Flat stomach, tight abs… sounds like a dream come true. But no matter how many crunches you do, you can’t seem to see even a glimmer of that much-desired six pack. Well, if you’ve built up enough strength in your core that you now need a more challenging exercise, you can up the ante with an ab roller or dumbbells. Despite what some believe, this is not an exercise gimmick. In fact, researchers have found that using this simple tool far more superior than a combination of different ab workouts such as crunches. So, are you ready to roll? Below is a list of the best ab rollers in the market today.
Top 10 Ab Rollers Of 2018 Reviewed
1. Perfect Fitness Ab Carver ProBest Ab Roller On The Market
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro has a unique design that ticks all the must-have features of the perfect ab roller. Designed by a Navy Seal, this ab roller is a lot wider than your average ab wheel which makes it more stable and balanced, reducing the strain on your back. It also features a carbon steel spring that provides resistance as you push the wheel away from you. This mechanism then springs back to assist you in pulling the wheel back towards you.
The hand grips are contoured which fits your hands really well and provide you with better grip. They’re also removable which makes storing and transporting this equipment easy. And because the wheel is so wide, you can easily carve left or right when you want to specifically target your obliques. You also get a high-density foam knee pad for added comfort. However, this doesn’t seem to roll as smoothly on the carpet as it does on hard floors. Some heavy users may feel that the handles need more padding. The carbon steel spring is not removable.
- Stable wheel
- Contoured hand grips
- Includes high-density foam knee pad
- Doesn’t roll smoothly on carpet
- Heavy users may require more padding on the handle
- Spring is not removable
2. Valeo Ab Roller
The Valeo Ab Wheel is your typical, basic ab roller. What you see is what you get. And for $10, you don’t really have room to complain about lacking any extras. However, being simple and affordable doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be effective. This a roller features two non-skid wheels to provide you with stability and traction for smooth rolling. These two wheels, when assembled, do not wobbly or rattle while you do use the equipment which is exactly what you need to prevent injury and get the best results.
The handles are contoured to fit the shape of your fingers with enough texture to prevent slippage. For an ab roller, the Valeo definitely does the job. It’s easy to assemble (less than a minute) and solidly built. It won’t be breaking down on you while you’re using it. However, the hand grips leave something to be desired. It’s a bit hard on the palms and can cause blisters. You may want to wear workout gloves. The fitness guide that comes with the equipment isn’t that helpful either know if you’re a beginner, just look for online videos to help you. And the hard rubber wheels can dig into your floor and make a lot of noise.
- Very affordable
- Easy to assemble
- Handles are rough on the palms
- Fitness guide isn’t helpful
- Rubber wheels can be noisy and dig into your floor
3. Elite Sportz Ab Wheel
One of the things that stood out to us with the Elite Sportz Ab Wheel is the 100% refund guarantee. You know you’ve got a good thing if the company is able to back their product up this much. Another standout feature of this ab roller is its dual wheel system. Unlike the usual two wheel systems you typically see in ab rollers, this one has a slight gap in between to provide extra stability. You never have to worry about wobbling wheels while working out.
The handles are made of plastic and rubber which isn’t the most comfortable we’ve tried. It may start to become less uncomfortable the heavier an individual is. The unit comes fully assembled and the company even provides a how-to video so you can start rolling as soon as it’s out of the box. For such a lightweight piece of equipment, it feels very sturdy. However, it doesn’t have much traction on the wheels so it’s best to use on a mat or carpeted floor
- Very stable
- Comes fully assembled with a how-to video
- 100% money back guarantee
- The grip isn’t very comfortable
- Not for use on smooth surfaces
4. Iron Gym Speed Abs
The Iron Gym Speed Abs is slightly similar to the Carver Pro. It also features a durable steel coil to provide resistance when you roll it out and helps you return it to the original position. The non-skid wheel is also huge and allows you to stay balanced and provides stability. It also enables you to angle left or right for targeting your obliques. And it can handle a maximum user weight of 300 pounds.
The handles are rubberized with a textured design to provide control and comfort. They are angled to minimize hand and wrist fatigue. So, what’s the difference? In performance, not much really. They pretty much function the same. However, this is much cheaper. It doesn’t have enough traction to allow you to use it on smooth surfaces like tiled floors unless you like slipping. The spring-loaded resistance isn’t enough to challenge intermediate and advanced users. And it doesn’t come with a knee pad.
