Ab Wheel | 3 Keys You Are MISSING

How to get more out of rollout variations than ever before

Do your ab wheel rollouts suffer from ANY of the following:

  • Abs aren’t working?
  • Lower back is engaged?
  • Too much loading on the shoulders?
  • It’s WAY too easy?

Then chances are that you’re missing at least one of three major keys needed during any type of rollout variation (yep, swiss ball, TRX, foam roller, walkouts, etc).

Not only will I show you how to better perform rollouts, but we will also beef up your biomechanical knowledge of this move, upping your programming.

Check out the post and video below to learn more.

Ab wheel rollout biomechanics

All ab rollout variations are absolute MONSTERS for improving internal rotation.

Here’s why.

First is the start position. Because we are in a quadruped position, gravity is going to be pushing the abdominal contents and air more downward, towards the anterior portion of the body.

Generally, if I have a greater expansion towards the frontside of the body, that will increase the internal rotation range available.

This internal rotation is magnified by the 90-degree hip and shoulder flexion angles, which also have an internal rotation bias about them.

Gravity + 90 degree extremity angles = HELLA INTERNAL ROTATION

So just from the start position, we can see the heavy internal rotation influence.

Once we get moving, it gets bananas though!!!

As I perform the rollout, the hips move towards extension. Anytime extension is occurring, there is concomitant internal rotation.

The arms show the same song and dance. Because the humerus is internally rotated at the start, the progressive overhead position places the chest wall in more of an eccentric position. Again, the more air I can push into the front, the more internal rotation I shall receive! 

Ab wheel rollout coaching cues

There are really 3 focus points that I cue during any rollout variation.

The 3 major keys
  1. Kneecap and foot pressure into the ground – The limits excessive loading through the shoulders
  2. Reach without crunching – This ensures the abs do the work, not the back
  3. Exhale – This sets the lower ribcage into a position where the abs can go cray

Most rollout errors involve a loss of one or all of the actions.

Feel it in the shoulders too much? Then get the kneecap and feet pressure down. Back sagging? Reach and exhale, yo!

Rollout variations

Generally, my rollout progressions start as follows:

The swiss ball rollout is where I start most of my supreme clientele. The height of the ball reduces the effects of gravity (much like an incline pushup is easier than a floor pushup), and peeps are in full control of how far they go.

Once this movement is mastered, I can then move to a walkout, pushing peeps closer to the floor.

Once we have this movement on point, that is prime time to introduce the ab wheel rollout

If you REALLY want to make it tough and improve the expansion action, I would add a pause at the end of the movement:

Then, if you want to get REALLY crazy, mess with the single leg version. It’ll destry the abs:

Sum up

There is the who, what, where, when, and why for an ab wheel rollout.

To summarize:

  • Rollout variations are useful for increasing internal rotation
  • 3 keys – 1) kneecap and feet; 2) reach; 3) exhale
  • Start with a swiss ball, progress to ab wheel with pause

What struggles have you had with the ab wheel rollout? Comment below and let the fam know!