Ball Rollout Progression

A shirtless man in shorts performing a stability ball rollout on a grey ball.

Before I get into the Ball Rollout Progression, let me go over a couple things.

First, before you progress to a Ball Rollout, Ab Wheel, or other more complex stability exercise, make sure you have first mastered the Plank.

Second, I have written (in more detail) about the Ball Rollout before. To read the post check out- Rock Solid Core Stability Training.

I’ve also written at length about core stability training here- Exercises for Wrestlers.

Ok, assuming that you have mastered the plank, you’re ready for the Ball Rollout.

Here’s how it looks:

It’s super important that you remained braced in the core throughout the exercise.

Here are two ways to tell if you have not:

1. You feel a loss of tension/support in your core.

2. You happen to catch yourself in the mirror and your back is dipping like mine is in the pic below.

A picture of Dickie White performing a bad plank. He has lost tension in his core and his low back is rounding toward the ground.

If this “dip” occurs, the purpose of the exercise (stabilizing your core in a neutral posture) has been lost. Stop the set and either take a break or reset your core.

If you notice that you’re unable to maintain a properly braced core for more than a couple reps, consider regressing back to the plank. Work to increase your time and/or sets with the plank and then look to go back to the Ball Rollout.

Another thing to keep in mind is your range of motion. The further your drive your arms out, the more difficult the exercise becomes.

Therefore, another way to ensure you maintain a braced core is to simply work with a shorter range of motion. As your core gets stronger you can look to increase how far you drive your arms out.

Ok, once the standard Ball Rollout becomes pretty easy and you’re ready for a new challenge, consider this final progression:

With the straight arm version the focus is the same- proper bracing of the core.

Make adjustments as needed based on how you feel your core is able to brace with these different exercises.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


3 Comments. Leave new

  • How long of a plank would you recommend being able to do before progressing to rollouts?

    • Hey Josh, I’d say somewhere between 30-45 seconds. The plank is more to train the person on how to brace their core appropriately. Once you’re able to do that, I think it’s fine to progress to the rollout or ab wheel. The key to implementing both the rollout and ab wheel is to work within a range of motion appropriate to where you are as far as core strength. As long as you’re mindful and stay braced throughout, you’re good to go. Does that make sense?


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