In this article I will be discussing one of my favorite exercises, that when done correctly, can develop a strong trunk (core), the roll out. If you want a strong abdomen then you are going to love this exercise. It is a tough but extremely effective exercise .
If we build upon the premise that one of the functions of the trunk is to transfer force from the lower to the upper body while remaining braced, stiff and solid, the other being to summate all the joints of the trunk. Namely the deltoids, pectorals, abdomen, back musculature, quads and glutes. We can then begin to look at trunk exercises that fit the bill.
The roll out is such an exercises, as It requires the athlete to brace the abdomen and contract the glutes while the upper limbs are in motion.
- Extend at the hip not the lower back
- Keep spine in line
- Pull ribs pelvis and squeeze glutes
- Face looking to the ground
- DO NOT extend through the lower back
- If it hurts-STOP
How to progress the Roll out:
- Roll out with smaller medicine ball- rolling on fore arms
- Ab wheel roll out:
- Roll out with small medicine ball-holding ball in hands
How to use the roll out in your program:
We use this exercise as part of the warm up or we program them as part of a trunk training session which is done on a separate day. It is recommend you start with 3 sets of 4 reps and progress to 3 sets of 6.
When you feel that you are ready to progress I would encourage adding a few more reps or sets. However, I would not recommend adding too many reps or sets as this my decrease the quality of movement and form. This is easily done when were fatigued. You could also try to increase the contraction and control of the trunk by trying harder variants and progressing the movement instead.