In the third instalment of our core stabilisation series of exercise tutorials, we feature the Ab wheel rollout and variations.
An anti-hyperextension exercise, the Ab wheel (roll out) is ideal for training the the spinal erectors, obliques, rectus abdominus, every spinal stabilising complex as well as the latissimus dorsi and the stabilising musculature of the shoulder. While this exercise may seem like a staple exercise for most aesthetic and athletic outcomes, the Ab wheel is particularly beneficial for fight athletes for a couple of significant reasons:
* It forces the athlete to maintain intra-abdominal pressure and stability through the entire range of hip movement. This intra-abdominal pressure and tension forms the basis of the majority of the compound lifts in strength training. Mastering bracing the mid-section throughout the compound lifts is vital to making safe and effective progress in the strength room.
* In addition to other forms of movement resisting exercises (i.e: anti-rotation, anti-lateral flexion) the Ab wheel can play a vital role in building the ability to create proximal tension throughout the core/midsection during punches and kicks. The more stability and proximal tension a fighter can create through the midsection during a punch or kick, the more potentiation for power transfer through hip rotation into a punch or kick.
* When grappling, core/midsection stability and strength is necessary for controlling opponents and transitioning to more advantageous positions. The stronger and more stable the core is, the more dangerous the ground game is.
This exercise not only potentiates greater strength gains for the fighter in general, it broadens the fighters ability to generate power in striking and positional control in grappling.
Special thanks to The Unknown - Strength & Conditioning coach Nadia Piazza, sponsored athlete and co-host of The Unknown Strength Podcast Brenton Mc and videographer Teresa McNair.