Core exercises to master before getting a ball
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
- It is
essential that this is mastered before progressing any further
- For all core stability exercises a transversus
contraction should be maintained
errors are often made when attempting to activate these muscles:
- Your pelvis is
tilted posteriorly (i.e. your back gets pushed against the floor
- You overuse the large lumbar extensor muscles arching
lower back further off the floor.
- You activate the more superficial abdominal muscles
your abdomen to bulge.
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.
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.
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. Master this before going any further with any ball exercises.
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.
your neutral position
constitutes the muscles of the core?
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