Ab Wheel Substitutes

Ab Wheel Substitutes

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The ab wheel is a controversial piece of exercise equipment. Yes, it strengthens your abdominal muscles at an inexpensive price, but the ab wheel exercises may do more harm than good. Your abdominal strength should be above average to use the wheel, otherwise you risk overextending your lower back. This may lead to back pain. Fabio Comana of the American Council on Exercise also notes that the wheel does not have a brake. If you roll out the wheel too far, you may harm your back attempting to pull the wheel back in. If you enjoy the movements on an ab wheel but do not own this piece of equipment, or if you are seeking a safer alternative exercise, use a stability ball in place of the wheel.


Step 1

Place the stability ball on the floor. Kneel close behind the ball with your feet flexed and toes on the floor.

Step 2

Place the palms of your hands together and rest your hands on top of the ball.

Step 3

Inhale and roll the ball away from you as you lower your hips toward the floor. Let the ball roll up your forearms. Allow your arms to be the only part of your body that touches the ball. Roll out until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

Step 4

Exhale and roll the ball toward you. Return to an upright kneeling position.

Step 5

Begin with one set of eight to 12 repetitions. Increase to two or three sets as your strength improves.


Step 1

Place the stability ball on the floor. Place your stomach on the ball. Straighten your arms and place your hands on the floor. Straighten your legs and rest your toes on the floor.

Step 2

Walk your hands forward as the ball rolls down your legs. Maintain your core stability. Stop the ball near your knees if you are a beginner. Stop the ball on the tops of your feet if you are advanced.

Step 3

Exhale and pull your feet toward your hands. Lift up your hips until your hips are straight up from your shoulders. Keep your knees on the ball if you are a beginner. Keep your feet on the ball if you are advanced.

Step 4

Inhale and roll the ball away from your hands. Return to a plank position with your feet or knees on the ball.

Step 5

Complete one set of one to 12 repetitions. Increase the number of repetitions and sets as your strength improves.


  • Add these abdominal exercises into your every-other-day workout. Allow for a day of rest in between sessions.


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