Introducing an unstable exercising surface should occur after one has mastered exercises on a stable surface. Core exercises can be learned without a stability ball. Core stability training begins with learning to co-contract the transversus abdominus and multifidus muscles effectively, as this is key to the lumbar-support mechanism. To do this you must perform the 'abdominal hollowing' technique with the spine in the neutral position. Use your fingers for 'biofeedback' on either side of your lower abdomen to feel the tension in the transversus abdominus muscle.
Several errors are often made when attempting to activate these muscles:
stabilization should be a
low-grade, mild contraction of tonic muscles which can be held for a
long time (20 seconds to several minutes), not just a sudden
contraction. You need to learn to do this in different positions
(lying, kneeling, standing, sitting, etc.) and eventually incorporate
this muscle activity during activities of daily living.|
Try to master the following core exercises while maintaining neutral position before introducing the exercise ball:
Maintain tight abdominals through the abdominal hollowing method prior to moving your arm or leg. Click the link to get a full description of this exercise.
Be sure to lift your pelvis so that you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Keep abdominal muscles tight the whole time. For a complete description of this exercise click on the link.
|Floor Side Bridging
You should form a straight line from your feet to your head. If you lack strength in your shoulders try bending your knees and performing the side plank from your knees. Don't do this exercise if it causes shoulder pain. Click on the link for a full description of this exercise.
A staple in all core exercise workouts is the plank. You should form a straight line from feet to head while keeping abdominal muscles engaged. Click the link for more details.
|Single Leg Raise
Perform the abdominal hollowing exercise in lying prior to lifting your leg. If you put your hand behind your back while doing this exercise you should not feel any movement in your back or pelvis. If you find this difficult, do it with both knees bent.
You should feel your abdominal muscles tighten as your navel moves up and in while your lower back and pelvis remains stationary. You must master this before going any further with exercise ball exercises. Click the link for more details on performing the abdominal hollowing exercise.
|Seated Russian Crunch
This is a more difficult abdominal exercise I added. Don't worry if you can't do it at this point. Click above for a detailed explanation of the Russian crunch.