Ab wheels are one of the most underrated workout tools, both at home and in the gym. Everyone serious about rock hard abs should own one.
Ab roller wheels work your rectus abdominis (front abs), transverse abdominis (deep abs) and the obliques (side abs), like no other ab machine. They also give a great workout to your arms, chest, shoulders, hamstrings, and other stabilizer muscles.
But finding the best one can be tricky. If you feel like you need a little help choosing the best ab roller wheel, then this comparison review is here to help!
Best Ab Wheel Reviews
1. Valeo Ab Wheel
Valeo has been known as a dependable, affordable manufacturer of quality sports and exercise equipment since the late 1980s. Their BodySport Ab Wheel continues this proud tradition and lives up to the company's reputation.
The Valeo Ab Wheel is an inexpensive, dependable ab wheel, perfect for the budget conscious or beginners looking to try ab wheels for the first time. It has two non-skid wheels for stability, making it perfect for people with little or no ab rolling experience. It also comes with ergonomic easy-grip handles to prevent your hands from slipping while you roll. It is lightweight and portable, and a great choice for those looking for a great ab, shoulder, arms and back workouts.
What's to like about the Valeo Ab Wheel
The first big check in the plus column for the Valeo ab wheel is the price. It is consistently among the most inexpensive ab roller wheels available on the market, but has a build quality that puts other similarly priced units to shame. It also comes complete with an exercise guide, for added value. It is one of the most solidly built ab rollers you can get in its price range, and represents excellent value for money.
The 2 non-skid wheels give great stability when you roll, which is a wonderful feature for beginners. Keeping stable and avoiding tipping to the side or skidding out as you roll is one of the hardest skills for beginners, and the Valeo offers a lot of support in that area. The easy to grip ergonomic handles also fit very nicely into the hand and never feel like your hands can slip off. Another feature that brings great peace of mind to the user.
Finally, the Valeo BodySport Ab Wheel is very lightweight at around 1.5 pounds, and easy to put together. Just in case, it comes with easy to follow assembly instructions included. Though lightweight, the unit doesn't feel like it has sacrificed any of the build quality, and is very durable and should last the user a long time with proper care and use.
What's not to like about the Valeo Ab Wheel
While the non-slip handles do give great grip and feel very secure in the hand, they are just bare plastic and offer no padding or cushioning. This can be an issue if you are going to be rolling for long periods of time. Hand fatigue can cause you to lose form as you roll and become very uncomfortable. Not having any cushioning for comfort can also lead to blisters and calluses if you are not careful. This is something to take into consideration if you want to purchase this ab roller.
Some ab rollers come with a spring inside for added resistance and assistance, but this one does not. These means you have to do all the work yourself. Depending on how you feel, that could be a good or bad thing. It is not uncommon for ab wheels in this price point to not have springs, so we shouldn't judge the Valeo too harshly for it.
Finally, the non-skid wheels on this ab roller are made of plastic and don't have any sort of tire or rubber covering them. The grip comes from grooves and fins cut into the plastic. They give very good grip and traction of softer floors, but on smooth surfaces they don't offer much grip. This means you have to be very careful when you decide where to roll with this piece of equipment.
2. Bio Core Ab Roller
The Bio Core Ab Wheel by Epitome Fitness is a mid-price ab roller wheel, made using high spec materials. It is suitable for all fitness levels. The Bio Core uses yet another variation of the ab wheel to help it stand out from the market. Rather than a single wheel, it uses two thin, evenly spaced wheels that work together to give stability in motion.
What's to like about the Bio Core Ab Roller
For the price, the build quality of this ab roller is really high. The stainless steel axle is thick and sturdy, the wheels are made of high quality plastic and rubber, and the memory foam handles are thick and comfortable. The makers are so confident of their build quality that they offer a no questions asked lifetime guarantee!
In use, the roller is smooth and quiet. It rolls really well and doesn't make much sound at all, which is a big advantage it has over its competitors. The dual wheels feel really well balanced and i experienced no issues with tipping or wobbling.
The rubber coating on the wheels also helps to grip hard floors well, almost feeling like it sticks as it rolls, and also sinks into thicker surfaces like carpet for a secure roll. The memory foam on the handles molds well to the hands and is thick enough to give a lot of comfort during use. They also seems like they can take quite a bit of punishment and won’t rip or tear easily. The kneepads provided do the job well, though are not spectacular, but it is always nice when the manufacturers throw something in for free.
