If you have searched online stores like ebay_dot_in to buy ab-wheels in India, you will notice that they don't come very cheap. Their cost, which is typically around Rs 500, is disproportionate to the simplicity of the device, and they cost even more if imported (a few thousands of rupees). That's a lot to spend on a device you can easily make yourself for Rs 150 or less. Plus, only the one wheel version is available for sale. Inspired by Ross Enamait's four wheel alternative, I set out to make one myself. Here are the articles required and the steps for construction:
Step 1: Articles Needed
1. Four 'bicycle balance wheels' made of plastic. They are cheap and are easily available in cycle repair shops in India. Diameter of the ones I'm using is 10.7 cm and width at circumference is 3.2 cm.
2. Two cylindrical iron/steel rods. Diameter 1.25 cm.
3. Transparent cello-tape.
4. 7 meters of thick, cotton rope. (They are typically used to tie mosquito nets to bed poles or nails on walls. If you are living in Bengal, ask for 'moshaari taangaanor dori', i.e. rope to hang a mosquito net)
5. 2 meters of cotton thread.
6. some newspaper
7. a pair of scissors
8. a blunt pencil
Step 2: Remove the Lids
Step 3: Cello Tape to Reduce Friction
Step 4: Wind the Rope for Hand-grip
Step 5: Secure Ends With Tape
Step 6: To Prevent Wheels From Coming Out
Step 7: Almost Done...
Step 8: Careful of Sharp Edges!
Step 9: Hooray!
It may happen that you experience the wheels rotating less smoothly after some days of use because the cello-tape starts coming off in tiny pieces due to abrasion. Applying talcum powder at the axle will restore the smooth rotation!)
Step 10: Ab Wheel Alternatives
1. An ice block to provide a slippery surface for your palms (just kidding! your fingers will get frost bite!)
2. Screw a four-wheeled caster to a small wooden board. Make two of those, one for each hand.
3. Use a pair of roller skates (same idea as point 2)! To provide something to grip with your hands, you could think of rolling a newspaper tightly and tying it to each skate.
4. The effective part of the ab-wheel exercise is the position where you have extended as far as your current core strength will let you go and hold. So, I believe, instead of jackknifing, just holding that farthest-for-you position will be enough exercise. So, from the initial position you could just walk your hands to a wooden board kept on three or four cylindrical/spherical objects! (Like pieces of a PVC pipe! Tennis balls! See diagram.)
5. Get creative; daydream for more ideas on wheels or frictionless surfaces!
All these alternatives can be had for less than Rs 500.