The Wheel Deal for Six Pack Abs
The Ab Wheel is a simple piece, yet an extremely useful piece of equipment that is amazing for working the abdominal muscles. The Ab Wheel builds muscle stability in the spine and through the entire torso. The Ab Wheel Rollout exercise is a very common exercise for improving upper and trunk body strength and power in athletes and recreational exercisers.
The prime actions during the Ab Wheel Rollout exercise are shoulder extension, trunk flexion (isometric contraction). During the dynamic movement, Chest and Lats are the major acting muscles, while the abdominals and middle of the back muscles are active in isometric contractions (trunk stabilization). Just like altering the foot position in the squat, can alter muscle activation in the legs, researchers wanted to find out how performing the ab wheel with different arm positions affected muscle activation.
Researchers investigated the muscle activity of the rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, and pectoralis major (using surface electromyography
All subjects performed three variations of the Ab Wheel Rollout exercise of varying levels of difficulty:
(1) EASY: arms aligned vertically, (A)
(2) MEDIUM: arms at 90 degrees to the torso; (B) and
(3) HARD: arms at 150 degrees to the torso.(C)
The researchers found that abdominal EMG activity increased significantly with increasing exercise variation difficulty as follows: arms aligned vertically < arms at 90 degrees to the torso < arms at 150 degrees to the body.
So picture ‘A’ was the easiest, followed by picture ‘B’, followed by picture ‘C’ being the hardest and also activating the most muscle activation in the abdominals. The researchers concluded that the Ab Wheel Rollout exercise is useful for strengthening the rectus abdominis and that exercise variations are successful in achieving a progression of difficulty.
So if you’re a novice, start with a vertical stance and try working your way toward a 150 position during the ab wheel exercise for maximal abdominal activation.
MUSCLE MEDIA MAGAZINE