How to do Ab Wheel Rollouts Correctly and Safely

 
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INTRODUCTION

The bulk of our abdominal muscle training should come in the form of core stabilization exercises. Far too often, we have been misinformed that the best way to train abs is through flexion. The ab wheel rollout is an extremely effective exercise in training the core stabilizers and in strengthening the abs the correct way.

Don't underestimate this exercise, performing it correctly is a lot harder than it looks. 

 

AB WHEEL ROLLOUT FORM VIDEO

 

BENEFITS OF THE AB WHEEL ROLLOUT

  • Strengthens the entire core musculature including the rectus abdominis, the lateral obliques, the transverse abdominis and also the gluteus maximus

  • Effectively teaches core stabilization by strengthening the abdominal muscles' ability to resist spinal extension

  • Performing this movement correctly will fortify spinal health and help decrease low back pain 

 

MUSCLES WORKED DURING THE AB WHEEL ROLLOUT

  • Rectus Abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Transverse Abdominus
  • Shoulders
  • Lats

 

PERFORMING THE AB WHEEL ROLLOUT

  • Get an Ab Wheel and position in front of a mat

  • While on the mat, squat down and get on your knees 

  • Grab the handles of the ab wheel, and place your full weight on the device 

  • From this position, cross your legs behind you, and lift your feet off the mat (this will help stabilize you but make the movement a bit more challenging)

benefits-of-ab-wheel-rollout

 

  • Lock your shoulders into place by retracting your scapula, and keep your spine neutral 

  • As with all functional exercises, brace your core tight and squeeze your glutes 

  • Begin the movement by rolling the wheel out in front of you while keeping your core tight

 
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  • It is CRUCIAL that your spinal alignment does not change throughout the movement
  • If your low back changes in any way, you are defeating the purpose of this exercise

  • Roll out only as far as you can keep you low back straight!

  • Pause for a second at the fully extended position, while keeping your core tight

 
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  • Reverse the movement by tightening your ab muscles even further and returning to the starting position 

 

SUMMARY OF THE AB WHEEL ROLL-OUT TECHNIQUE

 
 

Click on each blue circle to view the key technical aspects of this exercise

 

COMMON MISTAKES

NOT MAINTAINING A NEUTRAL SPINE

This can lead to lumbar spine strain. You must keep your core tight and engaged the entire time. If your low back bends (arches) during the roll out, stop the exercise. Only roll out as far as you can keep it straight. Over time you will be strong enough to reach full extension.

 

LETTING YOUR SHOULDERS FLAIL OUT OF THEIR SOCKETS

This can lead to shoulder and chest tendon strain. Lock your shoulder blades into position by retracting your scapula. The only movement from your shoulder should come from flexion as your body is extending down. At no point should your shoulders move in any other direction.

 

AB WHEEL ROLLOUT ALTERNATIVES


Alex & Brittany Robles are the founders of The White Coat Trainer, a site dedicated to improving the health and wellness of busy individuals. Learn more about them here and connect with them on instagram and Twitter. Feel free to send them a message here

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