Ab roller workout: a killer routine to sculpt your core

This 10 minute ab roller workout will help tone and tighten your midsection

Woman doing an ab roller workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ready to set your core on fire with a killer ab roller workout? You've come to the right place as things are about to get a little spicy with my 10 minute plan.

Personally, I am a huge fan of the ab roller; it’s small, easy to use at home or in the gym and (when used correctly) provides one of the best workouts for abs, helping to sculpt your core fast! 

However, whilst a toned midsection is often desirable for aesthetic reasons, building strength within your core is vital for so many reasons. After all, your core is the trunk; it helps with your stability and can make everyday tasks, easier.

Building up strength in the core is also good for improving your posture, as well as lessening your chances of lower back pain and injury. 

I’ve also worked with older clientele in the past who have really benefited from introducing core exercises into their exercise regime. Namely with balance, which often means a lower likelihood of falling.

So, the ab roller; essentially a small wheel, with two handles poking out on either side. It looks harmless, right? 

You might think differently after my three-move ab roller workout, but in time the results will more than make up for any momentary pain!

So check out our guide to the best ab rollers, get yours ready and then give the below moves a go. 

I will flag though, that if you’re just starting out, or have never used an ab wheel before, then go easy. To avoid injury, try the first move and master that first before going on to the others. 

If you're not ready to get going with an ab roller just yet but still want a killer core workout, check out our 30 day abs challenge.

How to use an ab roller

First things first, some rules to abide by when using the ab roller.

When you roll out, try to avoid arching your lower back. If it means you don't roll out as far, then so be it. I always get someone to watch me when I first try a move out, so I know if I am doing it correctly.

To avoid injury, keep your head down as you roll and tuck your chin in. 

As for the surface you're rolling on, go for a smooth, non slip floor. Essentially, avoid tiles and absolutely swerve rugs; that's a disaster waiting to happen!

When you're confident with the moves listed below, do 10 reps of each followed by a 30-second rest. Aim to do three rounds.

Right then, let's go!

Move 1: kneeling roll out

Let’s start simple. 

With your knees on the ground or an exercise mat, place a hand on each handle, keeping your arms straight. Roll out as far as possible without arching your back. Be sure to keep your torso straight.

Then roll back to the starting position.

Move 2: angled roll out

This is essentially the same as above, except as the name suggests, you’re rolling out at an angle. 

As you roll, aim to veer 45 degrees to the left, then roll back to the starting position. On the next ab roll out, veer 45 degrees to the right. And repeat!

This ab roller exercise is great for targeting your obliques, AKA the muscles that run down the side of your core.

Move 3: Standing ab wheel roll out 

OK, so now it gets a tiny bit tricker. 

Firstly, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold the ab roller with both hands.

Then, bend your knees and slowly lean forward and down until the ab roller touches the floor - you'll be in a kind of inverted V position.

Roll the ab roller out, exhale and keep that core tight. Remember, at no point are you going onto your knees - instead you'll be on the balls of your feet.

Roll the ab roller back and come back to standing - using that core to complete the move. Feel the burn!


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Lucy Gornall

Lucy is a freelance journalist specializing in health, fitness and lifestyle. She was previously the Health and Fitness Editor across various women's magazines, including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman’s Own as well as Editor of Feel Good You. She has also previously written for titles including Now, Look, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Red and The Sun. 

She lives and breathes all things fitness; working out every morning with a mix of running, weights, boxing and long walks. Lucy is a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios. Plus, she's pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to many classes of champagne and tequila on the rocks whilst out with her friends.