Jackie Wright: Core Circuit on the Ball Equals Superior Results
Grand Lake, CO Colorado
Training the abdominals and core muscle group on the stability ball has been an integral part of our exercise programs for years. The stability ball is a great strengthening tool, when used correctly, for the abdominals and core which may lead to improved bracing ability, core stability and balance. A unique method of training the abs/core on the stability ball is performing the exercises within a core circuit format. This provides the abs/core muscle group with variety and emphasizes performing each exercise with excellent technique and form leading to superior results. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Core Circuit on the Ball Guidelines
-The best time, during a complete exercise program, to perform this circuit is 15-20 minutes prior to cool down, two-three times per week, on non-consecutive days.
-If you want to perform this core circuit on its own, warm-up the entire torso/spine for 5-10 minutes first.
-Perform each exercise 8-12 repetitions per station, per circuit.
-A firmly inflated and maintained stability ball (i.e. follow the manufacturer’s guidelines) between 55cm and 65cm tends to work for most individuals.
Core Circuit on the Ball – Four Stations
Station #1 Reverse Curls with the ball behind the knees – begin lying supine with the stability ball snugly fit behind your knees. Your heels should rest on top of the ball. Legs should form a 90 degree angle at the knee joint and the knees should be directly aligned over your hips. Place your fingertips by your ears, elbows wide, shoulders off the floor and away from the ears, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine. Engaging the pelvic floor muscles as you pull the navel toward the spine, lift the hips toward the ceiling as you lift the upper torso, then return to the beginning position slowly. Perform 8 repetitions.
Station #2 Reverse Curls with the ball behind the knees and rotations – prepare as noted in station #1; and, as you lift the hips rotate the torso to the right slowly and then to the left. Perform 8 repetitions (R/L is one rep).
Station #3 Prone Roll Outs on the ball – lying prone on the ball with the wrists directly under the shoulders and the thighs on top of the ball forming a plank on the ball. Draw the pubic bone toward the breast bone as you “pike” the tailbone toward the ceiling, and then slowly, resisting lengthening of the abs/core muscles, return to the plank position. The lumbar spine must remain in neutral throughout. Perform 8 repetitions.
Station #4 Lateral Flexion on the ball – place the right foot against a wall baseboard as you place your left hip on and against the ball, thighs parallel, left leg flexed back 45 degrees. Left arm “hugs” the ball with the left arm pit touching the ball, right fingertips placed by the right ear. As you engage the right lateral flexors of the trunk, lift the torso off the ball, extending the left arm fully, and then lower back to the beginning position. Perform 8 repetitions on each side.
Repeat this circuit two to three times through making certain to maintain proper technique and form throughout each exercise.
– Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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