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Is An Abs Roller The Best Abs Workout?
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There are lots and lots and LOTS of methods to work your abdominals. You can do bodyweight exercises such as crunches and sit-ups, do strength training exercises such as dumbbell side bends and cable Russian twists or use any number of specially designed ab training tools such as stability balls, ab cradles and ab sliders. You could also waste your money and time on one of those electric ab-stimulating belts!
If none of those methods grab your interest or you are looking for what is probably one of the most effective ab workouts around, look no further than the good old abdominals roller.
Small and portable and costing no more than a single week's gym membership, an abs roller is a great addition to any kind of workout regime and can be used virtually anywhere.
Abs rollers are a device with a wheel that has a handle threaded through the center and are used for one main exercise -- the ab rollout. The ab roll out is an extremely effective ab workout that is far more effective than crunches and sit-ups and all those funky exercise devices combined.
To do an ab roll out, hold the handles of the abs roller and kneel down. Place the roller on the floor in front of your knees. Keeping your arms tense and straight, your abdominals braced, your chest up and your lower back a little arched, push the roller along the floor in front of you and lower your chest toward the floor. Extend your arms only as far as feels comfortable and do not let your lower back over extend. If you feel your back starting to "go" or hurt in anyway, reduce your range of movement. Pull the roller back to your knees then repeat.
If you feel you are ready for a more demanding workout, do your roll outs from a standing position but be warned; this is a TOUGH ab workout.
Ab rollouts are extremely effective simply because the physical exercise requires that your abdominals work hard to keep your spine stable as you extend your arms away from you. This is an isometric or static contraction that closely mimics exactly how your abdominals work in nature. Most people train their abdominals using dynamic movements like sit-ups but, in reality, your abs rarely work in this manner. Most of the time, your abdominals work to prevent movement rather than cause it. In the ab roll out, that's precisely what your abdominals are doing—preventing movement. Abs rollers work your abdominals in an extremely natural, even functional, way.
So, while there are other methods you can use to condition and strengthen your abdominals, very few exercises are as effective as the abs roller. Not only does the abs roller work your abdominals extremely and naturally, these simple devices also provide a time-efficient workout -- ten minutes a day is all you actually need. Not having time to exercise is no reason when you use an abs roller!
Keith Colladow is a personal coach and health and fitness teacher. Check out this ab wheel rollout to strengthen your core with the best exercise for your abdominal muscles.
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