Extreme Ab & Arm Wheel Review
I regularly have equipment and training manuals given to me to review and give my opinions on and sometimes I do a product review on this site; normally on products that I think are quality and I want my readers to be aware of. The Extreme Ab and Arm Wheel is one of those products. I knew of this product through Doug Smith, Head Strength Coach at Juniata College, who has 20 extreme ab and arm wheels to train his athletes with.
I wanted to try one out so I contacted Ken Frederick, owner of Frederick Concepts and developer of the extreme ab and arm developer, and told him I wanted to buy one to try out and train with. Ken offered to come to my University and show me and my staff how to use the product correctly and what I should expect to find when training with it. Ken knew his product very well and how to train with it and to be honest, it was not how I thought it would be used. Also to my surprise, Ken provided me with graphs with the muscle engagement using the different grips that were studied at Penn State University. As a strength coach, I found this very interesting and validating but I would make my own assessment of this product by doing my own experimenting with training.
When I first got my hands on the extreme ab and arm wheel I could see right away that this was a solid built piece of equipment with no cheap parts, but would it hold up to the riggers of a high volume use varsity collegiate weight room. So in the first month of using the product I put it in hundreds of student athletes hands, told them how to use it, and then asked for their feedback and thoughts. Every single athlete said they liked it and could really feel how it worked with the different grips. Within 5 weeks we had athletes voluntarily using the unit after workouts. Most opted to use it instead of the other ab wheel models we have.
The extreme ab and arm wheel has a centered wheel with handles that extend out, just like a traditional ab wheel, and then the handles turn to make a 90 degree angle to complete the handle. This allows the user to place his/her hands in a neutral grip position, which many experts agree is an optimal position of training for the elbows. I also agree this position as I tend to get lateral epicondilitis in my right elbow from high volume workouts and grip training. The neutral grip alleviates the painful discomfort in my elbow allowing me to continue to train. On the ends of the handles are rubber grips. These act like a braking mechanism by simply pushing them down against the floor. These are good for doing partial rollouts and when doing planking isometric holds on the handles.
Traditional Horizontal Grip Position: (No Picture) This is the hand position of traditional ab wheels by placing the hands on the handles that extend out directly from the wheel.
When performing any ab wheel rollout variation it is important to know your abilities and strengths. Always keep a neutral spine, never letting your hips dip down towards the floor. Extend out to only the limit that you are able to successfully pull your arms back. When extending out you should keep tension throughout your core, upper back, and arms. When pulling back, always focus on keeping the core engaged, spine neutral, and firing up your lats. Your reps will be determined on your abilities. When technique breaks down, you should stop.
Long Neutral Grip Position
Long Neutral Grip Position: Position your hands on the outer bend with your thumbs wrapped around securing a tight grip, roll out maintaining that position with the handles remaining parallel to the floor the entire time. I feel this grip position in my abdominals, triceps, and lats.
Side Neutral Grip Position
Side Neutral grip Position: Position your hands on the outer bend with your thumbs extended up the handles, roll out maintaining that position with the handles remaining parallel to the floor the entire time. I feel this grip position most in my abdominals, posterior deltoids (shoulders), triceps, forearms, and lats. It is funny how just changing the position of your thumb involves more muscle groups.
Long Vertical Neutral Grip Position
Long Vertical Neutral Grip Position: Position your hands just like you would in the long neutral grip position with your thumbs wrapped tightly around the handles and rollout in the same manner. When you are about to reach your end position of your rollout, rotate the handles up vertically so they are perpendicular to the floor. When starting your pull back in, rotate the handles back down to parallel as you roll back. This is by far my favorite technique to use because I not only feel it in my abdominals, shoulders, and forearms; it fires up the lats and triceps BIGTIME!
I love this total engagement with the arms extended over head. In sports we want this engagement. When throwing or hitting a ball over head in sports we do not want to athlete to do everything with their arm. This is how shoulders get broken down. We want the athlete to use their total body-core engagement is essential but having engagement in the upper back muscles during the follow through of the forward arm swing helps to decelerate the arm and protect the shoulder capsule and surrounding structures. The extreme ab and arm wheel accomplishes this neurological engagement in that position and this is exactly why I am doing this product review. I liked the results I was finding so much that I ordered 10 more units from Ken and we are excited about utilizing these in our future team training programs.
So overall, I give the Extreme Ab and Arm Wheel a big thumbs up and encourage anyone to look into this product a little closer for what it is and what it is capable to doing. For more information and how to contact Ken; visit his website: www.ExtremeAbandArmWheel.com .
Hope this helps!
To your health,
For all your core training needs be sure to check out The Athlete’s Complete Guide to Core Training.