If, like me, you are not genetically blessed with low body fat and protruding abdominals, you have to work twice as hard on your core/stomach and diet, just to get them to show even a little bit. If this is the case, I have just the exercise for you. The abdominal roll out has worked phenomenally well for me (and others) in terms of developing my upper and lower abs as well as improving the strength of my lower back and core. The roll out is one of those exercises that you don’t see much in commercial gyms and if you do, be assured – that gym goer knows a thing or two about abdominal development.
The beauty of this exercise is that it seemingly works the whole of your abdominal region and is one step into getting that “v shape” we all desire. I defy anyone, to include this in their ab workout/routine and not have DOMS the few days that follow!
First off, you need to find out if your gym has an ab roller. If not, any size bar from Olympic down is suitable, what you will need to do though, is ensure that a small amount of weight is put on either side of the bar. I would suggest around 5kg will suffice and ensure that the weight is attached correctly, but can spin on the bar to support the movement fully.
– Hold the Ab Roller/bar with both hands firm kneeling on the floor.
– Place the ab roller/bar on the floor in front of you (horizontal with your knees) so that you are on all fours with your hands on the bar. This is the position for the start of the movement.
– Slowly roll the ab roller/bar forward in a controlled straight line until your body is in a horizontal position with the floor (straight position). In other words, go down as far as you can without touching the floor with your body, keeping as much control as possible.
– Pause at the flat out position for one second
– Start pulling yourself back to the starting position, ensuring this is slowly done with as much control as possible. Using your abs to control the movement back up, squeezing the contraction.
Things to Consider:
If you have a lower back issue, perhaps give this a miss as I would consider this an advanced exercise. As with all ab routines, ensure as strict breathing as possible; breathing in on the downward movement and out on the upward movement. To put more emphasis on the oblique’s, you can move the bar/roller into diagonal positions.
To help really hit the abs, I would recommend this to be mixed into a routine with hanging leg raises and Swiss ball crunches.
Enjoy and brace yourself for the burn. Remember abs like any other muscle group requires determination, commitment and persistence.
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