Exercise progression is necessary in any exercise program to improve
strength and endurance. Muscles must be challenged continuously in
order to develop. Muscle
will adapt over time to a given load, becoming more efficient. If your
body is challenged beyond what it is used to doing it will respond by
increasing strength and endurance. For continued benefits from
exercising, challenges need to be increased.
that determine difficulty
Exercises involving limb
Fundamentals of any exercise
that determine the difficulty of an exercise ball exercise:
- As ball
support moves further from the point of support on the floor, the more
difficult the exercise becomes. The closer the ball is to the midline
of the body the less flexibility and stabilizing is required. For
example during push ups on the ball, the longer the distance between
the support points ( the ball and the arms) the harder the exercise
- Base of
- Reducing the contact surface of any supporting limb
the neural demand of any exercise. Push ups with one foot on the ball
is more difficult than push ups with both feet on the ball.
- Blowing up the ball so that is is firmer reduces the
of contact of the ball with the floor making it less stable.
- Moving the supporting limbs on the ball closer
reduces your base of support also making the exercise more demanding.
movement - The faster movement changes your centre of
gravity relative to your base of support requiring quicker adjustments.
Resistance - The addition of weights and resistance
is great for exercise progression.
your eyes during the exercise removes visual feedback as to where your
body and the ball are in space forcing you to rely on proprioceptive
input form joints and muscles.
STATIC EXERCISE BALL EXERCISES
exercise ball exercise is one that requires you to
maintain a certain position for an extended period of time to emphasize
endurance in the spinal stabilizers. When you are beginning an exercise
ball exercise program you might hold each position for 5 -10 seconds.
To progress these hold each for longer periods, up to 30-45 seconds. A
good measure of how long to hold a position is technique failure. As
soon as you lose your neutral position, the benefits of the exercise
are gone. Take a rest. As your endurance improves, you will only need
to do say 5 repetitions held for 45 seconds each. An example of a
static ball exercise is the
DYNAMIC EXERCISE BALL EXERCISES
exercise ball exercise require you to move while maintaining
a stable trunk or core. An exercise progression for this type of
exercises is to perform more repetitions. Use technique failure as a
measure of how many
repetitions to perform. Perform as many repetitions as you can before
your technique fails. Then rest. Once you can perform 20 or
repetitions before failure then it is probably time to move on to a
more challenging exercise. An example of a dynamic exercise is the
EXERCISE BALL EXERCISES INVOLVING LIMB MOVEMENTS
Exercise progression for these exercises can be made by simply adding
ankle and wrist weights. Make sure you are able to perform 20-30
repetitions of the exercise without weight easily enough before adding
the extra resistance. Remember that you are increasing the
challenge to your core stability as well as your prime movers and you
will not be able to use as much weight on the ball as you do a bench.
An example using limb movements is the
leg raise exercise.
fundamental rules of exercise progression for training the core are the
as those for training any other segment in the kinetic chain.
Start simple, progressing to more complex exercises only after you
master the basic movements of each exercise.
The training environment should begin with controlled,
low-neuromuscular-demand exercises and then proceed to less-controlled,
more proprioceptively challenging environments. Start an exercise with
a spotter or someone to help support the ball while you get accustomed
to the movement patterns involved.
Force to High Force:
Train with low resistance controlled movements until you can
master the exercise. A progression in exercise is to add light wrist or
with exercises in a stationary posture, then as those movements are
mastered, add more dynamic movements. Practice bridging for sustained
periods prior to trying the hamstring curls. Practice the reverse
bridge and hold it before trying leg raises.
to Sitting to Kneeling to Standing (two legs) to Standing (one leg):
and sitting are proprioceptively less challenging than
Standing on one leg is proprioceptively more challenging than standing
on two legs.
Core exercise programs should be tri-planar, multi-dimensional and
proprioceptively enriched. Because the core consists of
slow-twitch muscles, it can be trained
daily. However, it is important to vary the movement and type of
loading to prevent over training and avoid possible injury.
How do you know where to start?
Try the Active Straight Leg Raise Test.
Start with the