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Ab Rollout Advice?

I tried doing ab rollouts a couple of years ago and my core was obviously too weak as i felt them in my back. Today I tried them again and I did a set of 5 no problem (I felt it in my abs but I didn’t feel like it was killing me). Then another set of 5 no problem. I stopped though as my left elbow didn’t like them. In a few weeks when the mild inflammation in my elbows completely subsides, what advice would you give for integrating them into my routine? Is doing lots beneficial or doing 5x5 (as with my other lifts) better? How can I make them harder if I stay at 5x5? Or should I just keep adding sets of 5? Any advice of how to programme them would be great. Goals would be stronger core to help with squats etc. but also aesthetics (I know that is body fat dependent but developing the muscle under it so they look better when I can finally see them completely). Thanks!

Try to get to 5x10.
Once you do that then try to get to 5x20.
Once you do that you can move on to other ab exercises.

Remember to really BRACE your core and squeeze the hell out of your glutes. Your lower back should not feel anything if you do it right.


Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I do both of those things (read an article on here the other day and thought I’d give them a shot today). No issues. I probably could have got 10 reps on the first set. The second would have been a stretch. I didn’t leave much rest though between the sets though and I was concerned about my elbow too. How do you know if you’re using your arms or not? I ask because I am reading a few other forum questions about them and the advice is don’t use your arms or lats to do them. I didn’t feel them in my arms but as I said, my elbow didn’t like them which got me thinking…

Go for standing ab rollouts. If that’s too hard, stand with a wall in front of you so that when you roll out, you will hit that which assist the return. Eventually, keep moving farther and farther from the wall until you don’t need it all (it’s impressive if you can get a standing ab roll out with no assistance).

For me to progress, I did something like:

A set of 5 from the standing position with wall as far away as possible that still allowed me to complete the rep. Then move to the knees and get in another 10 reps. Repeat this 3x.

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Thanks for the reply. Wow! Standing ones - I think I am a few months off those yet. I am not even sure I can do the ones on the knees for sets of 10 yet. I will come back to them in a few weeks when my elbows are less angry but this is definitely something to aim towards. Thanks! Do you still tense glutes and abs for the standing ones?

I like to pause at the bottom with my nose touching the ground for a couple of seconds and when I come up, immediately roll back out. Like nutty said, brace hard. You should be bracing like a squat or deadlift and all movement should be lats and midsection, not arms. Also, keep your ass squeezed the whole movement with hips pushed through.

An ab roller done wrong can damage your lower back so bad it will require surgery. Ask me how I know. Those fucking things are dangerous just do crunches. Like Arnold says 100 crunches a day is all you need.

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