The crucifix rollout, unique bodyweight exercises difficulty rating for one rep 9 out of 10
Average time taken to master 6 months
If you want to build super human shoulder strength then the crucifix rollout is definitely one of the best bodyweight exercises to achieve your goal. This very difficult exercise should only be attempted if you are fit, strong and have been training for some time as your shoulder muscles have to bare a very heavy load and are put under considerable stress. However, if you do take the time to nail this amazing bodyweight exercise you will develop muscular control and a bodyweight to strength ratio that probably only advanced gymnasts posses.
Method of progression
The first stage of progression is to master both the crucifix press up and the chest rollout as both of these have similarities to the crucifix roll out. Once you nail them you are well on your way to achieving your goal, however, please keep in mind that the crucifix rollout requires a lot more control and strength than either of the above and is therefore a lot harder so patience is the order of the day.
Once you can do 10 reps of both the chest rollout and crucifix press up you should be ready to start training for the crucifix rollout. All you have to do is position yourself exactly the same as the starting position of a normal press up but with a dumbbell in each hand. From there it is a case of rolling out the dumbbells slowly and under control with your arms locked.
If you try to lower the dumbbells all the way down to the crucifix position at this stage the chances are you will fall flat on your face or injure your shoulder joints so only go as far as you are comfortable with and build up the strength and control needed over a period of time.
One of the most difficult parts of this exercise is controlling the dumbbells so that they don’t run away with you and you end up going lower that you planned. To ovoid this, the safest way to progress is to place something like a heavy box or weight plate at each side of you to stop you going any further than you want to should you loose control.
This is an easy but effective way of progressing safely but remember to stop an inch or so from what ever you have used and pull back up to the starting position as the box or weights are only there for safety and you will not develop the necessary control if you make a habit of crashing in to them to stop your decent.
Once you have lowered yourself down to the height you want, hold the position for a couple of seconds and then slowly bring yourself back up to the starting position by squeezing the dumbbells together whilst you tense the muscles of your chest and deltoids.
Note make sure you keep your arms locked and your body straight
One you have found a distance that you can control safely, the progression to the full crucifix rollout is simple, just place the boxes or weighs further and further apart over a period of time until you can descend all the way down with your arms locked and completely horizontal. When you can do that you will have built up amazing body control and deltoid strength that very few people possess.
Start of the crucifix rollout
Front view of crucifix rollout
Side view of crucifix rollout Advice
Bodyweight exercises as difficult as the crucifix rollout require patience to master so progress slowly or you will almost certainly injure your shoulder joint.
Be sure to master the chest rollout and crucifix press up before you attempt this exercise.
Make sure you always lock your arms straight as good and bad habits are hard to break.
Do not practice this exercise more than twice a week and stop if you start to feel any joint pain.
For a better understanding of the cricifix rollout make sure you read the guide for the chest rollout before you begin your training.