The Ab wheel is one of those uncommon infomercial products that actually works pretty well. It does a fine job of helping to build up core strength and stability thus being a pretty good influence towards those coveted six pack abs.
That being said, I’ll take a pair of suspension straps over a simple ab wheel any day. Even though the exercise looks about the same, the straps give you a pretty big advantage the ab wheel can’t touch.
That advantage is the fact that a set of suspension straps can provide resistance in more than one direction.
Most strength training tools provide resistance in one direction which is strait down. The ab wheel may make your body move along the ground, but the actual resistance is provided by your body weight being pulled down by gravity.
Suspension trainers on the other hand, provide resistance in more than one direction. This is due to the fact that the straps of the trainer naturally fight to return back to a perpendicular position to the ground. This means they provide lateral resistance against any motion that pushes them outside of the perpendicular position.
This means that as your body stretches out into that plank position, your have gravity pulling you downwards and pushing against your hands.
You can use this to your advantage in 2 ways;
– You can start with your hands under the anchor point so as your stretch yourself out the straps push your hands back against the stretch. This makes the exercise slightly easier to return back to the contracted position.
– You can start a little further back so as you stretch out, the straps effectively pull you into that stretched position. This makes the exercise much harder as your core has to fight against being stretched out.
Like many suspension strap exercises, you can adjust the resistance instantly by stepping your feet slightly forwards or backwards. This gives you the advantage of being able to make the exercise easier or harder on the fly. You can adjust the resistance as you see fit at any time without even stopping the exercise.