Core Strength w/ ball

These are some good exercises for building core strength with a therapy ball.  As with any posted exercises, these are meant to remind you of exercises you learned at therapy.  They are not intended to be a “one size fits all” prescription.

Lower Abdominal Stabilization

Lie on the floor or bed with both knees bent.  Now tighten your lower abdominal muscles and try to pull them downward toward the table.  DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH! The key to this exercise is to relax your upper abdominals and breathe while you stabilize with the lower abs. Hold 10 seconds.  Relax and repeat x 5.  This type of stabilization of the lower abs should be used during all of the following exercises:

Bridging with Ball

Lie on the floor or bed with the swiss ball under your calves and your arms crossed over your chest.  Tighten your legs muscles nd lift your hips up off the table.  Hold 3 seconds and return to starting position.  Repeat x 15

Lower Trunk Rotation

With calves still on ball, rotate legs to one side until you feel  your abdominal muscles really working hard to keep you from rolling too far and off the ball.  Hold this position 3 seconds, then rotate the other direction and hold 3 more seconds.  repeat x 15.

Crunches

This is for the upper abs, so make sure your lower abs are firing properly and getting stronger before you start these.  Lift head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your low back in contact with the floor.  Hold 3 seconds, but DON’T hold your breath!  Repeat x 15

Knees to Chest

If you need something easy, this is it!

Starting with calves on the ball and knees straight, pull through the calves, while using your legs to roll the ball toward your hips.  The ball will roll toward you, and your heels will end up on the ball. Do not allow the ball to roll side to side.  Hold 3 seconds, and return to starting position.  Repeat x 15

Sit on ball and lean backward, bracing with lower abdominals.  Hold 3 seconds, then return to upright.  Repeat x 15. 

To progress the last exercise, raise arms in air, and lean back.  Remember to keep the lower abs tight.

Marching on ball

 While seated on the ball, march in place.  For more challenge, add arms to the marching.  Left arm up with right leg, and right arm up with left leg. 

Walk Outs

If you have good balance and aren’t afraid of falling, try walking your feet out away from the ball and leaning back.  Keep contact with the ball until you are in this “table” position.  Then walk back to a sitting position. 

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