By Ms. Shalini Bhargava
Director at JG’S Fitness Centre
The barbell is one of the most versatile tools in the gym as it can be used for a variety of strength exercises. For instance, by placing a loaded weight bar on the floor, you can do the barbell ab rollouts, which will work out your abdominal muscles and also help in spinal stability and strengthen the core as the core muscles have to be engaged really hard to be able to perform the ab roll. The barbell ab roller workout is one of the best core-strengthening workouts. While it may appear to be difficult initially, but, like all exercises, as time progresses, you too will progress.
Mentioned are some of the workouts that can be done.
Eccentric Isometric Rollouts: In this, rollout slowly, pause and stretch and then roll back smoothly. This exercise helps in increasing the core strength. While the eccentric contractions are the reason for the muscles to lengthen, the isometric contractions help in creating the force for the workout. This can be followed by a rapid rollout in which you increase the speed that in turn makes the abs muscles to work harder. While doing the rapid rollouts, you may lose control and over extend the spine, which you should absolutely avoid.
Band-Resisted Rollouts: In this, one has to attach a band from the roller to a position that is fixed, in the front. The band pulls you faster towards the fixed position. In this as the band rolls you out and in, the tension on the muscles increases.
Bosu Ball Rollouts: On a Bosu Ball, place your knees in an elevated position and then roll. The presence of the Bosu ball changes the angle that adds more stress to the core muscles. By placing knees on the Bosu ball, they are almost 8 inches above the ground which increase the level of difficulty, as well as the stability because you have to balance yourself on the bosu.
Weights Rollouts: This is incredibly difficult where you rollout wearing a weight vest and hence have to move a heavier weight (body weight plus the weight of the vest)
Partner Accelerated Rollout: In this, you work with your partner where one stands behind the person and pushes them into a rollout. As an external force is pushing you, the speed may increase. Therefore, one has to be in total control of the core by engaging the core muscles and not go ballistic..
Things to keep in mind while doing the workouts
While starting and perfecting the basic ab roll out workouts remember these pointers, post which one can progress to the more advanced variations.
Shoulder blades should be drawn down and the stabilizing muscles of the shoulders must be engaged.
Core muscles must be engaged.
Avoid hip and back extension,
Even while you may be able to rollout completely, working on lesser than the range of motion ,initially will keep things in control.
Finally don’t overdo- start with 5 reps and progress to 8-10 reps
A Word of Caution
While doing the ab roller workouts, do take care that you take it slowly and don’t go on to perform any advanced workout exercises without the trainer’s permission. There are chances that one may get hurt with the equipment, which could be dangerous.