It’s hard to believe that I first demonstrated ab rollouts with homemade wheels way back in 2005. You can catch a glimpse of that old footage here. Fifteen years later and the same wheels are still rolling strong. Not too shabby for a set of wheels that probably have more mileage than any set of ab wheels in the world! Between myself and my athletes, the wheels have been beaten on week after week for 15+ years and are still as good as new. They are virtually indestructible.
Homemade Wheel Tutorial
I’ve posted tutorials about the wheels before, but with new readers arriving daily, it can’t hurt to share another.
Each roller consists of the following:
- Two 6-inch lawnmower tires
- One 10-inch hex bolt (1/2-inch thick)
- Three hose clamps
- Duct tape
To put the pieces together, start by securing one tire at each end of the hex bolt. Use the hose clamps to keep the wheels in place. Wrap each handle in duct tape to increase its thickness. A 1/2-inch hex bolt is too thin on its own.
A more visually appealing model could be made with pipe insulation or PVC around the handle. This past video shows step by step instructions.
Homemade vs. Commercial
Whenever I discuss homemade equipment, I’m always asked about commercial alternatives. For example, minutes after sharing the video above, I saw two questions come in about these wheels on Amazon. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the product. When I created my wheels, commercial options did not exist. Perhaps I should have patented my design!
All jokes aside, I prefer my wheels over the commercial models I’ve seen. A lawnmower tire is designed for rugged use outdoors. Most commercial ab rollers are made with cheaper, plastic wheels. Such wheels aren’t as durable and don’t roll as smooth on pavement.
The hex bolts that I used are also much stronger than the commercial alternatives. That’s particularly important for me when performing one arm rollouts. I need strong hardware to support my weight (and perhaps a weighted vest).
In summary, it has no bearing on my life if you make a set of rollers or if you shop on Amazon. I am simply sharing what has worked well for me and my athletes. And I say this well aware of the fact that most people aren’t interested in making homemade gear. That’s fine. You don’t need to be a do-it-yourselfer to enjoy the benefits of the exercises demonstrated above.
Therefore, all I’m really doing through this entry is encouraging you to try the one arm rollers (commercial or homemade). My wheels have been a staple in my core training for many years now. In fact, there’s no other tool that I’d rather have to train my core. That’s how much I’ve enjoyed and benefited from the wheels.
“The greatest ideas are the simplest.” – William Golding