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Core Training with an Ab Wheel - The Lunch Hour Athlete

Training Log For: 12/09/09

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Posted by Matthew

An ab wheel is essentially a wheel with a handle placed through the center. The basic movement involves holding onto the handle with each hand while using your abdominal muscles to push or pull the wheel across the floor. There are varying degrees of difficulty depending on your body positioning, but the basic result is a darn good core workout.

At various time I have incorporated an ab wheel into my core training and it definitely targets your core muscles like other ab exercises can not. There are different price points for ab wheels ranging from $10 - $50. You can get a great workout at every price point but the more expensive wheels can be used to target muscles in your legs, arms and back as well. Below are some videos showing how to use an ab wheel.

YouTube Ab Wheel videos: Ab Wheel Videos

I realize that the main topic of this blog is about marathon training, so why am I writing posts on non-running related topics? I don't know anyone who only runs as a means of getting healthy (my wife's grandpa did, but that's a different blog post). Most professional marathon runners incorporate other fitness routines to compliment their marathon training. These exercises are not meant to replace the benefits of a long run, but they can supplement your progress and overall fitness health.

The leg muscles obviously perform most of the work during running and jogging, but at the same time your core muscles are constantly flexing and balancing your upper body relative to what your lower body is doing. Strengthening your core muscles might not shave off minutes from your marathon time, but the inclusion of ab strengthening exercises will make your body more efficient as a whole and increase your overall fitness level. I have read and personally experienced that the more well rounded your fitness routine is, the less likely you are to have injuries, become burnt out and have performance robbing imbalances in muscle strength.

Additional Information: The Ab Wheel - Increase Your Core Strength