The barbell abdominal rollout is a great exercise which primarily works the abdominal muscles and lower back. This is an effective exercise which not only helps in building a stronger lower back and abs but also helps in strengthening the shoulders and lats as secondary muscle groups. This is an upper body exercise which helps in promoting physical health. This exercise has an ability to provide abdominal stabilization across the torso while contracting the abdominal muscles without bending the spine too much. This is an excellent exercise for strengthening the core muscles. A standard barbell or an ab wheel with handles are needed to perform this exercise.
Exercise Instructions: Select a relatively light barbell and place it on the ground. Kneel on the ground and grab the barbell with both hands. Next, slowly roll your torso forward while keeping your arms fully extended in a straight and locked position. Allow yourself to roll forward until your torso becomes parallel to the floor. Be sure that your arms stay perpendicular to the floor so as not to cause unnecessary stress on your shoulders and elbows. When returning to the original start position, the emphasis should be on placing maximum tension on the abdominal muscles.
Muscles Targeted: This exercise is intended to target the core muscles which not only include the abdominal muscles but also include the lower back and other stabilizing muscles. These muscles help with bending and twisting movements of the body. This exercise also targets the lats, hamstrings, triceps and deltoids. This is the reason why it’s considered not only an abdominal exercise but also an upper body exercise.
Why This Exercise is Important: Improving and building core strength of the body is the main benefit of performing barbell abdominal rollouts. Building core strength not only helps in providing flexibility in daily movements and improving posture but also improves the physique. Along with this it helps in building six pack abs as its main emphasis is on building stronger abs as fast as possible.
Things To Avoid: There are a lot of things to be kept in mind before and during this exercise. This includes using an exercise mat or a padded foam piece underneath your knees for added cushioning. You can also reduce the distance of the roll if you can’t bear the strain on your abs or lower back. One should not perform this exercise if they have lower back problems. While performing you should maintain your back posture and keep your abs tight. Make sure to:
- Do not perform exercise too aggressively otherwise it may lead to an injury.
- Do not pull barbell back towards you without concentrating on your AB muscles.
- Do not do use fast and jerky movements. Always go slow and controlled.
- Do not bend your arms during the exercise and keep the tension on your abs.
Reps and Sets: The sets and reps you need to perform depends upon your level of fitness and body type. It also depends upon your stamina and endurance to perform this exercise. Performing with lower reps in the beginning is the best way to start off. Do it strictly with proper technique and form otherwise it will be a waste of time and you could injure yourself. You can try doing 3 sets of 8-10 reps with 60 seconds of rest in between sets. After several sessions, increase the amount of reps to 20-25 for better results. Try doing this twice a week to get the best results out of this exercise.
Other Exercises To Use: Variations can be added to this exercise which will provide similar benefits. The barbell abdominal rollouts can be performed on the knees or with the legs straight out. There are other exercises you can also use to build stronger abdominal muscles and these include abdominal cable crunches, the abdominal crunch machine and abdominal butt raises. View our extensive database of exercise guides for a comprehensive list of exercises that target the abs.