Live Science Verdict
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is a high-tech versatile ab roller designed to sculpt a stronger trunk and progress home ab workouts – regardless of your fitness level. It’s not suitable for taller users or on-the-go exercisers looking to pack light, and it carries an equally heavy price tag.
Wide tread wheel
Includes knee pads
Internal kinetic engine to add resistance and assistance
Limited coil range
Why you can trust Live Science
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is a beast of an ab roller, and while it won’t slot discreetly into your gym bag, it’s a brilliant bit of core carving kit that’s guaranteed to get your abs aching.
- Product comes in three parts
- Includes knee pads
- Chunkier than other ab rollers
- High-tech internal coil
- Dimensions: 15-⅕”/ 7-¾”/ 7-¾”
- Weighs 4.5lb
- Max user weight is 300lb
The ab carver rolls into a premium price bracket of nearly triple the cost of its competitors, but it’s brilliantly designed and perfect for home use, which is why it’s rated one of the best ab roller options. Perfect Fitness has made versatility the core of this roller, by building a carbon steel spring into the wheel for extra resistance as you roll out and added assistance as you roll back in.
The extra-wide and thick tread tracks left and right for a more targeted ab workout, and the ergonomically curved handles increase upper body activation and improve your grip.
Price and release date
The Perfect Fitness Ab Roller Pro was released in May 2013 and has consistently garnered high praise ever since. Its MSRP is $39.99/ £49.87, which is a steep price tag for what is essentially a wheel with handles, but there’s more to this model than initially meets the eye. You can grab the ab carver directly from the Perfect Fitness website or via Amazon in the UK and US.
- Design score: 4.0/5
The perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro comprises durable plastic with two thick grooved bands that wrap around the main body of the wheel to form a tread – it's worlds away from the lightweight GymShark Ab Wheel. Two curved plastic ergonomic handles are scored for superior grip and slot into the base at either end to complete the look, alongside plushly padded high-density foam knee pads. The pop-pins on the handles line up with the holes on the base and can be pushed in to attach or remove the handles.
This ab roller is designed to withstand hard-hitting workouts and can take up to 300lb of body weight. It’s a hefty bit of kit, weighing 4.5lb, which is worlds apart from the fairly flimsy ab wheels you often see in commercial gyms. Bizarrely, Perfect Fitness only recommends the ab carver for home use and voids the warranty if it’s used in a commercial fitness space – not that you’d want to lug it that far to begin with.
This ab roller requires minimum maintenance and wipes down with a clean damp cloth, and the handles pop loose for easy storage.
- Features score: 4.0/5
While the Ab Carver Pro doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it certainly soups it up. The interior kinetic carbon steel spring inside the base provides gentle resistance rolling out and assistance during the rollback. This intuitive feature not only improves ab and arm activation but also helps support any instability in the shoulders. Frustratingly, the coil range is limited, so while our 5ft 2in user could put it through its paces, taller buyers may find their range of motion cut short.
The point of ab wheels is to create an unstable environment for your muscles, which helps build core strength and improve overall stability. The wide wheel on this ab roller offers a touch more support (and less of a wobble) for beginners and anyone with dodgy shoulders, making it suitable for most fitness levels. Advanced core connoisseurs may not find this challenging enough but the wide tread also encourages versatility using multidirectional movement, which means you can carve left, right, and center to target your obliques more effectively.
The angled performance grips encourage activation in your arm muscles and help you keep a firm grip throughout the exercise. Most ab rollers – like the GymShark model –have thin wobbly treads that can veer off of their own volition, but these handles provide a semblance of control.
- Durability score: 4.0/5
This ab roller will have you smashing out core workouts for years to come. Unfortunately, the tread picks up a lot of dirt and scuff marks, making it look cheaper than it deserves, but it’s still built to last.
- Functionality score: 3.5/5
The Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro is one of the most advanced ab rollers we tested for versatility and progression.
Safety first – unless ab rollers are a core component of your routine, Perfect Fitness recommends placing your Ab Carver Pro 12 inches from the wall and practicing rolling forwards with the wall as your barrier. As you progress in confidence (and strength), then you can begin to move backward until you can fully extend your arms.
This ab roller suits all abilities, but beginners benefit the most. The resistance and multidirectional function allowed us to tailor the roller to our workout style, and the assistance shone as you can feel the coil activating to gently coax you through the rollback. It’s a feature that will divide crowds, but considering we have a dodgy left rotator cuff, we felt super-supported and could roll all the way out (knees down) with zero wobbles, which is unusual for us.
It’s a noisy model, which is down to the spring coil, and we would have liked it to have been lighter so that we could take it to the park for outdoor workouts, but you can’t go wrong if you’re looking to build technique and functional core strength. This shouldn’t deter advanced users either, as the wheel can withstand lateral movement that can progress most ab roller exercises, for anyone well-versed in the world of ab wheels.
However, we’re disappointed that the spring coil range is limited and this, unfortunately, dictates how far you can roll out. It might be a problem for taller users with a greater range of motion.
Value for money
This product might feel overpriced at first glance, but it doesn’t look or feel cheap, and the addition of the coil spring sets it apart from its peers. We think the price reflects the versatility and progression available for all levels.
The Perfect Ab Carver Pro is one of the most advanced of its kind in design and features, which is why it sits in a premium price bracket. But, while we rate it as a prize addition to all home gyms, advanced users might find the assistance feature offers too much support, and tall buyers find their movement confined.
Aside from this oversight, we still rate the Ab Carver Pro as a smooth, solid, and durable home workout tool.
The GymShark Ab Roller (pictured above) costs under $20/£18 and is perfect for budget-buyers on a mission to save some cash. The thinner wheel is ideal for pro's looking to challenge their ability, too.
Looking for something a bit different? The SKLZ Core Wheels Dynamic Core Strength Trainer has two separate wheels for more versatile upper body exercises like alligator push-ups and dynamic planks – they're not bad looking, either.
How we tested
We took some of the best ab rollers out for a spin to see which ones were able to torch our core. Our in-house testers completed four sets of 10 ab wheel rollouts with each roller, taking note of their durability, design, and functionality. We also tested out any additional innovative features they had to offer – such as the unique foot straps of the Lifeline Power Wheel Ultimate Core Trainer – and considered the value for money provided by each product. These factors were combined to deliver a final score out of five stars.
Of more than 11,000 Amazon ratings, the Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro reels in 4.6 out of 5 Amazon stars. Users love the stability of the roller and found the spring load enhanced their workout. Others enjoyed the wide tread. However, some complained that the spring-back was too strong.
Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and resident fitness writer at Future PLC. Having trained to work with both the mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and aims to bring mental wellbeing to the forefront of fitness. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and how we can build more sustainable training methods. You’ll find her writing about the importance of habit-building, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and workouts.