T Nation

Is an Ab Wheel a Must?

There is not an ab wheel at my gym so I have been using a preacher curl bar with 3 10 pounders on each side and doing roll outs with the bar I have never used an ab wheel before and I was wondering if using the preacher curl bar is good enough or is the ab wheel a must? I do feel that I get a good workout with the bar and its is working for me so far.

[quote]gbock wrote:
There is not an ab wheel at my gym so I have been using a preacher curl bar with 3 10 pounders on each side and doing roll outs with the bar I have never used an ab wheel before and I was wondering if using the preacher curl bar is good enough or is the ab wheel a must? I do feel that I get a good workout with the bar and its is working for me so far. [/quote]

You just answered your own question there, don’t you think?

It’s just one of many ab exercises, not something I would consider a must by any means.

I would not thing it is a must-have unless you have very specific goals or if you have a physical impediment for certain exercises (.ie. dead lifts.)

I find ab wheels an excellent thing more for the lower back than for the abs (good for me since I still can’t safely dead lift heavy.)

Now, if you are interested, you can build your own using Ross Enamait’s guidelines

FYI, Ross Enamait is one of the most respected strength and conditioning coaches in combat sports. He has a shitload of good ideas on strength training… just an FYI.

I’ve made a pair of hand wheels following Enamait’s guideline, and let me tell you, they make it a lot harder than a regular hand wheel. Plus the amount of exercise variations you can do with them (ab work, lower back work, push up/pull up variations) is just great.

Give it a try. I’m confident you will fall in love with them if you are into ab wheel training.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
gbock wrote:
There is not an ab wheel at my gym so I have been using a preacher curl bar with 3 10 pounders on each side and doing roll outs with the bar I have never used an ab wheel before and I was wondering if using the preacher curl bar is good enough or is the ab wheel a must? I do feel that I get a good workout with the bar and its is working for me so far.

You just answered your own question there, don’t you think?
[/quote]

Well, I am always looking for something better and I did not know if the ab wheel is better than the preacher curl bar in terms of effectiveness. Yes the bar seems to work well but wouldnt better be nice?

Give it a try. I’m confident you will fall in love with them if you are into ab wheel training.[/quote]

WOW, thanks for the vid, they seem pretty cheap to make and the variations seem pretty intense, I bet that single arm variation kills

[quote]gbock wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
gbock wrote:
There is not an ab wheel at my gym so I have been using a preacher curl bar with 3 10 pounders on each side and doing roll outs with the bar I have never used an ab wheel before and I was wondering if using the preacher curl bar is good enough or is the ab wheel a must? I do feel that I get a good workout with the bar and its is working for me so far.

You just answered your own question there, don’t you think?

Well, I am always looking for something better and I did not know if the ab wheel is better than the preacher curl bar in terms of effectiveness. Yes the bar seems to work well but wouldnt better be nice?[/quote]

Well, very few people with great abs use the ab-wheel…
If you have one, cool, use it…
But you certainly won’t be missing out on the best ab-development of your life just because you don’t own one.

It’s just a tool like any other “exercise” there is.

If you can mimic the whole thing via a preacher-bar + plates, well, what do you think is going to be so radically different about an ab-wheel?
Maybe it runs more smoothly?

[quote]gbock wrote:

Give it a try. I’m confident you will fall in love with them if you are into ab wheel training.

WOW, thanks for the vid, they seem pretty cheap to make and the variations seem pretty intense, I bet that single arm variation kills[/quote]

Well, there you have a nice solution then… Have fun.

[quote]gbock wrote:
There is not an ab wheel at my gym so I have been using a preacher curl bar with 3 10 pounders on each side and doing roll outs with the bar I have never used an ab wheel before and I was wondering if using the preacher curl bar is good enough or is the ab wheel a must? I do feel that I get a good workout with the bar and its is working for me so far. [/quote]

What you are doing is no different than using the wheel.
FYI: I bought my Ab Wheel at Target for less than $15.00

[quote]gbock wrote:

Give it a try. I’m confident you will fall in love with them if you are into ab wheel training.

WOW, thanks for the vid, they seem pretty cheap to make and the variations seem pretty intense, I bet that single arm variation kills[/quote]

Even the two-arm variations kill. I can do the ab wheel with knees off the floor. But with the individual DIY wheels, I need to keep my knees on the floor. By having the hands being separated (and without sharing an axis), you put a lot of stress on the lower back… A LOT!

I think both costed me like $20 in total, but there are some things to be done to get them right… in particular to get a thick handle (you don’t want the handle to be to thin.)

I’ll put some pics tonight so that you can see how to reliably make them.

you can use your hands and crawl back and forth. i think that movement is better as the last movement in a abdominal superset, with the first being a weighted ab exercise

Actually I’ve found that the crawl back and forth engages the shoulders more than with the wheel at the expense of engaging the lower back less (because the shoulders are more active as stabilizers AND MOVERS.)

With the wheel(s), the shoulders are statically locked (or almost locked). You extend yourself down via the glutes and lower back (with the abdominals and hip flexors fighting for stability).

On the way up, you fire the abdominals and hip flexors, with the lower back taking the brunt for stabilization.

Having said that, the crawl version is much, much, but really much more anaerobically demanding. You can do some nasty, puke-inducing tabata sets with this.

They are both excellent exercises.

I don’t think an ab wheel is a must. I do my roll-outs with a straight bar and a 3kg plate on each side. I can’t see what additional benefits the ab wheel has over a bar.

I’ve tried the walk-outs and they seem to be more focused on my shoulders and chest rather than abs.

The roll-outs with any bar are good enough IMO!

people keep giving me looks when I do the rollouts with a swiss ball… =[

…until they think I’m gone and they attempt to do them =]

Thanks for the help all.

I also find that the walkouts from the toes are hitting my shoulders more than my abs. Any tips for the walkouts?

And I guess that a wheel is not that expensive if I really need one but ill stick with the bar.