole rep. Posterior pelvic tilt lets you keep all your tension and avoid putting an unneeded stress on your low back.
Once you can do 3 sets of 10 kneeling rollouts, you are ready to go to the next progression.
3. Standing Rollout using a Ramp
This progression is a missing link for many people. There is a HUGE strength gap between the kneeling variation and the standing variation. And the best part about it? It allows you to bridge the strength gap in a safe way.
Start with your ramp high. As you get better, lower your angle to raise the difficulty.
4. Band-Assisted Standing Rollout
The ramp method might be impractical for many guys. So attempt the band-assisted rollout. It gives a more practical way.
Loop one end of your band around an anchor point and the side to your ab wheel. Use your band’s assistance to let you to train the whole range of motion.
5. Standing Rollout
The king of ab exercises. I have yet to find another move that beats it. The contraction you get when doing this is insane, and it makes all other ab exercises feel easy.
If you can competently do multiple reps of this exercise, you have an elite-level ab strength. Mastering any other exercises will not be trouble.
Author: Steven Sinclaire