What’s better than an ab roller for a hardcore core workout? Well, according to the team behind the SKLZ Core Wheels, the answer is simple: two belly rolls. And judging by the evidence from our testing, they would be right; The product wowed our in-house testers and earned it the top spot on our list of the best ab trainers.
SKLZ reverses the usual ab-roll setup of a center wheel with grips on either side, and instead offers a soft foam grip with rubber wheels on each end. However, what really sets the Core Wheels apart is the fact that there are two for them. As a result, if you’re new to resistance training and wondering how to get a stronger core (opens in new tab)all movements can be scaled to make them easier – just use a roll with one hand while keeping the other hand on the ground as a stability point.
– Unique dual wheel design
– Plush foam handles
– Smaller, robust rubber wheels
As you get stronger, you can progress to trickier variations of each move, so whatever your skill level, the SKLZ Core Wheels have something for you.
They’re also more versatile than your average ab roller, as the two-handled design opens up a world of possibilities for upper-body strengthening moves like chest flys and alligator push-ups.
So if you’re looking for a scalable, fun, and effective training tool, look no further.
The SKLZ Core Wheels can be purchased for $44,999 on the SKLZ website in the US or £32.00 on Amazon in the UK, making them a mid-range option among the ab scooters we tested.
However, she are More versatile than your average ab roller and you get a sturdy build that we think justifies the higher price.
furnishing and design
- Fitment and design rating: 5/5
The SKLZ Core Wheels arrive already assembled, so all you have to do is take them out of the box and you’re good to go (centre of gravity fixed on the wheel). This was far less fiddly than the over-complicated Lifeline Power Wheel, made a good first impression on our testers.
They come with a small manual explaining how to do some exercises to get you started, or if you need some more ideas you can check out the SKLZ YouTube page for fun variations on bodyweight training staples like plank and push-up search. These are a few years old now, but they’re still a handy training resource.
The foam grips are plush and comfortable without being so thick that they’re difficult to grip, and the rubber wheels feel sturdy and durable, so we’re confident the reels can handle our weight in the plank and pike positions .
The slightly sticky rubber tread picks up dust fairly easily, but that wasn’t too difficult to clean and was our only design criticism. This property also gives them a non-slip quality, making them safer to use on potentially slippery surfaces like tiled floors.
The wheels move smoothly and the grips have a subtly ergonomic design with a thicker center and narrower ends to better fit the shape of our hands. The Core Wheels are also lightweight and compact, measuring just 6 inches by 9.5 inches, making them easy to slip into most gym bags when you want to finish your lift session with a quick ab boost.
As previously mentioned, the standout feature of the SKLZ Core Wheels is the fact that there are two of them, making them a far more versatile piece of exercise equipment than the average ab roller.
You can still perform most abdominal exercises (opens in new tab) as you would expect from a standard device such as B. Ab wheel rollouts and roller planks, but you can also do upper body strength exercises like chest flys and archer push-ups.
Their two-pronged approach also makes the SKLZ Core Wheels a good option for beginners, allowing you to perform easier versions of more advanced movements. For example, if a kneeling roll is a little too difficult for you, you can place one hand on a roller and the other on the floor as a point of stability before performing the one-arm roll. This is a great way to get used to the movement pattern and build your strength before moving on to more advanced versions of each exercise.
The Core Wheels have a solid feel that inspires confidence when used. We never felt like they would let us down, even when in a pike position directing most of our bodyweight down through the handles. The foam grips are soft but feel durable, and (apart from some dust) the rubber wheels showed no sign of damage or marking after we tested them on the best yoga mats (opens in new tab)Gymnastic mats, tiles, wooden and cement floors.
- Functionality rating: 4.5/5
If you’re of the opinion that “if you’ve seen one ab roller, you’ve seen them all,” the SKLZ Core Wheels are here to prove you wrong. They are a breath of fresh air on the ab scooter market and we really enjoyed testing them.
For more conventional ab roll exercises like kneeling rollouts with ab rolls or a jackknife, we found the wheels moved smoothly and the grips felt comfortable throughout the workout, keeping our hands from tiring.
