Sculpting Washboard Abs with an Abs Roller


An abs roller is a type of fitness equipment that builds core strength and promotes muscular density in the midsection. The roller features a large wheel in the middle of two handlebars. The device works by gripping the handlebars and rolling up and down on a flat surface in a slow, deliberate motion. The motion effectively isolates and engages the abdominal muscles.

Although an abs roller is one of the oldest of all gym equipment, it remains a mainstay in most gyms because the results speak for themselves. In today’s post, we are walking you through several moves using an abs roller as well as advanced workout using this fitness tool:


Using an abs roller while kneeling puts less strain on the back. For beginners, this is the best way to start working out using an abs roller.

Start by kneeling on an exercise mat. With your thighs at a 90-degree angle to the floor, engage your core and tilt the pelvis back slightly. Grip the wheel with both hands while keeping the arms straight then roll slowly forward as far as you can without losing your form. Now, crunch the abs and roll back into the starting position.

As you roll, keep your breathing steady and get into a rhythm. If you feel a sharp pain in the lower back, it means you have been overarching your body.


Start by standing up and holding the abs roller in front of your feet. Keep your arms and legs straight and do not lock the elbows and knees during the motion.

Pull your core by slightly tilting the pelvis back. Roll slowly forward as far back as you can without losing form. Then, crunch the abs and then roll back into the starting position. Keep the motion deliberate and get into a rhythm. Keep the chin down as you roll forward and back. Again, a sharp pain in the lower back means you are not reaching the right form.

Rollout Progression Exercises

If you come to a point where you need more challenging moves, consider these recommendations:

Decline Roll-ups

With a decline bench or similar setup, roll the ab roller forward and back while kneeling. The decline will increase the difficulty of the exercise. This is an excellent transition to a standing rollout too.

Suspension Straps

Stand straight while gripping eh handles of the roller at waist height. Extend your body fully as you roll while adding suspension straps. The suspension straps will increase the resistance of the roller.

Weighted Vest

You can also wear a weighted vest as you use the ab roller while kneeling. The added weight of the vest will increase the resistance of the rolling motion. This will put more pressure in the abdominals, particularly the core.

One-Leg Rollout

The one leg rollout is suitable for athletes and those with advanced level fitness skills. As you use the abs roller while kneeling, you will simply raise one leg up. Again, this position will increase the resistance of the rolling motion. This move is similar to rollout performed using gymnastics rings.

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