The safety and effectiveness of ab rollers are widely disputed among experts. Some say that one of the best exercises for strengthening your core is using an ab roller; while others say that there are way safer, less risky, or even more effective core exercises that children or teenagers can do. However, there is a way for teens and kids to use the ab roller – and the benefits they will get will give them a great advantage as they grow!
If kids or teens want to try using an ab roller, they should have proper guidance from a responsible and knowledgeable spotter. Using an ab roller wrongly can sometimes cause pain – and worse, injury on the lower back area. This is one of the reasons why some people recommend other exercises and outright advise to avoid the ab roller, especially for teens and children. If you want some tips on how teens and children can use an ab roller safely – read on below!
If you follow these steps, you will be able to avoid injury and you will also be able to get the most out of your exercise from using an ab roller!
- Keep your hips and shoulders straightly aligned. Make sure to always keep your hips and shoulders aligned. Don’t let your hips drop downward since this will cause all the strain to go on to your lower back, which is something you have to avoid at all costs since it doesn’t only take away any workout benefit from using an ab roller, it can also cause pain and injury.
- Begin the exercise properly. First of all, position the ab roller directly beneath your chest, aligned with your shoulders. Straighten your arms and lock your shoulders into place, your knees must be touching the mat while the rest of your legs are hovering slightly. Breathe in deeply and harden your core; then, roll the ab roller slowly outwards.
- Keep your back straight! If you change the posture of your back even just slightly, restart and begin the exercise again. It will defeat the whole purpose of the exercise and as I was saying earlier, it could cause pain or injury to your lower back. Keep rolling until you get to your limit, resisting the urge or the tendency to arch your back. Remember that the pressure must be on your core and not at your back, so if you’re experiencing pain on any part of your back or spinal area, you’re probably doing it wrong and must reset until you get the proper posture and form.
- Return to your starting position. After you reach your limit of how far you can stretch out, pause for a second in position, and then begin to slowly reset to the starting position that was mentioned in step 2. Do about three repetitions when starting out with this exercise, ramp it up in the next sessions to eight reps. If you want to challenge yourself in your next sessions of ab rolling, you can try pausing on your completely rolled out position (from step 3) for more than a second.
Keep safe and do it right; children and teenagers (especially children) should not be left to exercise with the ab roller without supervision! Another tip for exercising with the ab roller is to roll the wheel towards a nearby wall – this is a great tip for increased safety especially if you’re exercising alone without a spotter.
Benefits Of The Ab-roller Workout For Teens and Children
If you’re done going through the steps above to ensure that you’re doing your ab rollouts properly, then perhaps you’d like to know what exactly will you get from doing all that work. Given that you manage to master the right form and technique for using ab rollers, anyone – even teenagers and children, can get a lot of benefit from using this exercise device! The benefits are really worth it!
- Height. There is a largely believed myth that exercising one’s core (or doing any exercises at all) during one’s childhood or before 18 will prevent them from growing taller. This is inaccurate and baseless, just random superstition! In fact, core strengthening exercises, or any exercise for that matter, can actually bring out your real height since it burns away fat and makes your body appear lean. Good exercise can also bring about good posture which will make any child or teenager appear taller, or stand up with their full height.
- Strengthens many different areas in your body. The word “ab” is in the name but it’s not only the abs which the ab roller strengthens. It can strengthen the area surrounding your abdominal muscles, your shoulders, and also your back! Remember how I talked about possible back pain or injury when doing this exercise the wrong way? That’s right, if you do it the right way – with the proper form and technique – it can strengthen the muscles surrounding your spine which will make it more resistant to backaches or pains that you may have in the future.
- And more! Doing ab rollouts also increases your stamina and balance. This is a useful advantage for growing kids or teenagers in order to maintain physical healthiness up until their adulthood. Stamina and balance are so useful for many things in life! Having good stamina and balance will make the daily commute to work or school less of a hassle – it will also help you compete better with others in sporting events.
If these benefits appeal to you in any way, and you can’t wait to get your hands on an ab roller – well, wait just a second. You can’t blindly spend your money on just any wheel ran through with a stick! Get something that will both be the best for you and for your wallet. I have a few recommendations on some good buys according to fitness experts who regularly use these ab rollers.
