Prolong Your Core Energy By Performing the Ab Rollout Accurately

Numerous exercises claim to improve core strength, often dominating social media, each asserting to be the ultimate solution for core gains. While some of these claims may be true, others are not. However, the Ab Rollout, a tried and tested exercise, stands out for its proven effectiveness.


The Ab rollout does something not many core exercises do: it builds strength in the extended position, arms overhead. When performed with good form, it resists lower back extension, which is handy if you hate lower back pain and want to get stronger and pain-free overhead.

Strengthening your core in an extended position improves your core strength and performance in movements that demand a neutral spine. Here, we’ll rediscover one of the Mack daddies of core exercises.

What is the Ab Rollout?

The ab rollout involves gripping a barbell loaded with plates or an ab wheel to extend your upper body toward the ground while keeping your lower back neutral. It strengthens the core by lengthening it, which targets your eccentric strength. Getting stronger in an extended position improves core strength and recruits muscles that would otherwise be untouched.

How to do the Ab Rollout Exercise

te: There are many variations; this is the standard one.

  1.   Get on your knees on a padded surface and grip the ab wheel or barbell.
  2.  Push your hands through the handles to round your upper back, then tuck your hips under to get a neutral spine. This is your starting position.
  3.  Extend your hips to the floor as you roll out, letting your chest fall toward the floor and engaging your glutes to resist lower back extension.
  4. Once you have reached the range of motion you can control, squeeze the lat muscles and pull yourself back to the starting position.
  5.  Reset and repeat for desired reps.

Ab Rollout Benefits

The ab rollout is not a sexy exercise, but it is brutally effective. You’ll gain three great benefits by almost ripping your core into two.

Improved Gym Performance

Progressing your squats and deadlifts hinges (pun intended) on keeping your spine straight and your form tight—key moves to avoid lower back pain. Improving core stability through enhancing anti-extension capabilities is pivotal for a great technique that leads to you getting stronger.

Build a Rock-Solid Six-Pack

Performing ab rollouts means your six-pack muscles are under muscular tension during the stretch and contraction, improving muscle growth. This exercise’s demand for control and stability also means more time under tension, strengthening your anterior core even further.

Lift Heavier, Get Stronger

Ever heard the saying, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link”? Your core strength is often that critical link when it comes to lifting. If maintaining a neutral spine under heavy loads is a struggle, ab rollouts are necessary. By strengthening your core in the extended position, you’re setting the stage for lifting heavier weights with better form.

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Common Ab Rollout Mistakes and Form Fixes

The core of the ab rollout is an exercise designed to challenge your anterior core, not your back. Anytime your lower back starts to lose its neutral position, you’ll miss the benefits above. To make the most of the ab rollout, dodge these four common mistakes.

Dropping Your Hips

Starting this exercise by dropping your hips is a big mistake. Dropping the hips first forces your lower back to arch, stealing the spotlight from your abs and possibly giving your lower back a reason to flip you the bird.

Form Tip: Lock in your starting position, roll forward with tight glutes, and stay within a range you can control.

Going too Fast

The ab rollout isn’t a race. Proper setup is crucial: hands under shoulders, butt clenched, and your spine straight. Rushing can lead to poor form and slacken muscular tension—precisely what you don’t want.

Form Tip: What’s your hurry? Take the time to set up properly, and reset after each rep to maintain good form throughout.

Bending Your elbows

Bending your elbows during the rollout shifts focus from your abs to your triceps, reducing the exercise’s benefits.

Form Tip: Engage your triceps to keep those elbows locked from start to finish.

Arching Your Back

The whole point of the ab rollout is to prevent your lower back from arching. If your core and glutes lose tension, your lower back will let you know—and not in a nice way.

Form Tip: It might sound repetitive, but squeeze those glutes. Keeping your butt engaged and controlling your range of motion is critical to maintaining a neutral spine.

Sets and Reps

The ab rollout is an exercise that prepares you for what is about to come when you hit the barbell. So, performing it as part of your warm-up or in a core tri-set is best when fresh. Two to three sets of 6 to 12 reps is a great starting point.

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