• How to safely us your ab roller and prevent injury

    Anyone who is a horrible sleeper, like me, inevitably will find themselves watching late night television. Late night television, of course, is filled mostly with all manner of infomercials. These infomercials are usually selling bizarre cleaning tools, expensive duct tape, unnatural kitchen gadgets, and has-been actors trying to sell classic rock collections. Chief among these, though, are the workout gizmos, like the chair you can sit in to get an ab workout, or the electric belt you can wear to get an ab workout, or the electric cardiac defibrillator you attach to your stomach and sides to shock yourself into an ab workout. Is there a trend to audiences?
    Everyone wants abs. A sleek midsection is one of the hallmarks of fitness, but the time and effort needed to achieve that sixpack is more than most people want to put in. Really, who can blame them? You can lie on your back for days doing crunches and sit-ups, and at the end all it feels like you achieved was putting your neck and back out of commission for a week, so no wonder the allure of those gadgets get so many. The truth remains, though, effort and hard work is the only real way to get fit, to tone that tummy, but that doesn't mean you still can't find a way to use some fitness gadgets to your advantage.
    The ab roller is a great example of a workout tool that gets results. When I first saw this advertized on TV twenty years ago, I thought it was the silliest thing. I thought I knew ridiculous equipment; I was dumb enough to buy into the Slider. Fool me once, so they say. But twenty years has passed, and the ab roller I thought was nothing more than a roller skate on a stick has made many leaps and bounds in design, and today is one of the most effective pieces of workout equipment when used correctly.
    When used correctly being the most important term. Through the years and development, one of the major complaints people had about the ab roller was how much strain it placed on the back. This isn't the kind of good pain from getting a proper workout in; people were developing back issues, but the source of their pain, like most injury from exercising, comes from plain bad form and not following directions. If you are looking for ways to avoid pain and injury from using your ab roller, follow some simple steps, many of which are quite common to just about any workout.
    First: make sure you start off with a good stretch, but nothing strenuous.
    Second: make sure you are properly aligned with the the ab roller. Your shoulders should be lined above the ab roller, with your arms straight making a right angle with the floor.
    Third: take a nice, deep breath before each dip.
    Fourth: keep your shoulders and hips straight. Your core and your lats should be doing the movement; everything else is there just to keep in line. Don't drive with your hips either; that's a cheating movement which will only place more stress on your spine and subtract from your overall results.
    These are only a few simple tips to help reduce the strain on your back when using an ab roller. And just for that good ol' product plug, if you are looking for a great new ab roller, check out the new TKO Dual Ab Wheel. Like I said before, a lot has changed since twenty years ago. Check it out, trust in the liberation of correct form, and see how an ab roller can be a formidable member of your fitness arsenal.
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