All About Ab Wheels and The Muscles You Did Not Know Your Ab Wheel Can Work On

An Ab Roller Wheel is an exercise equipment that has a wheel fixed in between two handles. The protruding rolls as the handles are pushed and help create abdominal, oblique and several other core muscles.

As you are here, I believe you own one or discovered one from the storeroom, stored in a fake toolbox of your dad stashed with some good old Playboy issues. In all seriousness, a different type of ab wheels can be of great use if you are a beginner in the workout world, trying to find your way into it.

How To Use: Before you learn about the muscles it works on, you must know how to roll it out. Hold the handles firmly with your hands and then kneel down on the floor or perhaps on a matt. Then try pushing the wheel as far away as you can for better result and then return it back towards your knees. You will feel the pressure and excretion of Pyruvate in your muscles, but enduring the pain is worth it. Believe me.

Now, let’s see some of the muscles your Ab Wheel can work on for getting yourself a shredded body and making you a better version of yourself:

Abs and Obliques:

The ab wheel is a great exercise device that can help you get a flexed abdomen. The rollout movement focuses on the main and side abdominal muscles. Muscles like Rectus Abdominis (which is a vital abdominal core muscle) and the Obliques are highly dominant in ab wheel exercise.

Although the rectus abdominis is the main key player in the ab wheel exercise, the obliques handle some of the pressure as well. They also work as stabilizers in the forward movement of the Ab Wheel cycle.

When the Ab Wheel has moved away from the body, these two muscles work as a gear and pulley to prevent your spinal muscles from getting hyperextended and getting sprained.

They play a key role in stabilizing your body during the exercise which can prevent muscle strain and injury. This kind of externally added pressures make your Abs And Obliques muscles stronger and initiate a large reform from weak lean muscle to stronger core muscle. These muscles will later on burn more calories, giving you the lean slender waist you’ve always dreamt of.

If you want to put more pressure on the obliques muscles, you can do so by modifying the way you use your ab wheel. Try rolling out the wheel in a diagonal path instead of a straight one. Your torso will automatically twist to accommodate the movement. By doing so, your obliques will be stretched.


The frontal part of your hips has a strong and well-woven web of muscles. These muscles are called the Hip Flexors. These muscles are directly responsible for flexing hip joints, which means that they help to bend forward pivoting against our waist. When you roll the wheel forward, it causes you to bend and puts an extensive amount of pressure on your Iliopsoas, which strengthens your Hip muscles from the core and help you build up some good muscle mass.

The pressure your body puts to prevent collapsing on the ground is the main key to muscle building. So, don’t fall short on that. The tensor fasciae latae; which is the muscle of the thigh, supports your upper hip joint and The Sartorius and Pectineus work on the lower portion of your hip for full body support. The ab wheel is going to help building strong thigh and hip muscle with regular exercise.

The Back:

Both pushing the Ab wheel away from the body and bringing it back enhances strength in the upper part of human body. The muscles that surround the shoulder joints become stronger as they resist the ab wheel movement. The back muscle named “Latissimus Dorsi”, the posterior deltoids and rhomboids support your upper body.

These muscles work to handle the load from the ab wheel movement. The latissimus dorsi is the longest and most important muscle in your back. It handles the downward movement while using the ab wheel. Your rhomboids are the muscles located between the shoulder blades and are responsible for the downward rotation movement.

If your focus is to give your back muscles more exercise, you can achieve this by using the ab wheel differently. All you have to do is to roll the wheel until your shoulders are fully extended. You can also start the ab wheel exercise from the feet instead of the knees. This is a little bit more challenging and is not for beginners but it will also put more load on your upper body muscles.

If you are a regular gym-goer and really want to stick to your new year’s   resolution of having a six-pack, an Ab Wheel can be your arch Nemesis. This equipment here may well look very meek and mild but can work as a calorie burning dynamite as well as your core builder mantra.

Using the ab wheel can be a challenging task at first, this is why you need to make sure that you are giving your body the time it needs to adjust to the effort. You can start with a shorter range of motion then increase it when you feel that your muscles are ready.

Contracting your core muscles while keeping your back straight is not easy. Beginners usually feel too much pressure on the lower back because their back muscles are not strong enough. This leads to spine arching because the ab muscles are not strong enough to stabilize it.

It is a good idea to start with some easy core exercises that target the latissimus dorsi before embarking on your ab wheel journey. These will provide the needed stabilization to prevent your back from arching.

To use this efficiently, focus on the muscles and set a target in reps. Never quit before you achieve the daily goal of finishing successful reps. Make sure you are having proper nutrition and protein, as you are dealing with core muscles here. Also, take ample and sound rest for at least 8 hours a day and keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water to ensure you are making the best use of different type of ab wheels.

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Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at
Neha Kava is a National Certified Registered Dietitian in India. She likes to share her knowledge about daily health, nutritition and diet tips. You can contact her on [email protected]

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