- Thick rubber wheel
- Contoured handles
- Max user weight of 300 pounds
- Not for smooth surfaces like tiled floors
- Spring does not provide enough resistance to advanced users
- No knee pad included
5. Lifeline Power WheelBest Ab Roller With Extra Functions
If you want a wider range of core exercise options using an ab roller, then the Lifeline Power Wheel is exactly what you’re looking for. Unlike most of its counterparts, this piece of equipment lets you use both hands AND feet on the handles. This means that you have an extended range of motion that the typical or conventional ab roller is not able to provide. You can do the usual core training and then use your feet to train your upper body and your lower body, including your glutes.
How is this possible? Well, the handles feature the usual soft foam for your hands but also adjustable foot stirrups to secure your feet. The heavy-duty rubber wheel is 14 inches in diameter and features tire treads to provide traction and stability. However, it doesn’t come with a guide on what exercises you can do with it. The foam is a bit on the thin side which makes it uncomfortable after awhile. And putting your feet into the foot pedals is a bit awkward.
- Foot pedals for extended range of motion
- Heavy duty non-slip wheel
- Solid construction
- No fitness guide included
- Thin foam on the handle
- Strapping your foot into the pedal is a bit hard to do
6. Epitomie Fitness BIO Ab Roller
Like some of our picks, this comes with two large rubber wheels for added stability though they are installed directly next to each other and functions much like a single wheel. These wheels are perfect for use on any type of surface. The axle bar is made of stainless steel which increases the equipment’s durability while the handles feature memory foam to provide maximum comfort.
The maximum weight of this ab roller is 450 lbs, one of the heaviest we’ve seen. With the ab roller, you also get a free knee pad for added comfort as well as a lifetime replacement guarantee. However, there are no assembly directions in the box. There is also no fitness guide for beginners.
- Non-skid wheels for a variety of surfaces
- 450-pounds max weight
- Durable construction
- No assembly instructions
- No how-to videos or fitness guide for beginners
7. Sports Research Performance Ab WheelBest Ab Roller For Beginners
The Performance Ab Wheel features a huge wheel that’s 2 inches thick for superior stability. The handles detach and since the entire thing only weighs 2 pounds, you can easily transport it with you. Plus, it’s so easy to store. What we really like about this ab roller is it comes with a knee pad AND a training guide so newbies can definitely get this. The handles are very comfortable though they can be difficult to clean. Also, it doesn’t roll as smoothly as others we’ve tried. The included knee pad is a bit on the small side.
- 2-inch wide wheel
- Comfortable grip
- Comes with a training guide
- Handles can be difficult to clean
- Not as smooth at rolling
- Included knee pad is too small
8. SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Core Strength TrainerBest Ab Roller For Travel
The SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Core Strength Trainer is another uniquely designed ab roller. Instead of a dual wheel system that functions as one wheel, you have two sets of wheels that act separately. In short, you have two separate ab rollers to workout with. The ab rollers look like dumbbells and are controlled by each hand. What makes this design so special is that it enables you to isolate ab muscles on each side of your body and tone them using a variety of different angles.
Your pushups and planks will never be the same again. These are very lightweight and portable so you can bring them with you to your local gym if you need to. The foam handles are very comfortable. The non-slip wheels move together and roll smoothly over a variety of surfaces. However, these do have a slightly unpleasant smell straight out of the box which takes a while to dissipate. The guide isn’t really helpful (just 4 exercise ideas) for beginners. And there’s no spring resistance.
- Very lightweight and portable
- Allows you to work out one side of your body at a time
- Comfortable hand grips
- No spring resistance
- Fitness guide lacks information
- Slight off-gassing
9. VIM Ab Roller
This is one ab roller you’ve never seen before. Instead of one or two wheels, this ab roller comes with three. This three-wheel patented design ensures that this ab roller will be the most stable of all. The handles are soft and rubberized to provide a comfortable grip and prevent hand fatigue.
This ab roller even comes with a standalone stopper wedge so you can slowly adjust your tolerance from beginner to advanced level. The glide of the wheels is smooth even on carpet. However, the wedge slips a bit on the hardwood floor and can scratch it. Also, it’s slightly more expensive than most ab rollers. Plus, it doesn’t come with a training guide on how to use for targeting the obliques.