I love the fact that this is safe to use for people up to 450 lbs, which is a huge improvement on the 300 lbs of most ab rollers. This means that people who really need this can use it, not just people who are already in decent shape. The life time, no questions asked replacement guarantee is also amazing. It is nice to see a company that has so much faith in its product that it will put its money where its mouth is.
Last, but not least, I love that you have a choice of funky colors to choose from, though naming the green one “Kryptonite Green” may not have been a smart choice. Kryptonite kills superman! Come on guys!
What's not to like about the Bio Core Ab Roller
You can probably tell that I am quite the fan of this roller, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way it can improve. Firstly, it doesn’t come with assembly instructions. The process isn’t difficult, but I would have liked it if they had taken the time to make it idiotproof. I know a couple of people who have had to google how to do it, which seems like time that didn’t need to be wasted.
The rest of the issues I have are just nitpicks. It would be nice if they could add bearings to the wheels for a smoother roll, and perhaps try to incorporate a spring for resistance. There is no training guide, which would have been nice. And if you are being really harsh, it is a little more expensive than similar models, but personally I think the quality of the build makes up for that.
3. Ab Carver Pro
The Ab Carver Pro is the market leader in name brand ab roller wheels. It has three key features that help to differentiate it from its competitors. The first is the ultra-wide, angled wheel, which is designed to give stability and a wider range of movement than other ab wheels. The second is what the manufacturers call the Kinetic Assist Engine, which is a carbon steel spring coiled inside the wheel. Finally, the two ergonomic performance grips on either side of the wheel have a non-slip, rubberized coating for comfort, and are angled in such a way as to activate your chest and arm muscles during your workout, for extra oomph.
What's to like about the Ab Carver Pro
Straight out of the box, the Ab Carver makes a good impression. Putting it together is easy. Just slot the two handles into the holes on the side of the wheel and CLICK, you’re ready to roll. The roller is made of sturdy materials, and has a reassuring weight to it. Not too heavy, but robust enough to feel like it can take your weight safely while you work out. The handles are comfortable on the hands and feel secure when you let the machine take your weight.
The wheel itself is wide, balanced, and makes for a very steady roll, after you have given it a bit of time to get used to. The wheel treads give a bit of extra grip to stop you slipping on smooth floors, and are safe to use on carpet. It is also pretty quiet, which is a distinct advantage it has over some of its competitors. I say pretty quiet, because it isn’t silent, due to the carbon steel spring inside coiling up and then releasing as you roll out and back. And this is where I come to the feature that impressed me most about this ab roller wheel.
The Ab Carver’s Kinetic Assist Engine, the fancy name that the manufacturer uses for the spring, is a really impressive feature. The resistance it gives on the way out is enough to really make your abs burn, while the help it gives on the way back makes keeping your form correct a piece of cake. It even has a built in break that stops you from rolling back beyond your start point, which is again great for your form and for consistency, especially if you are a beginner to ab rolling machines or working out in general.
What's not to like about the Ab Carver Pro
Honestly, there isn’t much that I didn’t like about this ab machine. If I was pushed, I’d say that while the wider wheel is great for your standard backwards and forward roll, I found it less than ideal when trying to work my obliques with angled or sideways rolls. What the wheel gains in stability it loses a little in mobility. These curved rolls are more of on advanced technique anyway, so if you are a beginner don’t let that put you off.
The makers also say that the angled grips are designed to activate the muscles in your chest and arms more than other ab rollers, but personally I didn’t really feel that.
4. SKLZ core wheels
The SKLZ Core Wheels are a mid-price, dual handed strength and ab trainer, designed for developing dynamic core strength, flexibility, and midsection stability. They are manufactured by Pro Performance Sports out of California, USA. The SKLZ takes a very different approach compared to other ab roller wheels. Rather than having one wheel with two handles attached to it, the SKLZ hrate separate handles, one set for each hand, that each have their own set of wheels attached.
What's to like about the SKLZ Core Wheels
The dual handed nature of the SKLZ allows you to perform a huge range of both one and two handed exercises. Once you have got to grips with basic roll out - roll in exercises, you can start trying one handed roll outs, push ups, and all manner of planks. This is a great feature and really adds value for money.
I also found that because both hands are working independently, you really have to focus on your form and core stability. This is great, as it forces you to pay attention to the muscles that are working, so you can adjust your form if you feel one side is working harder than the other. What’s more, the SKLZ core wheels are always trying to destabilize your exercise as they move apart, which sounds bad but is actually good, as this forces your pillar muscles (torso, hips, shoulders) to engage. This means you get a really good all body workout from the SKLZ.
