Core strength is imperative in all our daily activities. People presume that one must only have core strength if they lift weights or are into general fitness. But that is not the case.
We all need core strength to have the liberty to move around without losing out on our balance. The best thing about core strength is that it can be built with a combination of effective exercises like barbell ab rollout.
What we love about this exercise is that it directly targets the core muscles, giving you better results. Let us know about it in detail.
Muscles Worked by the Barbell Ab Rollout
It is clearly established that the core muscles are targeted by the barbell ab rollout. For a better understanding, we can bifurcate them into primary and secondary muscle groups.
Primary Muscle Group
Secondary Muscle Group
- Lateral obliques
- Shoulder Muscles
- Latissimus dorsi
- Erector spinae
Let us learn about them in detail.
When it comes to the core muscles, the barbell ab rollout exercise targets two major muscles: transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis.
If you wish to have six-pack abs, you will have to work on rectus abdominis. But its importance goes beyond appearances. It is also useful in giving you lumbar spine support while also helping you breathe better.
Coming to the transverse abdominis, it helps in getting a flat stomach while stabilizing the spine and pelvis.
Benefits of Barbell Ab Rollout
The barbell ab rollout is an isolated exercise. Even though it focuses more on the core muscles and their overall strength, you can other benefits from it as well, like the following:
A strong core is a prerequisite, even if you are not an athlete or bodybuilder. Everybody needs core strength for body stabilization. It helps in allowing you to move freely in any direction without losing balance.
As it targets transverse abdominis, you stand a higher chance to add muscle to your core.
When you perform this exercise, your arms get extended, and your body parallels to the ground. This position pulls your body towards the ground, owing to gravity. During this process, your core helps in stabilizing your midsection. Moreover, it also helps in stabilizing the spine. This will come to your rescue while doing squats or deadlifts.
The vestibular system, visual system, and proprioceptive system help you to control your balance. Out of these three, the last one is connected to your core.
The Proprioception nerves are sensory nerves that are responsible for making you aware of your surroundings as well as your posture.
In order to stay balanced and remain upright while doing activities, you will need to have an equilibrium between all these systems. This can be done by having a strong core.
When you focus on core exercises, such as barbell ab rollout, you train your muscles in the hips, abdomen, pelvis, lower back, etc.
This allows you to maintain your balance while moving around as well as while standing straight.
Works on Lower Back Pain
When your lower back muscles are weak, your body is forced to rely on ligaments for stability. This leads to more back pain.
But some exercises, including barbell ab rollout, helps in strengthening the core. This can aid in lower back pain.
Aid in Everyday Chores
As previously mentioned, a strong and stable core can help you do your daily chores without any difficulties. Even something as simple as picking up things can be done with ease.
Other than that, you will feel a difference in your body movements while playing sports like basketball or football with a strong core.
Do you find yourself slouching all the time? This could be a sign of a weak core. With the help of barbell ab rollout, you will be able to maintain a better posture while sitting and standing.
It will work on your core muscles, thereby making it easier for you to sit up or stand up straight.
How to Perform the Barbell Ab Rollout?
If we look at it objectively, barbell ab rollout is not a difficult exercise to perform. However, it can be confusing to beginners as they could have some questions about the technique.
To make it easier for you, we have enunciated the following step-by-step instructions on how to perform the barbell ab rollout.
- Select a barbell with the weights of your choice. We recommend the 5-10lbs of weight on each side.
- Place it on the floor and go down on your knees.
- If you need cushioning, you can also use a mat.
- Grab the barbell with your hands.
- Maintain a steady grip with your hands facing downwards and thumbs set aside.
- You can either cross your legs or keep them straight.
- If you are losing balance, lift your feet up. Or else, keep them on the ground.
- Engage your core while pulling your belly button towards your spine.
- With your arms straight, roll the wheel outwards.
- Roll out will your arms get parallel to the ground, and you are in a plank-like position.
- Do not let your back arch.
- Hold the position for a second and return to your starting position by squeezing your abs.
- Repeat the procedure.
Common Mistakes to Avoid While Performing Barbell Ab Rollout
The barbell ab rollout is an easy exercise, isn’t it? Well, yes. But there is still room for mistakes. The following are some of the common mistakes that people commit while trying to do this exercise:
Elbows Not Lockout Out
When you roll your arms out while holding the barbell, ensure that your elbows remain locked in. if you try to bend them, it will transfer the tension and load from your core to your triceps. This will not help you concentrate on your core.
Bending your Arms
The main purpose of the barbell ab rollout is to strengthen your core. This will be done when you try to return to the original position after rolling the barbell outwards.
But some people try to change it by bringing the barbell towards their body and then leaning backward. Instead, you should use trunk curl while trying to return to the starting position.
If you are unable to do so, do not roll entirely with your arm stretched out completely. Start slowly, and then eventually try to use your core strength to roll back in.
Issues with your Hips
While rolling back in, people tend to transfer the load to their hips instead of their abs. In other words, they move their butts behind instead of curling their trunk. This does not help in strengthening the core.
If you want to reap maximum benefits, you will have to stop the hip flexion and limit the butt movements.
Roll Out to your Capacity
This mistake is frequent and prominent amongst beginners. They tend to roll out more than they could retract and end up losing their balance. This could lead to severe injuries.
To avoid this, start with rolling out only a couple of inches away from yourself. Once you get the hang of it, you can roll out to a complete extent.
Sets, Reps, Programming Recommendations for Barbell Ab Rollout
We recommend you to do the barbell ab rollout exercise twice a week.
You can start with three sets of ten reps each.
Variations of Barbell Ab Rollout
Are you tired of doing the same and basic barbell ab rollout exercise? Do you want to add a level of variation to it? Well, the following variations can help you target your core muscles:
Double Roller Walk-Outs
This helps in developing scapular stability and shoulder muscles. It has controlled mobility that prevents you from any injuries.
Band Resisted Barbell Roll-Outs From Bear Crawl Position
The resistance band makes this exercise more challenging. It also helps in maintaining proper form.
Lateral Roll-Outs Using Rowing Machine
It helps in strengthening the serratus muscles while your range of motion decreases.
Band Resisted Barbell Roll-Outs From The Knees
This variation makes this exercise more anti-extension in nature, giving you a perfect form.
Bosu Ball Ab Rollouts
This is a challenging exercise that will increase your instability. Furthermore, it will help you build more core strength.
Band Resisted Quadruped Bird Dog
This is another challenging and difficult variation that will work on the anti-extension muscles of the core. Moreover, it will also work on spine stability.
Other than your core, this also focuses on your spine stability.
Safety & Precautions for Barbell Ab Rollout
To avoid injuries, you must adhere to the following precautionary tips:
- Keep a towel or a mat under your knees to prevent slipping or bruises.
- Only roll out to the extent that you can roll back from.
- Breathe in while rolling forward and breathe out while retracting.
- Do not bend your knees or use your shoulders while rolling back in.
- Curl your trunk and use your abs while rolling back in.
- Keep your body parallel to the floor while you extend your arms.
- Do not use your hip flexors.
Alternatives of Barbell Ab Rollout
Are you looking for a substitute for the barbell ab rollout exercise? The following alternatives will be beneficial additions to your workout routine:
- Ab crunches
- Bicycle crunches
- Child pose
- Downward dog
- TRX rollout
- Reverse crunches