Exercise Ball Instructions
ball instructions must include a description of spinal and
pelvic neutral position. When your spine is in the neutral
position, joints are not stressed, ligaments are not stretched, and
muscles are at the length to maintain this position most efficiently.
do I find my Neutral Position?
is Neutral Position?
All joints have a given range of motion. Some joints move more than
others, and among people the same joint will move more in some
individuals than others. Neutral position is a midway point between one
extreme and the other of a joint's range of motion. It is typically at
this point that muscles around the joint are the strongest and the
joint capsule and supporting ligaments are most relaxed.
- The position of your neck depends on the position of all the
intervertebral joints. You don't want some joints hyperextended or
hyperflexed while you do your exercises.
Your neck should remain in a neutral position while
exercise ball. The position in lying should remain the same
is in standing relative to surrounding shoulders. If you are sitting up
straight with your head balanced over your
shoulders, try and touch the ceiling with the apex of your head. This
will bring your
over your shoulders and your chin back
will feel your neck get longer. This assists in placing your neck in a
- When performing exercises in which the trunk is suspended between
2 points of support (ie. elbows and toes) it is important
you maintain a neutral pelvic position and that your back does not sag
in order to prevent injury. If you cannot do this, find a
rudimentary exercise for now and progress as you can tolerate. It is
imperative to maintain the "neutral position" throughout the exercise
ball exercises such that the core stabilizing muscles do not disengage
allowing hyperextension or hyperflexion during loading.
The neutral position will not be exactly the same for everyone, but is
dependent on any existing pathology, musculoskeletal restrictions, or
symptoms. If you are having difficulty finding neutral position consult
your physical therapist, or exercise instructor.
do I find my neutral position?
While lying on your back with knees bent, envision your pelvis as a
clock. Your belly button is 12:00 and your pubic bone is 6:00.
Tilt your pelvis so that your belly button (12:00) moves
the floor, and 6:00 moves away from the floor. Repeat this slowly 10
times. You will find that there is a point within this range that feels
most comfortable - this is your neutral position. This position is best
maintained during all daily activities and especially when doing
exercise ball exercises.
You stabilize your spine in this neutral position by contracting your
transversus abdominus. This is achieved through something
"abdominal hollowing" whereby your
navel is pulled in and up toward
your spine. Once this is mastered, you are able to try the rudimentary
ball instructions to activate the transversus abdominus:
There are different positions
you can assume to achieve this. For our purposes you can
start in four point kneeling. Our goal is to isolate the transversus
abdominus and internal oblique muscles. Your lumbar spine
should be in a neutral position, head looking at the floor, and ears
aligned to your shoulders. Hips should be above the knees,
shoulders directly above the hands. Hands and knees should be
shoulder width apart.
breath normally, concentrate on your navel area, and pull that region
in and up. This movement uses transversus abdominus and
internal obliques independent of the rectus abdominus. This
exercise is useful for re-educating the stabilizing function of the
abdominals when the large rectus abdominus has become the dominant
muscle of the group.
This abdominal hollowing skill must be mastered in lying, standing, and
bending positions, and controlled in conjunction with a pelvic tilt,
and later with limb movements. Only then can you begin more
spinal stabilization exercises.
do I know if I
have enough abdominal strength to perform
instructions allow you to test the strength of your abdominals
with the active straight leg raise test.
for using a ball.
What size of exercise ball to use.
little about the anatomy.
What is core stability anyway?
What does it mean if it's unstable?
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