Monday, March 3, 2014

Core exercises with the swiss ball

Last month we targeted exercises for the weak hips (glute maximus and minimus). This month we focus on the core muscles, as they are another important muscle group to target. For starters, pulling your belly button in and tightening all your abs (lower and upper) is a sure way to make sure they are on. Make sure your pelvis is not rotated forward or back, and is leveled, while you are tightening your core.
Below are some swiss ball exercises that have been seen to have great upper and lower abdominus activation compared to other exercises out there.
1. Swiss ball pike: 
Starting position (make sure tummy is pulled in pelvis is neutral)

Ending position
 2. Swiss ball roll out
Starting Position (Pull in belly button)

Roll out the ball with your abs controlling the ball and pull back in to starting position!
Start with 2-3 sets of 6- 8 reps and build to 2-3 sets of 15-20. Make sure you feel your abs getting tired and not your back. These exercises have been seen to be better than crunches, side sit ups etc in a research study 
(Escamilla RF, Lewis C, Bell D, Bramblet G, Daffron J, Lambert S, Pecson A,Imamura R, Paulos L, Andrews JR. Core muscle activation during Swiss ball and traditional abdominal exercises. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010 May;40(5):265-76)

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