Barbell Rollouts

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.

Additional progressions can be seen here (partial rollouts and ramp rollouts) and here (with lashing straps).

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  1. I will be trying this next week, thanks Ross! The same or similar can also be performed with the gymnastic rings that you have advertised on this page.

  2. Thanks for this video Ross, I’ve been doing standing rollouts for a few months and adding the resistance band to a bar for some help, allowed me to get my first fully stretched roll out!!

  3. Just creative and hardcore at the same time.
    Man to watch the close grip variation hurt but it can help to have some memorable workouts :)

    Great video

  4. Nice, Dan John talks a bit about BB rollouts in his new book.

    One idea I’ve had recently for working with Barbell plates rather than just a bar at a “conventional” gym is to just grab the plate and treat it like a “homemade” kettlebell.

    YouTube video here:

    Of course, the BB plate needs to have the proper holes, but some of you will get lucky =)

  5. Keep in mind that the legs/body do not touch the ground during a true standing rollout. If the body/legs touch, it makes the movement much easier (particularly as you reverse from bottom to top).

  6. Thank you Ross! With your idea of the barbell plus resistance bands, I was finally able to perform rollouts. I am thrilled with the functionality of the move. Plus, it’s fun and I am sore. Definetely a “keeper.”

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