You know I love planks, right?
Well, planks are great but the ab wheel is like the plank on steroids.
A lot of steroids.
While both movements are similar in nature (they both function as anti-extension based core strengthening drills), the ab wheel is far more advanced as it:
- Utilizes a larger range of motion (ROM)
- Utilizes a significantly longer lever arm
- Requires significantly more full-body strength and coordination
- And more
In addition, the technique for the ab wheel is much more involved than the plank which, unfortunately, tends to result in a mindblowingly awful performance of the movement.
Bold claim, I know.
In the short video below I explain not only how to perform the ab wheel in the safest and most effective manner, I also outline the most common technique issues and exactly how you can avoid them.
How to Use the Ab Wheel
1. Move the body as one whole unit: Don’t let the hips hinge or move separately from the torso. Keep the body in one straight line the entire time.
2. Maintain a neutral spine: Don’t allow your lower back to cave inward (slip into lumbar hyperextension). Brace your abs and make sure your lower back is completely flat.
3. Pack your shoulders: Don’t allow your shoulders to shrug up towards your ears. Try to put your shoulders in your back pockets to keep them in a safer position while using your lats to improve stability and overall strength.
Intensity: On a scale of 1-10, difficulty should fluctuate between 5-9 on a regular basis. Never go to failure.
Sets & Reps: 2-4 sets of 8-20 repetitions per training session
Workout Placement: Near the tail end of your training session after your main strength movements. Do Not tire yourself out using the ab wheel at the beginning of your workout.
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