The wheels are on the smaller side, so unlike the Lifeline Power Wheel They don’t work on uneven outdoor surfaces like grass, and the slightly sticky rubber can pick up dust fairly easily. However, if you’re exercising at home or on a mat, that’s not a problem, and the slight stickiness of the rubber wheels means they won’t slip during use.
The ability to scale difficult moves makes them accessible to anyone new to resistance or weight training (opens in new tab)and the fact that you have a roll in each hand means you can decide how wide your grip is (with hands slightly wider apart that puts less strain on your shoulders than the narrow grip facilitated by regular ab rolls) .
The result of this is a more enjoyable ab workout that still has the ability to fire your core and leave your abs feeling good and really worked.
Don’t be fooled though, there’s plenty of entertainment for the seasoned exerciser too. As we progressed to exercises more specific to the SKLZ Core Wheels, like alligator push-ups, dynamic planks, and thoracic mobility work (opens in new tab), we have found that adding instability and movement to classic exercises increases their difficulty. This engaged our abs more as we worked to stay stable, while also hitting our chest, shoulders, triceps, and other stabilizing muscles.
Overall, it was fun trying a new approach to ab training, and the core wheels provided a welcome change from the standard home workout push-ups and planks.
- Value for money score: 4.5/5
At $44.99 (or slightly cheaper £32.99 in the UK), the SKLZ Core Wheels sit firmly in the middle of our price range compared to other ab trainers we’ve tested. They’re cheaper than products that pride themselves on innovation, like the Lifeline Power Wheel and the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro, but they are slightly more expensive than traditional models like the Vinsguir Ab Roller and the Gymshark Ab Roller.
However, we think their versatility, individuality, and clever yet functional design more than deserve this slight price hike, and think they’re definitely worth the extra investment.
Of all the ab trainers we tested, the SKLZ Core Wheels were our favorite. Their innovative yet simple reinvention of the wheel makes them far more versatile than a traditional ab roller, allowing us to complete upper body strength exercises and adapt advanced core exercises to our fitness level. Meanwhile, being able to widen our grip has taken some of the strain off our shoulders — a common problem people encounter with ab rollers.
They’re a well-made product too, with the comfortable but heavy-duty handles and sturdy rubber wheels that emerge pristine from our tests (apart from a little dust on the wheels).
So we think they would make a nifty, not to mention the enduring addition to any home fitness arsenal, and one that can add a sense of experimentation and fun to your gym-free exercise routine.
If that’s not for you
If you’re just looking for a standard ab roller but don’t want to sacrifice quality, we recommend the sturdily built Vinsguir ab roller (above). It has a classic design that lets you perform exercises like ab wheel rollouts without the fuss, but its use of quality materials sets it apart from its competitors. The stainless steel central handle feels sturdy, and the plastic central wheel has a rubber tread on the outside. The wheel is also thicker than most abs to keep it from going off course on some exercises.
Or, if you want a budget option, the Gymshark Ab Roller can be picked up for just $20 (£18). Don’t worry, you still get padded handles and knurled wheels for extra grip for your money, so you can work your core in comfort – aside from burning abs.
How we test ab trainers
We took some of the best ab scooters for a spin to see which ones are capable of torching our core. Our in-house testers completed these eight abdominal exercises with each roller and pay attention to theirs Structure and design, durabilityand functionality. We also tested other innovations features they had to offer – like the unique Lifeline Power Wheel Ultimate Core Trainer foot straps – and the ones that catered for value for money provided by each product. These factors were combined to achieve a final five-star rating.
The SKLZ Core Wheels score an impressive 4.7 out of five stars on Amazon, from more than 1,400 customer reviews. Customers loved their compact design and said they were a far less intrusive workout tool than a weight bench while still allowing them to work their core, chest, shoulders and more. A few reviewers pointed out that they’re more expensive than the average abdominal roller, but more than 1,000 five-star reviews suggest most people would be happy to pay for their improved functionality.
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