Remember the old ab wheel? Even 50 years after it first gained popularity, it’s still one of the best exercises you can do for your core. Yet you’re not likely to see many people in the gym actually using an ab wheelâ€”that is, if your gym even has one of these classic training tools. The good news: You can do the same movement using a barbell and two 10-pound weight plates. It’s called a barbell rollout, and the trick is to do it right.
First, it’s important to understand what makes the barbell rollout so effective. The reason: It trains your core muscles to prevent your lumbar spine from extending. That sounds complicated, but think of lumbar extension this way: It’s when the natural arch in your lower back increases beyond what’s normal posture. For a visual, stand tall with your hands on your hip; now lean back at your waist. You’re extending your lumbar spine.
The same thing happens when you do the barbell rollout without proper form. By bracing your core and tightening your glutes as you perform the exercise, however, you can actually resist this lumbar extension. And that will give you a fantastic ab workout. Simply roll the bar out as far as you can without allowing your hips to sag, or the arch in your lower back to increase. As you become stronger, you’ll be able to roll the bar out farther and farther.) Try doing 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, resting 60 seconds between each set.
Check out some variations by clicking here.