Want to Chisel Your Middle?
by Angie Miller
Try these Core Crushers on the Ball
Last week I shared two stability ball exercises, wall squats and push-ups (visit blog here). Now you’re ready for some new challenges. The benefit of stability balls is that they’re efficient and fun! They offer controlled instability, meaning that they are unstable, but you can safely control them within the training environment. The instability forces you to use all of your resources, your core and postural muscles to stay balanced on the ball and your body on alert, physically and mentally.
Today’s exercises are a little more complex, but with proper modifications everyone can do them. One is a Ball Bass, and the other is a Ball Pike. Each video is less than two minutes. Spend ten minutes a day and you’ll be amazed what a difference it can make. Be prepared to improve your posture and balance, and move in a purposeful manner. Add the exercises from last week, and you’ll have a short twenty-minute workout you can put together or mix and match to make your own.
The Ball Pass using the stability ball is a fun, dynamic exercise to train the core.
2-3 sets of 8-12 reps will keep your center strong and your workout interesting.
How to Do: Lay on the floor with the ball between your feet. Exhale as you flex forward from and grab the ball with your hands, inhale as you extend long through your torso and raise the ball above your head. Exhale as you flex forward and return the ball between your feet, inhale as you extend long again. Keep repeating this pattern.
Safety Tips: Be sure to keep your center strong and your head in line with your spine. Avoid rounding your shoulders. Use your breath as your guide.
Stability Ball Pikes are a great way to train your core while challenging your balance. The exercise is interesting and fun. I offer a modification, so be sure to start with that then work your way up. Try to do 5-8 ball pikes, then rest and go for a second set.
How to do: Kneel next to the ball and walk out so the ball is under your feet and your hands are directly below your chest, or a little wider than shoulder distance for extra support. Keep your center strong, engaging your abdominals and lower back. Inhale, and then exhale as you lift your hips and raise your bottom toward the ceiling into an inverted V position. Inhale back to center and repeat.
Safety Tips: When you come back to center, be sure to secure your abdominals and lower back so you don’t let your hips drop and your back sway.
Thanks for working out with me! Have fun with these exercises and enjoy the results!
Best in Health~
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com