As for the build quality, the semi-soft plastic wheels roll nice and smoothly on the bearings and won’t scratch up your floors. Each independent pair of wheels is designed to roll together at the same time so you don’t end up spinning out or going lopsided. The handles feel solid and the foam pads are comfortable, at least at first.
Finally, they are super light, at under 2 lbs for the pair. You can throw them in your backpack and carry them around all day until you need them.
What's not to like about the SKLZ Core Wheels
Let me start by saying this: You WILL fall face first into the floor using the SKLZ core wheels, at least a few times. The learning curve on these is far greater and far steeper than on any other ab wheel I have ever tried. I wouldn't recommend these to beginners, as if you don’t already have decent form and core strength, they can be tough to control and you’ll end up with hands going in all directions.
While the handles are solid and the foam grips comfortable, they aren’t as well engineered as a lot of other ab roller’s in the same price range, and the foam does tend to wear and rip fairly quickly.
5. Iron Gym Speed Abs
The Iron Gym Speed Abs is another ab roller that uses an extra wide wheel and coiling steel spring as its main selling points. The wheel on this roller is about 4 ½ inches wide, making it a lot chunkier than most of its competitors, with the extra surface area designed to allow for greater stability when working out. The outer face of the wheel is covered with a tire-like rubber tread, similar to a motorcycle tire, for better and safer grip on the surface you are exercising on.
What's to like about the Iron Gym Speed Abs
The first thing that really need pointing out about this ab machine is the price. It is around half the price of similar models out there, without any significant drop in either build quality or performance.
The machine is built very solidly, with strong, wide handles that fit to the body securely and with minimal fuss. They don’t rattle or move once they are locked in place, and don’t ever feel like they are going to bend or break under your weight.
The wheel itself has a nice tire-like grip that is very smooth when it rolls, and creates almost zero noise when in use. Compared to other, similar models, it is virtually silent. The rubber tire also gives a lot of grip, though I’d avoid using it on more slippery surfaces like tile or polished wood, and it is soft enough that there is no worry about it damaging your floor.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by both the build and user experience with this model. You don’t really see this kind of quality in this price range too often.
What's not to like about the Iron Gym Speed Abs
So while I am in general really positive about this model, there were a few issues I had with it. Firstly, the handles. While it is true that they are solid and fit the hand nicely, the silicon grip / padding is not really that thick, and is not as contoured to the hand as the handles on other, similar models, and with prolonged use they can make your hands ache a little. Hand fatigue can really affect the quality of your workout on this type of machine, and your motivation, so this is quite a big issue for me.
Secondly, there are no extras included. All you get in the box is the roller and the handles, nothing else. When other models offer kneepads, training videos, workout plans and the like, this has to go down as one in the minus column for the Speed Abs. Maybe this is how they keep the price low though, so that’s something to consider.
Ab Roller Wheel F.A.Q.
Do ab rollers really work?
Yes, they are very effective, if you have the strength to do the exercise and the willpower to do it consistently. Don’t be put off if it is hard at first; it is supposed to be! Stick with it and you’ll have ripped abs in no time!
What muscles are worked by ab roller wheels?
The main function of your ab and core muscles is to keep your upper body stable, and ab rollers use this basic principle to give you a thorough workout. As you roll out and roll back in, an ab wheel forces all of your core muscles to contract, engage and work together to keep your spine and trunk stable and protected. Specifically targeted muscles include the rectus abdominis (front abs), obliques (side abs) and the transverse abdominis (deep lying abs). Other engaged muscle groups include the chest, arms, shoulders, hips, and thighs.
Do you have any other tips on how to use an ab wheel?
Well yes, actually, I do. From my experience I’d advise you not to put your thumbs under the handle, like you do when riding a bike, but keep them on top with your fingers. This will give you much greater stability. Also, keep that back straight! Don’t sag.
Taking into consideration things such as build quality, price, ease of use, and extras, I am going to have to recommend the Bio Core Ab Wheel by Epitome Fitness as the best Ab Roller of 2018! It is a mid priced unit that uses very high quality materials, is easy to use, and offers a no questions asked lifetime guarantee. You can even choose the color! Given all that, I think it gives the best value for money out there.
If you are looking for a slightly harder workout, greater range of movement and don’t mind paying a bit extra, the market leading Ab Carver Pro is also an excellent ab machine. The spring loaded mechanism and fat, angled wheel allow for a great workout and range of possible exercises.