Roll your way to a stronger core and more defined midsection with an ab wheel.

This exercise tool is an effective way to target the numerous powerful, functional muscles that make up your core, which include more than just your abs.

Your core includes muscles in your hips, glutes and lower back that are involved in just about every aspect of daily life and are closely linked to exercise performance.

Your core consists of:

  • Abdominals (rectus abdominis, external obliques and transverse abdominis)
  • Lower back muscles (spinal erectors, latissimus dorsi and multifidi)
  • Lateral stabilisers (quadratus lumborum and internal and external obliques)
  • Pelvic floor
  • Diaphragm
  • Glutes
  • Illiopsoas

Core roles

These muscles perform vital roles in stabilising your spine and pelvis, which is essential for good posture.

From a performance standpoint, your core is where you generate your power. As such, strong and functional core muscles help to create and transfer force throughout the body and also support efficient movement.

And a strong core distributes the stresses imposed on your body during weight-bearing activities such as running or jumping, and protects your back under heavy loads when lifting weights.

Conversely, a weak core means that other muscles need to compensate by performing stabilising functions, even if they were not designed to do so. This creates weakness and inefficient movement patterns, which reduces strength and often results in injury.

Ditch the crunches

But crunches alone won’t cut it when you’re trying to develop a stronger core for better functional movement and injury prevention.

Incorporating the Dis-Chem Living Fit ab wheel into your regular ad routine delivers a total core workout that targets all the important core muscles.

Ab wheel exercises work because they are dynamic trunk extension movements, which require you to actively stabilise your core to stop your back from arching. So add these two exercises to your routine for a stronger, more functional core. 

1. Kneeling ab wheel rollout

Starting: Kneel on the floor and hold the ab wheel so that your arms form a 90-degree angle with your torso. Your hips should also be bent at a 90-degree angle.

The movement: Engage your abdominals and keep them braced throughout the movement. Roll the wheel forward by slowly extending your hips and arms, opening up the 90-degree angles with your arms. Gradually stretch your arms out as far as you can while maintaining a neutral spine and pelvis.

Exercise tips:

  • Keep your chest up throughout the entire movement.
  • Extend your hips and arms to equal degrees.
  • Do not arch your back.

2. Standing ab wheel rollout (advanced)

Starting: Stand holding an ab wheel using an overhand grip. Flex your hips and lower the wheel to the floor in front of your feet to support your weight.

The movement: Roll out as far as you can in a controlled manner without your back arching. Keep your elbows slightly flexed during the extension. Hold for a count, then slowly roll the ab wheel back to the starting position.

Form tip: If your lower back drops when you roll out, it means that you are rolling out too far.