I’ve previously written about how some studies have led many people to mistakenly think that all they need to do to strengthen the abs and obliques are squats and deadlifts; about how squats and deadlifts don’t even come close to creating the levels of activation in the rectus abdominis that the push-up does. As well as the research demonstrating that the abdominal rollout was one of the most effective exercises in activating upper and lower rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques (1).
More recent research findings indicate that the Ab Wheel Rollout exercise emphasizes, not only the muscle action of the abdominals, but also of the Pectoralis Major more than the Latissimus Dorsi (2). Of course, the level of muscle activation involved during the abdominal rollout exercise depends on the length or the lever arm (i.e., moment arm) based on how far your rollout and on external forces created by using creative variations such as the moves featured in this post. It’s for this reason the abdominal rollout is one of my favorite exercises. In that, it’s easily adjustable to one’s level of ability (i.e., you only go out as far as you can control) and there are plenty of advanced abdominal rollout variations available to add an additional training challenge.
An example of an advanced ab rollout exercise variation is the Arm-Walk out, which I included as part of the True Muscle training program at Bodybuilding.com.
If you’re looking to take things to the next level, check out these creative and challenging, advanced abdominal rollout exercise variations from Kelvin King.
1. Barbell Rollouts to Push-up
2. Bird Dog Inspired – Tri-Pod Ab Wheel Rollout
3. Plate Pushout
4. Suspension trainer or Ring Hold w/ Plate Pushout
5a. Swing Pushout
5b. Single Arm Swing Pushout
About Kelvin King
Kelvin King, Jr. is the owner of Creative Athletic Movements, a Sports Performance Training business. He also serves as a Sports Performance Specialist for St. Anslem’s Abbey School (Washington D.C.) and the D.C. Breeze ultimate Frisbee team. King formerly served as an Adjunct Professor at Lancaster Bible College (Lancaster, Pa.), and as the Strength and Conditioning coach at Washington Bible College (Lanham, Md.), where he was responsible for the programming and physical development of the Cougars’ men’s basketball and women’s volleyball players. King formerly served as the Director of Strength and Conditioning for “Shot Doc Nation”. King also served as Strength and Conditioning Consultant at Northwestern High school in Hyattsville, MD. King also served as Assistant and Head Strength and Conditioning for Riverdale Baptist Church and School. He also provides consultative advice to athletes and clients in the general population. King is NASM-PES, USAW Level 1, and YFS Level 1-certified. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Health and Fitness, and Physical Education from Norfolk State University, and a Master’s in public administration from Bowie State University. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Strategic and Organizational Leadership from Regent University.
You can connect with Kelvin on his Twitter and Facebook page.
1. Escamilla, R.F, et al. “Core muscle activation during Swiss ball and traditional abdominal exercises” J Orthop Sports Physical Ther, 40: 265-276, 2010.
2. Marchetti PH, Schoenfeld BJ, Silva JJ, Guiselini MA, Freitas FS, Pecoraro SL, et al. Muscle Activation Pattern During Isometric Ab Wheel Rollout Exercise in Different Shoulder Angle-Positions. MEDICALEXPRESS 2015;2(4):M150404 http://www.dx.doi.org/10.5935/MedicalExpress.2015.04.04
Nick’s Upcoming Live Events
Teaching at the SCW Midwest MANIA Fitness Convention on Sept 30 – Oct 1st, 2016 in Rosemont, IL
Teaching two workshops at the Inwood Athletic Club on Oct 2nd, 2016 in Joliet, IL. To sign up call 815-741-7275 x127
Teaching at the NSCA Personal Trainers Conference on October 14-16, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL.
Teaching a PreCon and conference classes at the 8th Annual Windsor Personal Trainer Summit on Oct 28-30, 2017 in Windsor, Canada.
Teaching at the JUZPLAY Elevate-Dominate Performance Training Summit on November 11-13, 2016 in Shanghai, China.
Teaching a full day of training workshops at Real [Fit] Life studio in Albany, NY on January 15th, 2017.
Teaching at the NSCA Southwest Regional Conference on January 27-28, 2017 in Sacramento, CA.
Co-Teaching a 2-Day Workshop with Alan Aragon at Spark Fitness on February 4-5, 2017 in Orlando, FL.
Expert Panelist at the San Diego Pain Summit on February 7-13, 2017 in San Diego, CA.
Teaching at the Professional Fitness Systems Convention on March 24-26, 2017 in Cyprus, Nicosia.
Teaching a PreCon and conference class at the Annual CPTN Conference on June 2-3, 2017 in Toronto, ON, Canada.
Nick’s 2-Day Australia Mentorship
Click HERE or on the image below for more info and to reserve your spot to attend Nick’s Mentorship Program on December 2nd-3rd, 2016 in Brisbane, AUS.