There are lots and lots and LOTS of ways to work your abdominals. You can do bodyweight workouts such as crunches and sit-ups, do strength training workouts 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 electrical 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 more than the good old abdominals roller.
Small and portable and costing no greater than a single week's gym membership, an abs roller is a great addition to any workout program 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 machines combined.
To do an ab roll out, hold the handles of the abs roller and kneel down. Put 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 slowly 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 feet comfortable and do not let your lower back over extend. If you feel your back starting to “go” or hurt in anyway, lower your range of movement. Pull the roller back to your knees and then repeat.
If you feel you are ready for a much 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 just because the exercise requires that your abdominals work hard to keep your space stable as you extend your arms away from you. This is an isometric or static contraction that closely mimics how your abdominals work in nature. Many 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 create 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 workouts are as effective as the abs roller. Not only does the abs roller work your abdominals incredibly and naturally, these simple devices also deliver a time-efficient workout – ten minutes a day is all you really need. Not having time to exercise is no reason when you use an abs roller!