Everyone wants a rock hard six pack. We are constantly subjected to images and videos of models with ripped up washboard stomachs. The truth is the only way you are going to get that look is by an extreme diet, hours in the gym every day, and a spray tan...and maybe some photo-shop. What our trainers at Fitness Together Morris Township focus on during an ab routine is “function”. We make sure during your movement assessment that your hips and low back are in good proper alignment, both front to back and side to side so that you can function as a person and not injure yourself (whether at that moment or long term health). But enough touting our knowledge and expertise. Let’s talk straight up implementation of one exercise I have said for the last few years is my favorite abdominal and core move and I’ll tell you why…
A great many of our members have jobs that require them to sit at a desk for a minimum of 6 hours per day, sometimes upwards of 10 hours. And what happens when we stay in that position for 30 to 50 hours per week? Let’s work from the head/neck down to our knees…
-Head protrudes forward and tightens the muscles in the front of our neck, while weakening the muscles in the back of our neck. This also promotes an improper curvature in our cervical spine.
-Excess curvature of thoracic spine(another name for mid back). Leaning in to type or write at your desk promotes a kyphotic posture
-Overtightening of the abdominals, while muscles of the low back remain inactive.
-Inactivity of the glutes(weaken)
-Hip flexors tighten
-Hamstrings tighten due to knees being bent (think old school seated hamstring curl machine)
I’m literally doing all of these things as I type this post up...but I subject myself to this pain and torture for all of you - hah!
Why the Rollout helps…
In short, you oppose everything about sitting while doing this move. That’s why I love it so much.
Your spine remains in a neutral position: Head, neck, hips, and knees and toes are all in line with each other (TRX variation Rollout-see the picture below of the full range of Crystal's extension...notice she makes a straight line from her hands down to her toes?). Your arms go from 90 degree position in relation to your torso, all the way up over head. You engage your abdominals not to flex, but to stabilize and fight to stop the arms from going too far and bring back to 90 degrees. Lower back is engaged to lock the hips in place and promote lower core stabilization. While sitting, generally your hips, knees, and ankles are in a 90 degree position. While doing a rollout, at the peak of the movement, your entire body is in an extended position(sometimes as much as 180 degrees).
Here are a few different ways to do the rollout: TRX, X-Ball, and the Roller
X-Ball kneeling (Moderate)
X-ball planking (Harder)