Roll Out | How is it done? Synergistic Accessories And Exercises

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Louise Hay

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By the healthiergang writer Gabriele Corda, personal trainer and federal instructor specializing in fitness and functional training.

Roll Out

Through the increasingly popular functional training, the roll out returns with force in many sports courses, an exercise that, as we will see, it requires little equipment and is able to train the area very intensely core.

The roll out is a particular exercise that mainly trains the rectus abdominis, in a lower way the obliques and the lumbar muscles. It takes place through a barbell or with the use of a particular tool called the AB wheel.

If you decide for the barbell, start by mounting two round discs (therefore avoid the hexagonal plates) of the same size at each end.

How is it done?

For anyone who has never tried exercising it is recommended to start on your knees with your legs apart, from this position, hold the rocker arm and let it slide forward using the plates as if they were “wheels”.

Moving forward you come up to stretch the arms keeping the abdominal area always taut and avoiding touching the body to the ground.

The back remains straight and it is important that it never goes into positions of accentuated lordosis while slightly kyphotic positions are foreseen due to the maximum contraction of the abdominal area.

If you can't keep your back straight while running and then go into lordosis, reduce the ROM of the exercise going a little less forward with the body, the more the lordosis is accentuated and the back works.

If you are unable to bring the barbell forward or in any case as soon as you feel that the tension is likely to make you lose control of the exercise and the tool, proceed in the opposite direction returning to the starting position.

If during the execution you feel the lumbar area working, the exercise is carried out incorrectly, position yourself next to a mirror and try until you can keep an abdominal contraction such as not to have to assume incorrect and potentially harmful positions.

To return to the starting position, do an opposite movement, that is, always maintaining the contraction on the abdominals, bring the barbell back without using impulses or thrusts that frustrate the work on the target area.

It is important to remember that the discs on the bar have the sole function of rolling the tool forward, it is not the loaded weight that will make you train.

If from the kneeling position you can extend your arms forward and touch your nose to the ground, you can try the more difficult version starting standing.


The version with the AB wheel involves the use of this tool, a small wheel with two handles on the sides. Here too, start from the kneeling position if you are not an expert in the exercise and try the execution first going down a little and then slowly increase the ROM until you reach the nose and pubic area on the ground.

With the AB wheel the feeling of instability is greater, it is therefore a slightly more advanced version of the one with the barbell. In fact, to counteract the instability we will be forced to carry out the movement more slowly by increasing the exercise tut (Time Under Tension, time in which the target muscle remains under continuous tension)


Inhale during the descent movement, then as you approach the ground; exhale during the opposite phase, i.e. when you move away from the ground and return to the starting position.

Synergistic Exercises

In the event that you are unable to perform even a correct execution because you arch your back or because the tension on the abdomen is too high and does not allow you to perform even partially the ROM you can opt for some exercises that strengthen the core and then try the roll again. out.

Let's take the plank for example, do 4 to 6 one-minute sets with 30 seconds of passive rest. Even the bicycle on the ground is a good workout, by placing only the pelvis on the ground, move your legs simulating a pedal stroke avoiding falling backwards or touching the ground with your hands or back.

Another exercise that can be useful as a proprioceptor of the roll out is the mountain climber, starting from the push-up position and first bring one leg towards the chest then the other, stretching the first one.

The roll out, although conceived as an exercise for the abdomen, also helps the joint mobility of the shoulder and, if done correctly, manages to train the core well without unnecessarily straining the back.

Practical Example

An interesting routine to do with this tool involves a mix of static and dynamic exercises for the abdomen, for example a circuit composed as follows:

  • Frog crunch 20 reps
  • Roll out (with barbell or AB wheel) 10 repetitions
  • Russian twist 60 secondi
  • Plank 60 seconds

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