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There’s no one simple solution to building a six-pack. Every body is different. But no matter what, building muscle definition in your midsection takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work.
But even those who don’t want or have a six-pack can benefit from ab workouts. Strengthening your abdominals is important for building a strong core. And your core is at the center of every move you make, from sitting up in the morning to picking up a child. Even if the movement doesn’t originate in the core, it moves through it, according to Harvard Medical School.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why weak core muscles could result in poor posture, lower back pain and other muscle injuries. Working to strengthen them could help improve your balance and stability. Additionally, working out your core (and a combination of a healthy diet and cardio exercise) could help you get a toned tummy.
But crunches aren’t the only exercise for strengthening your core. There’s even some equipment that can help.
Take this ab roller, sometimes called an ab wheel. More than 6,500 Amazon shoppers give the best-selling Vinsguir Ab Roller 5 out of 5 stars. And, while it regularly retails for only $19.99, it’s now on sale for $16.97.
Shop: Vinsguir Ab Roller, $16.97 ($19.99)
What makes an ab roller great
You core made up of several muscles that wrap from the front of your torso to your back: your rectus abdominis (your “six pack”), transverse abdominis (internal muscles that wrap around your torso), erector spinae (muscles in your lower back) and your obliques (on your sides).
You pretty much need to engage them all when you use an ab roller to keep yourself from face planting. However, an ab roller will also engage some of the muscles in your back, shoulders and arms. It’s really an effective workout for the entire upper body.
How to use an ab roller
The most basic way to use an ab roller is on your knees. Start in a modified plank position and place your hands on the handles. Engage your abs by pulling your belly button to your spine, tucking the pelvis and squeezing your glutes. (It’s like a plank on steroids.) Roll the ab roller forward past your shoulders and then roll it back, making sure to keep your back flat.
“You are essentially extending your body into a plank position so it is like a moving plank,” celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins once told Self.
Here’s why people like the Vinsguire Ab Roller
The Vinsguire Ab Roller wheel is 3.2 inches wide — wide enough to stay centered and ensure balance and stability. And it’s rubber, so it won’t damage your floors. It also has soft rubber cotton handles, so you can focus more on engaging your core than your grip slipping.
“This ab roller is wider than the cheaper alternatives and that’s exactly what I wanted, because I always find myself teetering with the more narrow wheels,” wrote one Amazon reviewer. “I tested this ab roller on a wooden floor and carpet with no issues.”
Its high-strength stainless steel frame will hold a maximum weight of 440 pounds. Use it on a yoga mat, or it comes with a free knee pad that’s big enough to support both of your knees.
“My abs are screaming,” wrote another Amazon reviewer. “Great product, tough, strong and sturdy. The knee pad is a bit wimpy compared to the roller but you won’t notice the sore knees compared to your abs screaming in surrender.”
Compact equipment like the Vinsguire Ab Roller is only further proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money, need a lot of space or have a lot of time to get your core burning. All it takes is a little hard work and dedication.
If you’re looking for more ways to workout from home, check out this list of exercise equipment start at only $8.
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