One of the very best workouts you could do for your abdominals is rollouts using an abs wheel. The abs wheel may be a little bit of an old school exercise device but the reason that abs wheels are still around is simple; they work!
The main exercise you could do with an abs wheel is the rollout but there are several variations of this timeless exercise that you could do to keep your exercises fresh and challenging, not to mention productive.
These abs wheel workouts are listed in order of difficulty – easiest to hardest.
Standard rollout performance -- for all rollouts, grasp the abs roller handles firmly and place the roller on the ground. Keep your arms straight and keep all of your body tense-- arms, shoulders, chest, upper back, abdominals, legs and lower back. Inhale and push your abs roller away from you. Lower your chest toward the floor. Pull the roller back in and return to your starting position, breathing out as you do so.
Kneeling uphill rollouts-- by kneeling and rolling your abdominals roller uphill, you turn what is potentially a really tough exercise into something more manageable. Going uphill reduces the load on your abdominal muscles and helps you develop the skill and basic muscle strength to move onto even more demanding abs wheel workouts. The steeper the hill, the easier this exercise will be. A few exercises using this variation should ensure that kneeling rollouts on the floor are a lot more comfortable.
Kneeling rollouts-- this variation is a "bread and butter" exercise that will serve the huge majority of the exercising population very well. As a matter of fact, for many, this will be the main variation of the abs wheel rollout performed. Know the position of your lower back and do not let it move into an overly extended position as this may lead to injury.
Kneeling downhill rollouts-- facing downhill is a very easy way to make abs wheel rollouts much more demanding. Even a shallow slope will totally change the feel of this exercise. Use this variation to take your abdominal training up a level and to help you transition from the kneeling to the standing variation of abs wheel rollouts.
Standing uphill rollouts-- standing rollouts are a lot harder compared to kneeling ones. By doing them uphill, you take the sting out of this exercise so it is less of a transitory shock to your abdominals. The steeper the slope, the easier this exercise will be. Use standing uphill rollouts to prepare you for doing this exercise on the flat.
Standing rollouts-- doing the standing abs wheel rollout is a huge deal as few people ever develop adequate strength to pull it off. If you manage this, you have done something quite noteworthy and are well on your way to developing a midsection of iron!
Standing downhill rollouts-- trying to find a genuine ab strength test? Try doing standing abs wheel rollouts downhill. As before, the steeper the hill the more challenging the exercise will be. If you are absolutely hardcore, try wearing a weighted vest or rucksack however do not sacrifice extra weight for correct form-- making the exercise so hard that you could not do it properly will just lead to injury.
Ab wheels may be old-fashioned but they are still around for a reason-- they work! With variations for everyone from beginners to advanced exercisers, abs wheel rollouts may well be the very best exercise you currently aren't doing.