In past entries, I have highlighted various homemade ab wheels designs. I also wrote an article on the subject in early 2008. Standing rollouts are definitely one of my favorite exercises for the core. I regularly receive emails however from individuals who do not have access to wheels at their gym or are not looking to build one.
Traditional ab wheels only cost around $10, but I realize that you may not want to bring equipment to a commercial gym. If this is the case, a barbell can be used to perform rollouts (standing or from the knees). The video below includes a few brief demonstrations of the barbell rollout.
As you can see within the video, resistance bands can be easily added to the barbell to perform an assisted version of the standing rollout. It’s much easier to add a resistance band to a barbell than an ab wheel. The band seen within the video is actually a pallet band used for commercial shipping.
To perform the resistance band rollout, first attach the band to a secure object (ex. power rack). Within the video, I actually used a heavily weighted trap bar. I then slid a 5 pound plate under each side to prevent it from rolling. You can see the slip-knot below.
Next, simply loop the other end around your barbell.
As you roll forward, tension within the band will increase. This will help you to maintain control as you descend, and will then help you return to the starting position. The band essentially pulls you back (similarly to a band assisted pull-up). If you are looking to perform your first standing rollout, the resistance band may be one useful progression.