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Exercises You Should Be Doing: Barbell Roll-Out w/Push-Up

Posted Jul 09 2009 4:03pm

During my down times at CP, I can be found doing one of several things:

1.  Writing programs

2.  Eating and/or thinking about dead furry animals

3.  Walking around the facility re-enacting the “I will find you, and I will kill you” monologue from Taken.

4.  Seeing how long I can go playing techno over the stereo before Eric (or worse, Michelle) give me the look of death.  And just for the record, I’m slowly converting more and more people to the awesomeness of Tiesto, Louie DeVito, David Waxman, etc.

Don’t act like you weren’t just bobbing your head when the beat kicked in.   Bleep bloop bleep bleep bloop blipp.  That’s called music people.  JAZZ HANDS!!!!!!!

5.  Conjuring up new exercises to try with my clients, which they’ll inevitably hate me for.  My latest, and admittedly not that exciting creation- the Barbell Roll-Out w/Push-Up.

Lately I’ve been a big fan of combining exercises- albeit, I still like to keep things simple.  Which is to say, I don’t find much value in trying to make things more complicated than they have to be.  Sure you want to challenge your athletes/clients with new (and fun) exercises that will elicit a training effect; however you also need to have a “trainer filter” and recognize that most trainees don’t need fancy set-ups and gadgets.   I mean, lets be honest- how many times have you walked into a commercial gym and witnessed someone squatting, and thought to yourself, “wow, that’s a really good lookin squat?”  For most, I’m willing to bet it’s less than five.

Suffice it to say, I think if more trainees spent time nailing down the basics (squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, push-ups, etc), rather than making asses out of themselves trying to perform a push-press on a BOSU ball, they’d be surprised at the results.

End Rant

That said, back to the point of this post.  As I stated earlier, I do like combining exercises- particularly with my fat loss clients.

What Is It: Barbell Roll-Outs w/Push-Up

Who Did I Steal It From: I have no idea, I’m sure someone thought of this one before me.  But who cares- hot girls squatting are hot.  I’m re-posting that picture again because I can:

What Does It Do: I love roll-out variations for two reasons, 1. trains core stability in an anterior/posterior fashion, and 2. resists trunk extension, as Mike Robertson noted in a recent newsletter.  Additionally, by including the push-up, you’re also getting a great closed-chain movement for scapular health, as well as proprioceptive feedback in the shoulder joint due to the slight instability involved.

Key Coaching Cues: Because roll-outs force you to engage the “core” musculature in an anterior/posterior fashion, you know you’re doing it wrong if the hips tend to sag down as you descent towards the floor.  Similarly, the hips shouldn’t “hike” up in the air either.  You want to try to maintain as much of a neutral spine as possible throughout the duration of the movement.  Keeping the abs tight (brace) and firing the glutes will help in this regard.

Additionally, during the push-up portion, you want to keep the elbows tucked in, and “pull” yourself down to the bar, touching your chest with each repetition.  I like to do this for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps, but you could also do this for time if you’re really mean.

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