Who doesn’t love being able to show off their defined abs? Part of their appeal is that everyone knows abs take a lot of work to develop, especially when doing crunches to achieve them. But getting those abs lines doesn’t have to be completely terrible if you work smart and hard.
When used properly, the best ab rollers engage far more of your body’s core than a traditional crunch, not to mention your shoulders and upper back. An ab roller not only helps create tension over more of the core, but it also engages the core in both directions, the crunch and the uncrunch too.
Ab rollers also offer degrees of difficulty and control in a way a regular crunch cannot, depending on how you position yourself with the roller. Plus, ab rollers are pretty compact and portable, making them great for home gyms, and we’re all about home exercise here at SPY.
Lastly, it must be said, ab rollers add a bit of fun into the exercise equation and they offer a great alternative ab workouts when everything else fails or just gets boring.
So if you’re looking to change up your core and ab workout routine, we rounded up a few of the best ab rollers. We said they’re kind of fun, but make no mistake, they’re a fierce workout too.
1. Sports Research Ab Wheel Roller
There are obviously a ton of ab rollers to choose from, many of which could qualify as one of the best ab rollers. But we like the Sports Research Ab Wheel Roller the most for a few simple reasons.
While skinnier wheels work just fine, and arguably may even offer more of a challenge in some ways, we like the 3-inch thick wheel here because we think the focus and challenge should be on your core and a thick wheel offers superior stabilization when rolling.
This ab roller also has nice, cushioned handles and the bar goes straight through the roller. While, in theory, a curved design could be more ergonomic, this isn’t a chair you’re going to be sitting in for eight hours. A straight bar works well enough for most people when only using something occasionally.
Lastly, this ab roller isn’t too expensive, it’s one of the better-rated ab rollers we found and it’s backed up by a one-year warranty. Plus, it comes with a complimentary foam knee pad to protect your knees on hard floors.
All things considered, Sports Research has definitely made one of the best ab rollers out there.
2. Fitnessery Ab Roller
For a basic but overall solid ab roller, check out the Fitnessery Ab Roller. It’s quite cheap but still built to last, with a PVC wheel, non-slip rubber treads, steel handles and EVA foam padding for comfort.
Plus you get a free knee pad and educational books (which we never use, but we encourage you to read if you’ve never used an ab roller before).
And if you don’t like this ab roller — it does have a thinner wheel — take Fitnessery up on its lifetime money-back guarantee.
3. Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Sport Roller
For those interested in more ergonomic handles, which may result in a more comfortable rolling experience, we like the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Sport Roller.
The downward sloping handles could provide more shoulder stability and activate your arms and core more, too. The wheel is also big enough to offer plenty of stability, and it’s grooved in the middle if you want to roll left or right.
Notably, this was also the second-highest rated ab roller we found and we agree with reviewers that it’s a great ab roller option.
4. Bluerise Ab Roller
The beauty of something as simple as an ab roller is it doesn’t need to be pricey to be effective, durable or just generally functional. The Bluerise Ab Roller delivers a solid ab workout at a totally reasonable price.
Two non-skid, tire-like wheels work together to prevent accidental tipping and skipping. In a neat design bonus, you can keep the wheels separate for added stability or push them together into one wheel for more of a challenge. Whichever you choose, the rubber-like, texturized handles ensure you at least won’t lose your grip during your workout.
5. SKLZ Core Wheels Strength and Ab Rollers
If you have weakened muscles or are prone to injury, it can be a tall order to safely work your abs with one thin-wheeled ab roller. That’s where a set of two ab rollers designed to be used in tandem can give you more control over your exercise.
The SKLZ Core Wheels Strength and Ab Rollers fit that bill. Instead of one big wheel with a handle running through the middle, you get two sturdy rollers resembling dumbbells. You can also use them for different exercises beyond the straight front roll.
But not only do these ab rollers offer a little more control, but they’re also the highest-rated ab rollers we found, with an overall rating of 4.7 stars and 83% five-star ratings on over 1,000 reviews.
6. Amazon Basics Exercise Fitness Ab Rollers
BEST FOR WIDE GRIP
Though the SKLZ ab rollers are higher rated and offer wide-grip possibilities, the Amazon Basics Exercise Fitness Ab Rollers offer an equivalent experience at a lower price. And if you can get the same thing for less, you should always, always consider it.
7. Lifeline Power Wheel
The downside of an ab roller as a piece of exercise equipment is it’s not really usable for anything except rolling abs. That’s one problem the Lifeline Power Wheel attempts to solve.
With this take on the ab roller, you can do the traditional straight ab roll with your arms, but you can also stick your feet into the wheel, opening the door for upper and lower body training.
We all only have a finite amount of space for exercise equipment, so extra functionality is always desirable.
8. Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller
BEST FULL BALL ROLLER
If stability is your priority, you cannot get a much wider wheel than the one in the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller. But that’s not the only notable feature of this roller.
A carbon steel spring mechanism provides resistance when rolling out and it also provides some assistance when rolling back to the starting position. Having the extra resistance and support can allow users to extend further while minimizing stress on the back.