Forsythia's Got Balls

This is a Ball pattern from www.turnstep.com. (pattern 9565)

I recently bought some 99 cent play balls to use with my classes. Here are a few ways we use them for ab work.

SET I

On the floor, on your back, knees bent (classic pre-crunch posture), place the ball between your knees and squeeze it to hold it there for the whole set.

SET II

Same starting position as set I

Repeat as the members wish (we usually do 8 reps)

SET III

Same starting position as set I

Repeat as needed. We started with four sets, now do eight. Some of my older members alternate their lifts with just holding a pelvic tilt for the 8 count, otherwise their necks get a little sore.

SET IV

Same as set one, but each lift is done as a single count up and down, making each a 16 count instead of a 32. Depending on the speed of your music, you may encourage them to stop short of a full return to the floor...

SET V

Starting position: Lie on the back with legs extended towards the ceiling and the ball between the ankles. Legs are straight but knees are soft. Hands are placed palm down under the buttocks to help maintain neutral spine.

Part 1. Push the bottoms of the feet towards the ceiling while contracting the abs, up (1), back to starting, (2). During the contraction phase, talking should be nearly imposible; this is a good test to see if they are contracting while lifting or just faking it. Repeat for 8.

Part 2. Bring the knees back to the chest, (1) and back up to starting, (2). Repeat for 8. Once again, contract the abs as the knees come back.

Repeat parts 1 and 2 again, as you wish.

We would love to be able to afford big stability balls at our little facility. Until then, we do what we can with the smaller ones. These ab exercises work without a ball as well, but keeping the ball between the knees or ankles also works adductors (something hard to include in a step workout) and the stabilizing muscles of the entire torso. Participants in shorts may need to towel off their lotion, or that ball just squirts right out...

A note of interest: I bought all red balls, except for one purple one, which I intended to be mine... which they fight over in a good-natured way... (adults!) so I award the purple one to the one who earned it by giving the cardio portion their all... hey, whatever works!



Added by Forsythia at 9:26 AM on Friday, June 29, 2001 EDT. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: Upstate NY (USA)
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