Abdominal Exercise Equipment Review
Ab Rollers are just one type of abdominal exercise equipment, and they have pros and cons for ab training.
I have to admit that I purchased an abdominal roller, when I was a sophomore in college, and I used it religiously in my ab workouts.
After months of slaving away on the floor with the roller, I noticed two things.
#1 My abdominal muscles were really strong compared to the start.
#2 My abdominal muscles looked the same as they did before.
You cannot Spot Reduce Stomach Fat with a Roller
Spot Reduction is The #1 Ab Exercise Myth.
Unfortunately, you cannot target and get rid of the fat covering your stomach by using ab machines or by doing 100 abdominal exercises.
Pros of the Ab Roller
The Abdominal roller is not a complete waste of money like ab belts.
With an Abdominal Roller, you can...
Strengthen your Abdominal Muscles
Take some Pressure off the Neck Muscles, and
Get Motivated to do Ab Exercises
If you use a roller, you're essentially doing versions of ab crunches, and doing crunches will strengthen your abdominals.
The big difference when using a roller is decreased pressure on the neck muscles, and comfort.
Many people get motivated by different ab exercise equipment, so if you like the roller or it motivates you to do crunches and other ab exercises that's a plus.
Cons of Ab Rollers
Using a roller will limit your range of motion, and neglect strengthening the neck muscles.
When you use a roller to do various ab exercises, you will have a limited range of motion because you're confined to the angles of the machine. You may find that your body moves in the pattern of the machine and not in it's ideal pattern.
All ab machines tend to limit range of motion in the spine, and more range of motion means more strength and more improved function.
In addition, supporting the neck neglects the neck muscles. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, and we should have strong ab muscles and strong neck muscles.
I do not personally use a roller any more, but there was a time when I liked using it during my ab workouts.
If someone is de-conditioned, overweight, suffers neck pain, and likes the ab roller, then I will not force them to stop using it. It does help to strengthen the abdominals, just not in the ideal way.
I wouldn't recommend that anyone invest in a new roller.
But, if you've bought one and like using it, my advice is to keep using it to get your money's worth from the investment.
But also try varying your ab workout from time-to-time.
I recommend learning how to do crunches on the stability ball.
In addition, there are tons of ab exercises in The Directory of Abdominal Exercises.
The floor is the cheapest abdominal exercise equipment, and it works. Save your $50 bucks or buy an exercise ball.
Exercise balls are awesome, take the $50 dollars you would spend on an ab roller and purchase an exercise ball instead, you'll get more bang for your buck.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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