What does ab wheel target?
If you’ve been paying attention to fitness gurus and enthusiasts, you have probably heard of the ab wheel. It’s that little wheel with handles on either side that looks like it would be more fit for amusement park rides than exercise equipment. But don’t let its innocent appearance fool you; this sinister little contraption is a powerhouse when it comes to working out those abs.
Whether you’re new to the ab wheel or have been using it for a while, understanding the muscles involved and how they work can help maximize your workouts.
The Muscles Involved in Using an Ab Wheel
When using an ab roller,the primary muscle targeted is the rectus abdominis(1). However, several other muscles come into play as well.
- Internal obliques: Muscles located adjacent to your rectus abdominis which assist in twisting motions
- External obliques: Located just below your internal obliques and are responsible for lateral flexion.
- Transverse abdominis (TVA): Muscles running horizontally across your abdomen used primarily during expiration breathing exercises.
In addition to these core muscles, you’ll also notice some activity from:
- Shoulder stabilizers
- Upper body pushers/pullers
- Hip flexors
All of these supporting muscles work together or engage separately depending on what variation of exercises being performed, making the demands placed upon them different but efficient regardless if a standard rollout or pike form variation such as knee tucks are executed.
The Rectus Abdominis (RA) runs straight down our stomachs, connecting our ribs and pubic bones end-to-end. This long muscle helps us:
- Move forward against resistance,
- Bend at our torso when we squat,
- Hold our organs together.
Often referred colloquially as “abs, six-pack, shredded, washboard, or “serratus anterior” when visible with the help of a low enough body fat percentage.
The internal oblique muscle runs diagonally downward and inward from the hip bone to connect towards the midline abdominal tissue. It contributes to:
- Core stability
- Side-flexion of the trunk
These actions are useful for stabilizing our torso while we play sports that require twisting motion, carrying something heavy on one side, or even during walking/running — providing support during each foot-strike.
Located next to your internal obliques beneath them—your external oblique muscles enable you to bend sideways (2). These muscles allow us:
- To move from side-to-side
- Allow us to rotate at our waist.
Superman would be nothing without his external obliques as they power almost all of his mid-air twists and turns!
Transverse Abdominis (TVA)
The Tranverse abdominis muscle lies underneath your RA across your abs’ width like an undershirt(3). It’s responsible for preventing front/back spinal movement or sagging resulting in “potbelly” posture. Regular contraction targeting this core region can improve our breathing and decrease back pain due strengthening of deep-developed TVA fibers improving ribcage/chest placement internally, allowing air flow greater room which will lead toward efficiency throughout intense exercise activity tackling fatigue/soreness post-workout even better through oxygenated blood pump increasing recovery time within short periods(4)!
How Does The Ab Wheel Target These Muscles?
Rolling out sounds simple enough until a few vulnerable seconds is spent shaking like Willis Tower’s foundation earthquake simulation upon slow descent beginning inches off ground before retracting from whence begun roll-out forming re-engagement utilizing legs/core continuity making more statistically unlikely losing balance – sweet sweet success.
- When you’re rolling the wheel out, your RA muscle is contracting to keep your upper body aligned with your pelvis (maintaining a straight line), much like what happens when you perform a plank (5).
- Diving further beneath that explanatory quote above — contraction being involuntary during stability-imposing core exercises such as this one, requires more talent regard bringing excitement toward feeling workout benefited motion in real-time! One challenge behind steering coordination between glutes/hamstrings balance emphasis speed effort distribution while transitioning recline movement extent to start again without misstepping somewhere within any point of action throughout session.
- Likewise for oblique muscles involvement — they contract regularly concerning twisting dynamic which would manage every time arms and shoulders move across chest end-to-end indicating pair responding more rigorously regarding task’s intensity rather than necessarily quality per se.
The Benefits of Ab Wheel Workouts
If you’re looking to improve not only appearance but function too, incorporating ab rollouts into your exercise routine may be worth considering:
Improved stamina: If done correctly over time, ab roller work will strengthening TVA fibers resulting in powerful control extending beyond mid-section endurance necessary pushing ourselves through challenging workouts influencing posture renewal towards healthy alignments’ boost energy reserves fending off exhaustion grogginess by improving respiration recovery onset post-workout conditioning activity(6)`.
A Stronger Core: Those who use an AB wheel can build up their cores naturally without putting added strain on other parts of their bodies (7) . In addition to its anteriormost targeted abs, using AB wheels target posterior chain strengtheners key players for those pursuing skills such as invert progressions including V-sit/human flags hitting back extensions/glute-ham raises like clockwork(8).
Cost-effective fitness tool: You don’t need any fancy equipment or gym membership just an ab wheel strong enough capable holding larger loads than necessary — meaning you can get your abs worked out anytime and anywhere (9).
How to Use the Ab Wheel
Here are a few steps for those of you looking to make ab roller workouts part of their daily routine:
- Take an ab wheel with both hands and kneel on the floor, keeping your arms extended straight at shoulder-width distance.
- Keep your back flat as you start rolling forward slowly until your body is almost parallel with the ground while maintaining tight contracted core/trunk activation throughout movement
- Pause briefly (Engage TVA if possible!) then roll yourself back up standing stably within that no-wobble zone where sets/reps become enjoyable/beneficial long run
Although initially appearing deceptive in its simplicity, using an AB roller effectively requires strong core foundation development following proper technique regarding movements/control during every second work performed going towards regularity resulting in increased chance witnessing benefits taking place or not by utilizing it properly—use correct form consistently timing minutes spent within bracing contracting mode(10)! Remember – Rome wasn’t built-in-a day; practice makes perfect.
Incorporating ab roller exercises into regular training regimen offers many valuable advantages towards enhancing abilities as individuals together overcoming hardships outside gym walls proving useful muscle coordination principles stretching beyond reach notice initial efforts may provide!
What are some tips/tricks have helped enhance most beneficial endurance sessions sustaining mind-body activity convergence? Share below!