If you need a good core workout, ab rollers are a tool you may want to keep on your radar. Although this exercise item won’t give you an instant six-pack, it’s been shown to strengthen core muscles. Of course, how effective an ab roller depends on whether you use it correctly which means, yes you could use it on the carpet.
The form is important when it comes to properly use an ab roller, but so is the surface you choose to work out on. Do ab rollers function well on carpets? Actually, there’s reason to believe carpets may be better than hard floors for using this workout tool. Read on to learn how to use your ab roller properly and why you should exercise on a carpeted floor if possible.
How to Properly Use an Ab Roller On The Carpet.
To position oneself when using an ab roller, the user must place the instrument on a flat surface. Then, facing the floor in a plank position, the user grabs the handles with each hand and bends their legs. From there, they push the ab roller forward, activating their core muscles in the process. (It’s crucial you don’t move too far forward, however, or you can hurt yourself.)
While you perform this exercise, your back should be straight and your abs tight. It’s important your lower back doesn’t arch when you’re moving. Additionally, your knees and lower body should not dip toward the floor.
To recap, here’s how to properly use an ab roller:
- Start facing the floor on your hands and knees. Your knees should be bent, your back should be straight, and you hands should be gripping each of the ab roller’s handles.
- Roll the device forward while contracting your abs. Make sure your back stays straight and doesn’t arch as you do.
- Once you’ve extended as far as you can go, you can hold that stance before rolling the device toward yourself again.
This guide from WikiHow details the steps of performing an ab roll, and it has pictures you can reference. There are also numerous instruction videos available on YouTube.
Why Should You Use an Ab Roller on Carpet?
Given that ab rollers require a smooth, flat surface to work with, you may be surprised at the suggestion of using them on a carpet. It’s true that wooden or tile floors may enable the ab roller to move more easily. However, hardened surfaces can wreak havoc on the user’s knees.
If you’ve kneeled on a wooden or tile floor for an extended amount of time, you’ll know just how painful prolonged kneeling can be. Doing so repeatedly can damage the bursae that protect the tendons and ligaments in your knees. This can damage knee joints, which is definitely something you don’t want to happen after exercise. It can also cause your knees to hurt during your workouts, which is likely to shorten them.
While kneeling on carpet doesn’t guarantee that you won’t experience any pain, it’s a step up from hard floors. The carpet will offer a cushion to soften the impact to the knees. It will also make it harder for your knees to slip and slide while you’re extending the ab roller.
In addition to the carpet being easier on your knees, it also will increase resistance when rolling your abs. Although this might look like a downside at first glance, it’ll actually force you to push harder. That means you’ll be working your arms and abs harder and getting a more intense exercise session!
Other Solutions to Protect Your Knees While Doing Ab Roll Outs
Using an ab roller on a carpet is an improvement from a hard floor, but it does still put pressure on the knees. For this reason, you should take whatever steps you can to protect your knee joints. This won’t just make your workouts less painful. It will also, hopefully, help you avoid permanent damage down the line.
- Use a mat: If you really want to soften the surface you’re kneeling on, using a yoga mat in addition to a carpet is a promising strategy. Yoga mats offer a cushioned, steady surface for users to work out on. And although you don’t necessarily want to roll your ab roller on the yoga mat (this could ruin it), you can certainly position yourself so that the lower half of your body is kneeling on the mat.
Pretty much any yoga mat will give you additional support when rolling your abs. These choices, however, are recommended for those who already have bad knees.
- Use knee pads or sleeves: Speaking of added support, knee pads can also help protect your joints from pressure during exercise. You’ll want to find some that don’t slip.
If you’re already experiencing knee pain, you can also purchase knee sleeves infused with copper. The copper properties can help with inflammation and pain, and the sleeve itself adds extra support.
The Proper Distance Using The Ab Wheel
Once you’ve determined how to protect your knees while using an ab roller, you’ll want to make sure you’re rolling the proper distance. When using an ab roller, you should only extend the device as far as you can while keeping your lower back straight. If you go too far, the pressure will be taken off of your core and shoot to your back and lower hips. This can cause injury if you shoot forward.
To stay on the safe side, it’s actually better if you extend the ab roller a shorter distance than you need to. Determine what works for you. After that, you can mark the place you’d like to extend to so that you never roll too far. Using a piece of tape to create a line is a solid strategy for this. (If you’re working out on a carpet, the tape shouldn’t stick or ruin anything either!)
Ab Rollers That Glide Well on Carpet
Now that you know the basics of using an ab roller, you can decide if it’s an exercise you might like to try. If you take the proper precautions and triple check your form, it can benefit your core. The device can be a welcome addition to any ab regimen.
As we mentioned earlier, using an ab roller on carpet means you’ll see additional resistance when using the device. For this reason, anyone planning to use the item on the carpet should invest in one that has a larger wheelbase. This will help the ab roller move more easily against the carpeted floor.
One ab roller we’d recommend is the Best Ab Wheel from Spectral Body. With its larger wheelbase, it’s ideal for exercising on carpets — and that isn’t the only benefit of using it. The Best Ab Wheel has double the mobility of other ab rollers is lightweight, and it offers molded hand grips. It’s designed with the user’s comfort in mind, and to ensure the exercise is painless as possible. It also comes with a floor mat, meaning you won’t need to invest in one to protect your knees.
|The benefit of Using the Best Ab Wheel
||How It Helps
|Spectral Body’s Best Ab Wheel has a large wheelbase.
||The large wheelbase of this ab roller allows it to move more easily when facing resistance. This means that those working out on a carpeted floor won’t have a difficult time pushing it forward.
|The Best Ab Wheel is lightweight.
||Despite its bigger wheel base, the Best Ab Wheel offers a lightweight device that users can easily move around. This also means it can be carried from place to place with little effort.
|The Best Ab Wheel has molded hand grips.
||The device’s molded hand grips will strengthen the user’s grip and make it harder for them to slip during exercise.
|Those who purchase the Best Ab Wheel will also receive the floor mat that comes with it.
||Since floor mats or knee pads give added protection to the knees, they’re good items to have while using an ab roller. The Best Ab Wheel comes with one, meaning users won’t need to buy a floor mat separately.
Other positively-rated ab rollers with large wheelbases include the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro, Bssay Ab Roller, and the Iron Gym IRG013. Each of these should work well on carpeted floors given the thickness of the wheel. Reading reviews can help you decide which ab roller is best for your needs and budget. From there, you’ll just need to set up your exercise space so that your body is protected when using it.
Despite the precautions needed to protect your back and knees, ab rollers really can strengthen and define your core. Making a habit of using one can do wonders for your physical health over time. Just make sure you handle your workouts with care!