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The abdominal roller: Exercises and techniques

The abdominal roller is a simple device which has two handles connected to the wheel. But don’t be fooled by such simplicity. Abdominal wheel exercises when done correctly, create strong tricep, back and abdominal muscles.

The roller allows for effective training and many exercises are available only for advanced athletes.

Types of abdominal rollers

The roller must support the weight of your body and move smoothly back and forth without jerking. The rigid construction of the gymnastic roller allows you to exercise on a mat or tile without intermittent movements.

Dual wheel design has a wider base and distributes weight more evenly.

Choose a wheel that is stable under your weight and doesn’t wobble or shake when you’re rolling.

A wide wheel or roller with two parallel castors offers great stability and is suitable for beginners. For maximum stability on any surface, the wheel can be rubberized.

Look out for the ergonomic foam handles to help you grip the wheel and keep you balanced.

Some roller designs also have pedals in addition to handles, increasing the variety of exercises that can be performed with them. The handles should fit snugly against your palms and the pedals should hold your feet without slipping.

What muscles can you train with a roller?

Most abdominal roller exercises are very difficult for beginners. This is due to the fact that their implementation requires a thoroughly developed muscle base, capable of supporting body weight during rolling.

When using a roller, your body moves, stretching your spine through its full range of motion. Due to this, many athletes use training aid supplementation in order to develop their stabilizing muscle faster. The most widely used combination is Anavar and Clenbuterol or Winstrol. With the use of these oral substances an athlete can develop the muscles needed and progress within their workouts within a short space of time.

This exercise is a daunting task for the rectus abdominis muscles, as well as deep stabilizers of the spine, such as the transverse abdominal muscles. Therefore, the roller is an excellent tool for forming a strong and embossed abdomen.

In addition, the accessory muscles that are worked are; the hips, shoulders, triceps and the broadest muscles of the back. They stabilize the body from the shoulders to the tailbone and help to maintain balance as the wheel rolls beneath you.

Abdominal roller exercises

Start by doing a regular plank with a wheel support until you feel that you are ready for knee exercises and then move on to full rolling and other more advanced options.

For absolute beginners, you can use a fitball instead of a roller.


The bar on the wheel will strengthen the necessary stabilizing muscles and give you a feel for how to properly hold the roller and maintain balance.

  • Get on all fours in front of the roller.
  • Grasp the roller handles with both hands, palms facing down.
  • Raise your torso to a plank position to straighten your body in one straight line from the head to the toe.
  • Keep your core muscles tense and hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 3-4 times.

Roll from the knees

This is the next step for doing a roller workout. For comfort, you can place a flat pad or rolled towel under your knees.

  • Kneel down on the floor. Grasp the wheel handles and extend your arms.
  • Tighten your abs to prevent arching your lower back.
  • Roll forward as slowly as possible. Ideally, when the arms are fully extended in front of you and the ribcage is just above the floor. If you cannot do this, try dropping only halfway.
  • Return to the starting position on your knees.
  • Do 5-10 reps to complete one set.

It is best to start with short ranges of motion, gradually increasing the distance as you progress.

Experiment with different rolling lengths to see which one allows you to bounce back using your abdominal muscles.

Roll into the wall

Another exercise option for beginners, which will help maintain the pace of the workout and the given length of the roller. Use the wall as a focal point and do the exercise very slowly.

  • Position yourself a meter away from the wall.
  • Roll from your knees until the roller is in contact with the wall.
  • Return to starting position and do 5-10 reps.

Front-end rolling with wide and narrow stature

Full roller skating is an exercise of a high level of difficulty. Wide stance makes it a little easier to perform.

As you progress, narrow your leg stance until you can fully do a frontal roll.

  • Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, bend at the waist and grasp the wheel handles on the floor in front of you.
  • Keeping your back and arms straight, roll forward until your body is horizontal above the floor. The support of the legs falls on the toes, as in push-ups.
  • Roll the wheel back to your feet, bending at the waist again to return to the starting position. Do 5-10 reps per set.

Once you have fully mastered the kneeling and wide stance rolling, move on to the full narrow stance rolling.

This exercise effectively engages the whole body, using the muscles of the arms, back and shoulders in much the same way as the muscles of the abs.

