Heard of this?: Loaded Barbell Rollouts

Hello world!  I’m back again with another edition of “Heard of this?”…  this time around I’m going to  shed some light on a commonly performed exercise, only with a slight twist involved. 

The barbell rollout is a pretty simple exercise, and most often it is performed with a plate on each side of the bar for the purpose of getting it to roll.  Well, today I finished my last set of sumo deads while running through Supreme Strength for Combat Athletes (you’ll know what this is soon enough… but it involves John Gaglione and Todd, so you know it’s pretty B.A.), and there was 355 left on the bar.  Being too lazy to strip the bar for barbell rollouts, I decided I would jump right in with everything on there.  It’s still the same movement, right?  And I’m not lifting the bar per say, so no biggie… or so I thought.  But there is a major difference between this and 135.  I can cruise pretty quickly with 135, but 355 was noticably difficult to move out of the extended position back to the start.  Twelve reps felt like an eternity, and I felt like a million bucks afterwards.  Winning.

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Tips and tricks:

  • Squeeze your glutes through the entire range of motion to avoid any pressure through the lumbar spine.  I have had many people tell me that rollouts bother their back until they’ve made this one minor adjustment.  Bonus tip:  It is pretty safe to assume to squeezing your glutes will improve just about every single lift you do!
  • I am sitting up in between reps, but you can keep constant tension by not coming up the whole way.  For an example, see video below.
  • Use smaller plates for a change.  Throwing on 25′s or even 10′s will obviously lower the bar, and this will make the extended portion of the lift a bit harder (it’s like pushups from a step compared to pushups on the ground).
  • Don’t wear sleeves, this exercise really brings out the gun show.  However, do make sure that you have your license to carry handy…

I’m not saying I made this up, but I do know that I haven’t seen it presented in this fashion before…  It is similar to the band resisted rollout, only this one doesn’t “pull you” (accomodating resistance) like the band resisted version, seen here:

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Throw these bad boys into your routine!  And as always, drop a comment and let us know what you think…

Pay attention for a VERY special blog post coming tomorrow.  In all seriousness, if you’re looking for a great cause to support, check back tomorrow (Tuesday the 20th).  This story has really impacted me the last few days as I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend some time with an amazing group of Marines.  Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!

Until then,


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Chris Merritt

Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ FMS/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance and Beyond Strength Performance NOVA

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