Bridge on the Ball

This is a Ball pattern from (pattern 12576)

I teach an "alternative" class that combines yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, stability ball, core conditioning and resistance training. One of my favourite moves uses several muscle groups at once so it can be a very effective and efficient exercise when short of time. It can be done with or without weights. Breathing is important but if your participants find it's too much to think about, they can breath normally.

Part I:

Sitting on the ball, arms at sides, inhale to prepare.

Slow bicep curl as you exhale. Inhale and rotate wrists inward.

Exhale and begin to walkout as you slowly roll down the ball one vertebrae at a time - tailbone, lower back, mid back, shoulder blades. Arms are still held in the bicep curl with wrists inward. Head and neck are supported on the ball, hips are lifted but not too high. You are now in a bridge position.

Inhale as you bring your elbows outward preparing for a chest press. Exhale and press up slowly. Hold and inhale. Exhale and squeeze shoulder blades as you lower the arms (scapular retraction).

Continue chest press for up to 8 reps, slowly with control.

At this point you can roll back up to sitting or continue to part II.

Part II:

Remain in bridge position, feet about shoulder width apart. Inhale to prepare. Exhale and lower hips slowly to floor ("hip dips"). Inhale and push back to bridge slowly, pushing heels into floor working the hamstrings. Continue for up to 8 reps.

As a bonus, you can work the inner thighs by adding an inner thigh squeeze after you've done a hip dip. Just squeeze the knees slowly together and then release. So the sequence is dip, push back up, squeeze, release.

To complete the exercise, inhale to prepare then roll back up one vertebrae at a time as you exhale - head, neck, shoulder blades, mid back, lower back. Arms are still in bicep curl. Back in sitting position, inhale then slowly lower the arms to sides as you exhale.

Think of the muscles being worked here! Biceps, triceps, chest, upper back, abs, lower back, quads, hams, inner thighs - not bad! Play around with the sequencing or add some of your own moves. Above all, instruct your participants to do this slowly with control. Quality versus quantity!

Added by Anne at 8:02 PM on Thursday, January 2, 2003 EST. Add to favorites (view favorites)
From: Ottawa (Canada)
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