I just bought a ab wheel and have been doing it for a few time by now but I noticed that a lot of videos on YouTube with ripped guys showing how to use the ab wheel they use much bigger wheels than mine.

Are bigger wheels better than smaller wheels ? If not why their size varies and which size is better for me? I wonder that the ripped guys use bigger ones for a reason right?

My AB wheel is about this size :

enter image description here

And I've seen guys using ones about this size :

enter image description here

  • 2
    Compensation? My impulse is that the size of the wheel would only influence how low to the ground you'd get. A larger wheel would mean that, at the end of pushing out, you're using more of your abs instead of having to rely on shoulder muscle. I suppose larger wheels would weigh more, but wheels being what they are mechanically, that shouldn't change things much.
    – Sean Duggan
    Nov 11, 2015 at 13:04
  • I don't know. Should I buy a bigger one then?
    – Freedo
    Nov 12, 2015 at 12:03
  • 1
    I honestly don't think it will make that much of a difference. Just to clarify, are you walking about a larger diameter wheel, or one with a thicker width? Are we talking taller tires or fatter ones?
    – Sean Duggan
    Nov 12, 2015 at 12:48
  • @SeanDuggan See my edit
    – Freedo
    Nov 14, 2015 at 0:17
  • 1
    Sure, better than nothing
    – Freedo
    Nov 14, 2015 at 1:28

4 Answers 4


Anecdotally I've used smaller ones and bigger ones and never noticed much of a difference. The bigger and fancier ones, honestly, are generally just about marketing. Instead of buying the $9 one at Target, you can buy the $59 version that has a ripped model on the front and some thermoplastic spokes in an Ⓐ anarchy symbol.

I've noticed that higher hand positions make it easier in fact. You can see this if yourself if you do ring rollouts. From that linked website:

The closer you are to being parallel to the ground and at full stretch the more difficult the exercise becomes.

So the higher your hands are, the easier it is.

  • Nice! Thanks...I guess i'll stick to my small ab wheel then...
    – Freedo
    Jan 5, 2016 at 4:01

Size won't have much of an impact. The only difference is the height between your hands and the floor, which is not even relevent to toning up your core.

If there is a difference, you could argue that using the smaller wheels is harder. Just imagine a VERY BIG wheel : your hand being high above the floor results in a tilt of your body, which would lead to a easier exercice (less weight, like you could experience with a pushup).

That being said, the difference is very small, and you wouldn't feel that one is better. The only thing that could differ from one wheel to another is how "well-oiled" it is. A wheel that rolls very smoothly is harder to keep in place. You have to counter this absence of resistance by yourself, thus involving your muscles more.


I belive that the resistence is different smaller wheels = harder due to increased range of motion. Comparable to regular vs. Inclean push-ups

  • 2
    please support with evidence? Comparison is completely different and doesn't describe any significant difference. Also how is there an increased range of motion? It's also INCLINE* push-ups. Again, the resistance would be the same...so how is it different?
    – Hituptony
    Dec 16, 2015 at 19:47

Heres my thinking on how a smaller wheel might effect the core somewhat differently than the large wheel Compare the motion of the wheel to a pull up on a bar If you do a shoulder width pull up it will enhance the lats to that width Now do an extended width pull up it will enhance the latteral muscles to that width Therefore I believe the bigger wheel is giving the upper chest and lats more of a lateral stretch matching that stretch to the abs taking in the obliques more than a smaller wheel My advice is to use both

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