When people think about a six pack of abs, they often first associate that with having a strict diet and doing a lot of crunches and sit ups. While these definitely play a role in how visible your six pack is, the more important thing to focus on is how strong and functional the abdominals are. Although having an aesthetic physique is nice, having a functional core should be your ultimate goal. Rolling patterns will help you get there.
Let’s talk about the core
But first, what exactly does our abdominal muscles do? Believe it or not, the core is capable of much more than just sit ups. There are many ways that you can strengthen your core. Sit ups are an example of flexion of the trunk. Your core is also capable of performing extension, lateral flexion, and rotation of the trunk. An example of extension of the trunk would be an exercise such as supermans. Lateral flexion of the trunk can be achieved by performing side bends. Lastly, Russian twists are a great example of an exercise that targets the rotation abilities of the core. Thus, sit ups are not enough if you truly want the most well rounded and strongest abdominals.
Targeting the core in all of these different planes of motion may be a difficult task, even for many athletes. So beginners should not feel discouraged. Rolling patterns are an exercise that test your cores functionality. Rolling patterns assess your ability to use your core as you roll on the ground without the assistance of your upper or lower body. You should be able to perform this task with nothing but yourself, the floor, and some adequate space.
Performing a rolling pattern
How to perform a rolling pattern
- Lay on your back
- Pro tip: Lay with your back propped against a wall to make this movement easier
- Without contracting your legs, roll onto your stomach
- Pro tip: Think about reaching with your arms and initiating the movement from your core
- Repeat going supine to prone and prone to supine in both the leftward and rightward direction
Watch this for a demonstration of the complete movement in action.