Anytime a piece of exercise equipment has a nickname that includes the word DEATH, you know two things: One, it hurts, and two, it works. There is no question that the exercise wheel fits into both categories.

The exercise wheel is a small, harmless looking wheel with a handle attached to either side. Those that are familiar with the exercises associated with this little tool respect its power. The exercise wheel, often called the “Wheel of Death” is an incredibly effective abdominal training device that provides an exceptional workout to your entire core as well.

To give the exercise wheel a go for the first time, two words come to mind…BE CAREFUL! This innocuous looking device can hurt you if you don’t use it properly or are undertrained. I recommend that folks have a good background of solid core training before even approaching this device. Having said that, let’s ROLL right into a quick workout.

First of all, you will want to start on your knees so make sure you are on some padded carpet or have some workout flooring underneath to help cushion your knees. Crouch down on the floor with your hands firmly gasping the handles of the wheel. Before you even BEGIN to move forward, make certain you are stabilizing your core properly. If you don’t know what this means, STOP and do some research as you may not be ready for what is ahead. Ok, assuming you are good to go, continue breathing while stabilizing the core and begin to roll forward. Move slow but deliberately until your chest is near the ground and your arms are fully extended out in front of you. If you are engaging your core muscles properly, you should not feel pain in your lower back. If you feel pain, slowly rest your chest on the ground and let go of the wheel and slowly get up. If you feel no pain, then work to move backwards along the same path you just took, again focusing on breathing and stabilizing the core. Most beginners find that just a few of these is fine at first, as the exercise is so effective that after only four or five reps, you WILL feel it the next day…even those that have trained their core before.

The above exercise is level one, beginner. The great thing about this amazingly effective ab training device is that it can progress as you do. If you have knocked out the basic exercise, next you can simply twist slightly while going forward and go in a curved line to the left or right which will hit your obliques and serratus muscles in ways you never thought possible before. In addition, for the REALLY advanced, the exercise wheel can be utilized from a standing position as well; this is something only the severely sick (joke, kidding) will attempt.

Exercise wheels are portable, inexpensive, and ridiculously effective. If a ripped and extremely powerful core is what you are after, then make the “wheel of death” part of your workout arsenal. Oh, it cost less than 3 lattes from your corner coffee spot too!

Author's Bio: , aka Emile Jarreau, is a 31-year veteran fitness professional and co-owner of in Long Beach, California. Also having 19 years of bodybuilding and figure coaching experience, he specializes in fat loss and all its aspects and freely shares online resources to the world.