Prerequisites (for standing versions):
Wall plank ; hanging straight leg V-raises
This progression will work the rectus abdominis (as well as all the other deep core muscles) both concentrically and -in order to lower yourself under control- eccentrically. Ab wheel rollouts (particularly one arm versions) also require a fair amount of upper body strength.
The video below will show you how to perform the exercise with correct form from your feet, but the principles remain exactly the same whether you are doing knee rollouts, or the incline and decline versions.
A few important points:
- at any given time during the movement, there should only be three points of contact with the ground: the ab wheel, and your knees or your feet, depending on which variation you are doing.
- your feet should be together, or at least very close. By opening up your feet, you will shorten the distance the ab wheel has to travel, and thus cheat yourself on the exercise by minimizing the leverage (though this can also be a good strategy in order to add some intermediate steps to the progression below).
- avoid letting your back sag. In order to do so, tense your core muscles, maintain this tension throughout the exercise, and tilt your pelvis backwards.
Choose one of the following variations as a starting point and perform 3 sets of between 4 and 8 repetitions with periods of between 1 and 2 min of rest between each set. When you can do 3 sets of 8, move on to the next exercise in the progression.
If you find the transition from the previous variation difficult, perform these with your feet apart, and bring them together over time.