- Extra stable
- Comfortable grip
- Works on carpet
- The wedge can slip on the hardwood floor
- Slightly more expensive
- No training guide
10. Power Guidance Ab WheelBest Cheap Ab Roller
The Power Guidance Ab Wheel is made of high-density rubber and hard plastic with a stainless steel axle. The 2-inch wheel has a non-slip surface which makes it easy to roll on multiple surfaces, even carpet. The handles are made of lush EVA foam which is very comfortable.
However, they do smell and are slightly difficult to place onto the bar. And the edges of the bar are a bit sharp. Several owners have reported getting cut while assembling the ab roller. Once assembled though, you really get more than your money’s worth. It’s very solidly made and, for a basic ab roller, very stable. And you even get a free knee pad.
- Non-skid wheel
- Very stable
- Can be used on multiple surfaces
- Hard to assemble
- Slight off-gassing smell from the foam
- Sharp edges on the bar can cut you
How to Buy An Ab Roller
Yes, the ab roller seems like an infomercial trap that you’re going to regret spending your hard-earned money on. But experts would beg to differ. This simple tool (it is, after all, just a wheel with handles) is, in fact, far more effective than doing multiple ab workouts like the ever popular ab crunch. There’s even a study that proves it.
If you’re thinking about tightening your core AND improving your core strength, then it’s time you invested in an ab roller. It’s a pretty inexpensive purchase and doesn’t have a lot of parts. Choosing one isn’t going to be rocket science. However, it’s still important to pay attention to a few factors. It’s easy enough to get hurt when you use an ab roller if you aren’t physically fit enough for it. It’s also easy to get hurt if you buy one with defects.
What does an ab roller do?
The beauty of using an ab roller is its ability to engage all of your stabilizer muscles – the ones beneath your abs that support and provide stability to your body. Your stabilizer or core muscles can also help you maintain good posture and reduces lower back pain.
An ab roller also engages other muscle groups located in your back, arms, wrists, shoulders, and even your legs (depending on the exercise). There are a variety of exercises you can do with this tool that can help you achieve a full body workout.
Do I need an ab roller?
As we’ve mentioned, the ab roller is not for the faint of heart. Or for someone who’s out of shape. It’s quite easy to injure yourself if you don’t have enough core strength and aren’t able to maintain the proper posture while using the ab roller. As simple as it might look, this piece of exercise equipment can injure your back and shoulder as well as your face.
If you’re just starting your fitness journey, you’re going to be better off building up your core strength and shoulder muscles using a variety of exercises. Ab rollers are for individuals who are already physically fit and need to level up their core exercises.
What features should I consider?
How hard could it be to choose a wheel with a stick running through it? Well, you’ll find the floor is hard enough when your face hits it using a poorly chosen ab wheel. To prevent you from going splat, below are some things you’ll need to look at before making your purchase.
Remember, using an ab roller requires you to roll the wheel away from you and back. A wobbly wheel is going to make an already difficult exercise even more so. More importantly, it can negatively affect your balance and posture. Worse, it could land you on your face. You’ll want a wheel that’s stable and rolls smoothly. You want it to have enough traction that it won’t slide on the floor when you’re trying to go slow. Wider wheels such as with the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro are more stable. Rubber wheels operate more smoothly on different floors. A contoured design does the same.
The handles should be padded or cushioned enough that you can move the wheel without hurting your hands or wrists. Ab rollers will each have its own grip so consider how well it fits you before buying. The Iron Gym Speed Abs, for example, has very comfortable handles.
While ab rollers will generally cost you less than $50, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to test for durability. You don’t want to buy something that’ll break after a few months of use. You especially don’t want something that will break while you’re using it.
While not necessary, some ab rollers like the Epitomie Fitness BIO Ab Roller come with knee pads which will provide you with some cushioning for your knees while you perform your exercises. This is especially useful for beginners.
An ab roller may not be a home gym essential but it’s a perfect addition for those who have to want to level up your core muscles and strength. With the right wheel in your hands, you’ll be able to achieve a superior upper body workout that’ll get you the abs you’ve been looking for.