Ever see someone in the gym holding onto a small wheel on the floor and rolling themselves backwards and forwards with it (just like I'm doing, above)?
Well, what you would have seen there is a person working their abdominal muscles using what is known in the trade as an abs' wheel.
Designed to simply strengthen and tone the abdominals, the abs' wheel is becoming increasingly popular as to helps to develop the midsection of the person using it, and also flattens the stomach in the process.
It’s a win-win situation using the abs' wheel (though only if it used regularly, as with all these things!) and the abs' wheel also works the entire core muscle set, as well as such secondary muscles such as shoulders, hamstrings, arms and chest.
So how do you get started on a simple (and effective) abs' wheel routine?
First of all, before hitting the floor with the abs' wheel ensure that you get your core muscles warmed up with some simple crunches (as this will help ease you into the abs' wheel routine itself).
Next, when undertaking the abs' wheel exercise, ensure that your body is stable as you roll in and out of each repetition, whilst also keeping your knees and arms tight and a focus on your abdominal muscles.
In addition bear in mind that the further your roll the wheel out, the better the tension in your exercise routine will be (and the more you will work your muscles as a result). When exercising with the abs' wheel you should also ensure that you keep your head down, start slowly, and move halfway down in your movement with the wheel.
At the beginning it is quite hard to undertake an exercise routine using an abs' wheel and you might feel when you start out that exercise that it is too hard for you. But in reality using the abs' wheel will get easier over time, so take the exercise in a measured and progressive way and build your ability moving forward!
A simple abs' wheel exercise set to get you moving:
First of all, begin with 3 sets of 8 - 10 repetitions every two days (mixed with static core exercises such as the plank).
Another option is to run 1 - 2 kilometres in rotating intervals with use of the abs' wheel, or simply to undertake an intense (and fast!) 1 - 2 kilometre run after undertaking 5 - 10 minutes on the abs' wheel, and then to get back to the abs' wheel once again.
Or, to put it another way: Rotation, rotation, rotation!
Whilst running you also use your core muscles (as part of the running motion) and, as such, combining a run with an abs' wheel routine is thus a win-win where your abdominals are concerned.
But whatever you do with the abs' wheel, start out at a pace you can cope with, build your stamina and ability and build your workout challenge in a way that you can handle.