Jackie Wright " More Innovative Core Exercises
May 7, 2009
Before launching into the second in this two-part series featuring three more innovative core exercises, let’s briefly review what muscles are included within the core.
The inner unit core muscles include, but are not limited to, the multifidus, transverses abdominis (TVA), and the pelvic floor muscles (think spinal stability). The outer core unit muscles include, but are not limited to, the rectus abdominis; external/internal obliques and the erector spinae (think torso movement). Always consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Master all of these exercises off the stability ball or BOSU Balance Trainer prior to attempting the exercises on these pieces of equipment.
Plank on the Stability Ball ” (works the inner/outer core unit muscles)
– Begin with a 65cm stability ball placed on a non-slip surface.
– Place both of your hands on the top of the ball approximately shoulder distance apart, pressing fingers/torso weight into the ball, flat back.
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– The legs should be staggered with the right knee flexed, tracking over the right heel and the left leg straight/heel down with the knee relaxed.
– Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted, and the navel pulled tightly toward the spine.
– In a stable position, the ball not moving, extend the right leg back parallel to the left leg with the body extended from the top of your head to your heels.
– Remain in this position for 1-30 seconds.
– When you are ready to release the plank position, slowly pull the right leg back to the beginning position and stand up. Perform this exercise two/three times per week.
Jackknife from BOSU ” (works the inner/outer core unit muscles)
– Begin lying supine on a BOSU Balance Trainer with the lower back on the BOSU, hips slightly off the floor, feet on the floor.
– Rest your head into your right fingertips, the torso is extended on the BOSU.
– Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled towards the spine.
– Extend the right leg out in front of the body and the left arm back/over the head so the body is fully extended with the left foot on the floor keeping the hips elevated.
– Engaging the abs/core muscles, flex the entire torso bringing the left arm and right leg toward one another (think of a pike position) and then return to the beginning position without hyperextending the spine.
– Perform two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, two slow counts up/down, two to three times per week on each side of the body.
V-sit on a BOSU Balance Trainer ” (works the inner/outer core unit muscles)
– Sitting a little off the “bull’s eye” of the BOSU with the hands behind the body resting on the BOSU, pull the legs up toward the chest so the knees face the ceiling/lower legs suspended.
– Then, extend the legs from the knee joint so that the body resembles a “V” formation.
– When you have achieved a stable position, attempt to release your hold on the BOSU and balance.
– Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat two to three times, two to three times per week.
Next week, three stretches that are a must in every one’s fitness tool box.
” Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at on her Web site at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her e-mail at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com