What To Look For In an Ab Roller?
Although I am going to recommend a few products, I will not outright endorse a single product specifically to you. I want this section to be more on informing you what are some good qualities you might want to look out for when looking for an ab roller to buy.
First of all, a higher product price doesn’t automatically guarantee better quality. In the same way, the popularity of said product doesn’t also guarantee better quality. However, if something is so popular and so unique, there must be some credibility to the repeated suggestion. I’m talking of course of “Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller”. This ab roller is highly recommended by fitness experts and magazines. It has a unique shape among ab rollers that allow rolling to the side which can greatly strengthen oblique muscles. Most ab rollers are made up of a flat disc in the center or two discs on the left and right of a handhold, but this one has a sort-of spherical shape in between very unique handles. None of the other ab rollers have handles like these. The handles have a curved shape and they’re padded too – so sweaty palms are no problem! This ab roller costs around $40, though many say that it’s a worthy investment.
Next, we got “Fitnessery Ab Machine”. The thing I like most about this is that it’s a no-nonsense straight-to-the-point, ab roller. It’s made with a single purpose in mind; it doesn’t have the fancy side-rolling capabilities of “Perfect Fitness Ab Carver”, but everything it’s made to do, it does well. It’s a quality product and a very good buy if you want to get in the game of ab carving with ab rollers. Another plus is that there is no money lost whatsoever, anytime that you decide that you don’t want this product anymore, you can just give it back. It has satisfaction guaranteed, quality assurance in the form of a lifetime warranty. The handles are padded too for a strong grip and the base structure is made of stainless steel. If those are not enough for you, they also give away three free eBooks and knee pads when you purchase this ab roller. This must be the best ab roller you can buy if you’re looking for something that’s effective, high-quality, and affordable; it’s available for about $20.
Lastly, we got “Elite Sportz Ab Wheel”. Don’t let the weird sounding name fool you, this is a good ab roller too that’s also economical and, like the “Fitnessery Ab Machine”, has a lifetime warranty! The double-wheel set-up sets it apart from other double-wheel ab rollouts as it has a gap between the two wheels. The gap is set in place to ensure more stability when using this ab roller. You won’t have to worry about your ab work-out going off the rails with this ab roller! It’s also very affordable, available for only $16.
Alternatives To Using Ab Roller
If the above benefits and reasons for buying an ab roller don’t appeal to you and you want something to strengthen your core for free, then you can do some very basic exercise that has the potential to achieve the same effect. These exercises can be done in the gym or at home and it is both for teenagers and adults alike!
Planking is a classic core exercise that doesn’t require any movement whatsoever – but don’t be fooled, planking is as tiring as any other exercise. To do it, you must lie parallel to the floor, supported only by your toes and your forearms. Hold this position for half a minute or 15-20 seconds. Doing this every couple of hours during the day if you’re staying at home is good enough exercise to maintain health and fitness.
This is another core exercise that’s famously good for forming abdominal muscles. Simply lie down on a flat surface, preferably on a mat on the floor. Let your fingers hover at the back of your head and curve your knees. Then, harden your abdominal muscles and let it pull your shoulder up a few inches high. If your neck hurts, you’re doing it wrong. All the tension must be solely focused on your abs, not on your back and not on your neck or arms. Let your abdominal muscles carry you if only just a few inches up, you don’t need to be able to carry yourself all the way to your knees.
Another alternative to doing crunches. Just lie on the floor like you would do when doing a crunch and lift yourself up to your knees until you can touch them with your hands and slowly get back down again. If you’re new to doing sit-ups, don’t be too hard on yourself, you don’t need to do a hundred of them. Just ten reps would be ample enough to get you started, slowly ramp it up per session according to what you can do, make sure to do it until you sweat!
These exercises can be just as effective as using ab rollers, but they are far safer for children and teenagers. However, whether you use an ab roller or not is not really important. What’s more important is that you know how to use either technique properly in order to get the most benefit out of it and not injure yourself. Lastly, the most important of all is whatever way you decide to do it – go ahead and just do it – commit to living a healthier and active lifestyle.