Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger. Spine. What is the Ball Workout?

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1 Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger What is the Ball Workout? Spine The ball workout uses a large air-filled ball to exercise at home. It is fun to use and suitable for all levels of fitness. The exercise s chosen here are specifically aimed to improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. This will ultimately enhance your overall core strength by continually training the deep stabilizing muscles that support your back. Safety Precautions Starting a new exercise programme is daunting for many people but be honest with your self and proceed safely. You will then get the best from exercising without any further risk to your health. Make sure your exercise environment is free of clutter and you have a clean floor and non-slip surface e.g.. Yoga mat and wear suitable and comfortable clothing. Exercising safely is important. Make sure you always start with a gentle warm up lasting for at least 5 minutes and finish your workout with a cool-down. Remember to breathe, do not hold your breath. Do not work through pain and STOP! Make sure you drink plenty of fluid before and after exercise. TIPS Build your strength gradually Try to put as much effort as possible Concentrate on what you are doing Reps & Sets A repetition (rep) is one complete cycle of exercise from the start position, through the whole sequence of movements and back to start position A set is the total number of reps you should complete continuously without rest.

2 Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger Spine It is very important to warm up before attempting any form of exercise. The purpose of warming up is to prepare the body for the exercising to come. During a warm up the body temperature and heart rate are raised, muscles are warmed, oxygen consumption is increased and the joints are loosened. All these factors reduce the possibility of injury. Neutral Spine This refers to the natural curves of the spine. A good exercise for improving postural awareness. Try avoiding slouching your shoulders, tilting your pelvis or arching your back. Reps 1 Ab-Engager: Abs to Back The following two positions will help activate the postural muscles that support the back. Engages the deep abdominal muscles. Place your hands like a fan across the lower part of your stomach. Breathe in, and as you breathe out pull your stomach away from your hands. Release Reps 5-6 Ab-Engager: Ribs to Hips Activate your oblique muscles that control your rib cage and pelvis. Breathe in to prepare, then breathe out as you slide your ribs down towards your hips. Breathe in as you return to a neutral spine position. Reps 4-5

3 Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger Spine It is very important to warm up before attempting any form of exercise. The purpose of warming up is to prepare the body for the exercising to come. During a warm up the body temperature and heart rate are raised, muscles are warmed, oxygen consumption is increased and the joints are loosened. All these factors reduce the possibility of injury. Rainbow This stretch will increase the flexibility in your torso. It works your waist muscles and helps alleviate backache by gently lengthening your spine. Sit upright, keeping your buttocks anchored on the ball and your knees over your feet. Pull your navel in towards your spine. Raise one arm over your head and rest opposite hand on your thigh. Lift and lengthen towards the ceiling, then reach across and over as far as comfortable. Allow the hand resting on your thigh to shift naturally and rest your elbow. Reps 4-5

4 Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger Spine spine strong flexible and healthy. Supaman The following four exercises help to establish muscular strength and control in the back, lower stomach and buttocks. Basic (Steps 1 & 2) Intermediate (Step 3) and Advanced (Step 4) Step 1 Lie over the ball on all fours, with hands and knees positioned on the floor. Pull your navel in towards your spine and keep your head in line with your spine. Lift your arm straight in front of you, without lifting your shoulder blades upwards towards your ears. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat on the other side. Step 2 From the same starting position slowly extend one leg in a straight line behind you. Try not to use any sideways hip movement but instead use your buttock muscles to lift the leg. Reps 4-8

5 Exercise Ball Workout for Stronger Spine spine strong flexible and healthy. Supaman The following four exercises help to establish muscular strength and control in the back, lower stomach and buttocks. Basic (Steps 1 & 2) Intermediate (Step 3) Step 3 Lie on the ball as previous. Using the opposite arm to the lifting leg, combine the previous arm and leg lifts. Lift the leg only at hip level and raise the opposite arm only at ear level. Hold this position for about 5 seconds and then swap sides. Reps 4

6 Body Wave This is a very good core exercise it prepares your spine for the work ahead by mobilizing your back and releasing tension. It strengthens your back and buttocks. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet resting on the ball. Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Breathing out, pull your naval in towards your spine and curve your hips of the floor. Pressing your feet in to the ball, roll up slowly just until you reach the upper mid-back area. Hold this position for a second then slowly lower as you breathe out. Make sure you make slow but controlled movements. Caution! To avoid putting stress on your neck do not push up too high. Reps 4-5

7 Body Bow This exercise helps with strengthening and toning your back and neck muscles. Lie over the ball on your stomach, with your knees bent on the floor. Touch your hands to the side of your head (Avoid clasping your hands behind your head). Keep your eye line toward the floor. Breathe out as you lift your chest off the ball. Keep your shoulders and neck in line with your back as you extend your body. Lower to the start position. Caution! Keep your chin tucked in to avoid neck injuries and do not lift too high. Reps

8 Advanced Body Bow Lie on the ball as before and keep your legs apart and press into your feet for support. Place your hands on the side of your head (not on your neck). Keep your chin tucked in, raise your body slightly and then lower back to the starting position. Keep the movements slow. Avoid tipping your head up-keep your chin tucked in. Reps

9 Basic Abs Lie with your legs on the ball bent at 90 degrees, the ball should be near your buttocks. Touch the side of your head and breathe in to prepare. Breathe out as you raise your head and shoulders of the floor. As you lift up, pull your navel in towards your spine and slide your ribs towards your hips. Hold for a second and go back to starting position. Avoid tensing your shoulders and avoid pulling your neck. Reps

10 Ab Twists Lie with your legs on the ball bent at 90 degrees, the ball should be near your buttocks. Touch the side of your head and breathe in to prepare. Raise your head and shoulders from the floor and rotate your upper body, starting from the right shoulder. Hold for a second and go back to starting position. Dao the same with the other side. Avoid tensing your shoulders and avoid pulling your neck. Reps

11 Abs Sit on the ball, then walk your feet out until the ball is supporting your lower back. Your hips should be shoulder width apart with your knees over your heels. Place your hands to the side of your head. Lift your shoulders and slide your ribs down towards your hips contracting your stomach muscles. Hold for a second and then lower to starting position. Make sure your lower back is supported by the ball. Do not curl right up. Reps

12 Abs Sit on the ball, then walk your feet out until the ball is supporting your lower back. Your hips should be shoulder width apart with your knees over your heels. Place your hands to the side of your head. Breathing out lift your shoulders and rotate your upper body, starting from the right shoulder. Hold for a second and back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Make sure your lower back is supported by the ball. Do not curl right up. Reps

13 Exercise ideas taken from Fitball Workout by Jan Endacott published by Bounty Books 2005 Exercises recommended by the Physiotherapy department at Nuffiled Health Tees Hospital. Photographs taken in association with Nuffield Heath Tees Hospital, Physiotherapy department 2012.

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