Oblique rental

After mastering frontal exercises, add oblique rolls to your training. This exercise places more emphasis on the obliques.

  • Get on your knees and grab the roller by the handles.
  • Instead of going straight, start rolling forward, then turn left at 45 degrees and complete the exercise in that direction.
  • Return to starting position, then slowly roll at an angle to the right.
  • Do 5 to 10 reps per working set.

With one hand

One arm rolling is an extremely challenging version of full frontal rolling. In this case, the hand on the roller supports the full body weight, and the stabilizing muscles experience additional tension.

You can practice this exercise to the full version by practicing it from your knees first.

  • Stand in front of the roller or kneel down if you train from your knees.
  • Bend at the waist and grasp the wheel handle with one hand.
  • Start slowly moving forward, focusing on your core muscles. Make sure that you do not tip over to the side. For extra balance, you can stick to the floor with your other hand.
  • Return to starting position and do 3-5 reps per set.

To gain the relevant muscle strength and endurance what is needed for these more advanced movements, many athletes use Testosterone Propionate, Dianabol and Maxdrol in order to gain mass amounts of strength and endurance within their workouts. Using these substances will allow for huge power increases and also a reduction in body fat. You can find these helpful training substances within our online sports pharmacology store.

On one leg

This is another difficult option that requires significant strength in the stabilizing muscles. Try this exercise as soon as you have mastered full rolling on both legs.

  • Stand directly in front of the roller. Bend at the waist and grasp the wheel handles.
  • Keep your back straight, stretch your arms and start rolling forward.
  • Raise one leg and extend it as you fully roll forward.
  • Come back, staying on one leg, and again bending at the waist.
  • Do 5-10 reps.


For this exercise, you will need a roller with foot pedals, as rolling is done with your feet, not your hands.

In this case, the lower abdominal muscles and stabilizers work such as the oblique muscles of the abdomen, arms and shoulders.

  • Secure your feet to the pedals and step into the plank position. Keep your arms outstretched just below your shoulders.
  • Now roll the wheel with your feet, moving both knees towards your chest. Hold your upper body still.
  • Straighten your knees until you return to plank position.
  • Do 8-12 reps to complete one working set.

Oblique fold

This version of the fold uses the oblique muscles and stabilizers.

  • Secure your feet to the pedals and get into the plank position. Keep your arms outstretched just below your shoulders.
  • Now roll the wheel with your feet, moving your knees towards your right elbow.
  • Go back to the plank and then roll to the left.
  •  Do 8-12 reps.


The exercise looks like a fold, but the legs must be kept straight during rolling.

  • Secure your feet to the pedals and get into the plank position. Keep your arms outstretched just below your shoulders.
  • Engage your core muscles and slowly roll the wheel towards your upper body. Bend at your hips, lifting your buttocks up.
  • Roll back to the starting position.
  • Do 8-12 reps.

Precautionary measures

Using a press roller may seem simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind when doing the exercises. The goal of the workout is to activate the core muscles.

If done incorrectly, excessive stress is placed on the back and hip flexors, with a high likelihood of injury. These exercises are not recommended for people with lower back problems or herniated discs.

To maintain the correct technique for performing exercises with a roller:

  • Make sure the wheel is rolling, not the rug underneath;
  • Do not bend in the lower back, do not let your knees or body bend to the floor;
  • Keep your arms, legs and back straight;
  • Exercise is done slowly and with care and the progress should be gradual;
  • If you have shoulder pain, decrease your range of motion;
  • While performing, focus on the abdominal muscles.

Try to maintain a slow speed throughout your workout. If you feel that you are arching in your back, shorten the length of the roll or do it from your knees. Keep your head in a neutral position with your chin tucked in slightly to help protect your lower back and neck.

Roller use intensively engages several muscles in your body at the same time, so be sure to warm up before exercising. Finish your abs wheel workout with stretching exercises.

Start with a couple of repetitions per day and gradually increase the number of repetitions. For beginners, it is enough to train 1-2 times per week. If training aid supplements are used, as you progress, you can increase your sessions up to 4-5 times a week due to the shorter recovery times.

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