Strengthening my abdominal muscles had always been a particular challenge for me. Doing endless sit-ups only resulted in lower back problems so it lead me to look for an alternative solution.
After searching on different websites I discovered a device called the Ab wheel. This was a wheel of approximately 12cm in diameter with a handle on either side. For this I adopted a plank like position, holding the handle on each side of the wheel while moving the wheel forward and backwards. This engaged the ab muscles while also strengthening the core muscles.
Above image by Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com
However It felt as if the wheel was too small and over time the handles caused me discomfort. This lead me to go back to the internet in search of something better, and I came across a video workout introducing me to the Lifeline USA Power Wheel. This was a larger wheel (35 cm diameter) similar to a uni cycle, it had soft foam padded handles, and straps for your feet. It appeared to be more robust because it gave you the option of using your legs. It secured your feet with two separate adjustable straps (Velcro and rubber). The exterior of the wheel also had raised grips in a diamond pattern which may be helpful for use on different surfaces.
I used the power wheel to build up my abdominal muscles using the ‘Power Wheel Roll-out’
When I was a beginner, I found it easier to do this exercise with bent knees. The device came with a detailed DVD that demonstrated a variety of other exercises that were easy to follow.
I also used the device to work on my arms, chest, legs and to improve my balance. My exercises also included pushing the wheel in a continued forward motion as an endurance exercise. I found this wasn’t easily achieved with the smaller ab wheel. For example walking the power wheel through a long hall or a park.
I recommend the power wheel because it allowed me to improve my abdominal muscles as well as other areas, and its versatility meant I could use it outdoors as well as in the comfort of my own home. Despite its size I was able to put it into the boot of my car. The power wheel was a worthwhile discovery which has enhanced my workout in more ways than one.