How many times have you heard or read about the importance of stretching or warming up before jumping into your workout routine? Any legitimate trainer will certainly advocate for preparing one’s body before strenuous exercise. While I don’t disagree with this, I often would just do some quick arm circles or leg stretching and then get right to kettlebell exercising.
In my mind, I want to get right to the part where my actions will yield great results. You’re not going to burn many calories or work your muscles too hard by performing some light stretching. Obviously, that isn’t that point. Rather the goal is to get those muscles and the rest of your body primed for the hard work to come. Doing warm-up activities will help in avoiding cramping and possible injury. However, even if it only takes 5 minutes that’s still 20% of a total workout length if you factor in 20 minutes of kettlebell exercises.
For busy people like myself, every minute is precious. Yes, I realize the importance of stretching before exercising. It’s just that I would prefer to spend that time doing something that would benefit my body instead of just protecting it. After using the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller for Core Workouts, I believe I’ve found the perfect tool for the job.
Why Use An Ab Wheel Before Working Out?
If you’re exercising to lose weight, like I am, then you’re probably most concerned with belly fat. Since I started my weight loss journey, my stomach has been the biggest problem area. Naturally, that’s where all the food goes and is typically the last spot to get rid of stubborn fat. There is no magic cure to eliminate it before other areas such as the arms, legs, and face. Although, targeting the stomach area to help accelerate the process is possible. That’s where the ab wheel comes into play.
The purpose of using an ab wheel is to activate your core muscles. Namely, the abdominal muscles. It’s a simple process really and doesn’t require anything but the roller, knee pads, and some space. Proper utilization involves getting down on all fours, grabbing the ab wheel with each hand, and arching your back slightly to keep your core tight. In the starting position, the roller should be vertically-aligned with your eyes looking down. From that point, your arms should serve as an extension from the driving force of your mid-section as you slowly extend into a plank position. The same principle applies when retracting back to where you started.
While the primary muscles worked are the abs, the rest of your body is stretching and, in effect, loosening up. Depending on how many reps you perform, you’ll certainly feel it in the stomach area. Personally, I like to do 20 reps with the ab wheel before starting my various kettlebell workouts. It’s just the right amount where I’m challenged but not too tired. I’ve actually come to enjoy using the roller as it aids in easing into the longer 20-minute workouts.
Hands On With The Ab Carver Pro
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro with Knee Pads
What is it about this particular ab roller that caught my attention? I requested it as a father’s day gift due to the overwhelming popularity and reviews it’s deservedly earned. Also, a spring mechanism inside the wheel provides resistance when rolling out and also stops at just the right spot when going back in. Then there are ergonomic handles that make for a comfortable grip and even allow for rolling left or right instead of just straight.
- Ultra-wide ab roller with built-in resistance and ergonomic handles to help maximize results of ab roll-out exercises
- Interior kinetic engine uses a carbon steel spring to provide resistance and amplify abdominal and arm workout
- Ultra-wide wheel tread offers stability when carving left, right or center for targeted work on obliques
- Ergonomic hand grips are angled to activate arm and core muscles; handles are removable for easy storage and transport
- Includes high-density foam kneepad for superior comfort; downloadable 21-day workout plan; 1-year manufacturer warranty
One important additional item included with the Ab Carver Pro is the knee pads. Initially, I didn’t give them much of any thought. I suspected that they were probably more geared for the elderly or people with knee problems. However, when I first used this ab wheel with my bare knees on hardwood floors, I knew the pads weren’t just a fluff add-on. It wasn’t comfortable and even a little painful trying to do rolls without any cushion. Thankfully, the included knee pads provide the right amount to offer protection while also keeping your position stable.
I’ve only been using it for a few weeks but I’ve noticed that I’m actually starting to develop some visible ab muscles. I’m still dealing with some stubborn belly fat but I can tell that it is eroding from the sides and inward. It’s quite an amazing thing to experience first hand.
This ab wheel is something that you’ll want to use on a daily basis to truly benefit from its effects. Using it as a tool for warm-ups to kettlebell exercising will make it a thing of habit. So instead (or in conjuction) of doing some light stretching, give it a shot and stick to it. I’m sure you’ll see results with consistent use!