Leg Raise and Cross with the Exercise Ball

Starting Position
  • You start this ball exercise by lying supine on the floor with your heels on the ball.
  • Arms are straight and out to the sides of your body.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles through the abdominal hollowing exercise.
  • Lift your hips toward the ceiling so that you are straight from your heels to your shoulders as in the bridging exercise.
  • Lift your left leg straight up as in the leg raise exercise.
  • Lower your left leg slowly to the ground while keeping your hips up.
  • Don't let your hips sag as you lower your left leg as far as you can.
  • Bring your left leg up and back across your body and take it down as low to the ground as you can on the right side.
  • You will need to rotate your right leg as you do this.
  • Repeat this with the right leg.
Prime Movers
  • Abdominal obliques, hip flexors, hamstrings, back extensors.
Physio Tips
  • Doing this exercise with palms up increases the work done by your rear shoulders, arms and upper back.
  • Doing this exercise with palms down preferentially works the front of the shoulders and chest.
  • Start with smaller movements until you get a feel for how far you can go without falling over.
  • Bringing your arms closer to your trunk will make this exercise more challenging by decreasing the size of your base of support.
  • Try the Front Spin
Once you get into the straight leg raise position, start by making small movements to the side with the raised leg - just 4 inches one side then 4 inches to the other side. Over time increase these movements gradually. You may not feel comfortable rotating your trunk while in this position, so don't. This exercise requires strength in your abdominals as well as control.

This is a very advanced ball exercise as it forces you to maintain spinal stability as you move limbs and rotate your trunk. I recommend you master the exercises listed above prior to attempting this ball exercise.

If you've come this far and have already mastered the bridging, leg raise, and hip roll and still find this difficult, try letting some air out of your ball or propping it up against the wall to start until you get the hang of it.

1ballsRepeat this ball exercise 5 times.

2ballsRepeat this ball exercise 10 times.

3ballsRepeat this ball exercise 15 times.

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