Monday, April 30, 2007

Previous Exercise of the Day


The ball cross crunch is one of the most effective exercises available for the core (the doughnut around the midsection - abs, himp, butt, pelvis). This is also the BEST core exercise for anyone suffering from low back pain. Recent studies have shown that people who suffer from low back pain tend to stress the verebrae of teh lumbar spine while performing core exercises on the floor. A stability ball curves the lumbar spine into a neutral position and supports it throughout the movement of the exercise. The cross crunch works both the rectus abdominus (the 6 pack area) and the transverse ab( perpendicular to the 6 pk)

INSTRUCTIONS: Sit tall on the stability ball with feet flat on the floor, knees bent to 90 degrees and shoulders back. Contract your abdomen as if you are trying on a tight pair of jeans - KEEP them like that throughout the movement. Slowly walk your feet forward, laying back, until the stability ball is under your lower back. Place your hands behind your head. Keep your feet flat on the floor to prevent slippage, and keep your abs contracted. Looking toward the ceiling, inhale. As you exhale slowly lift your shoulders toward the ceiling -ONLY until you feel your belly contract further. (you are not trying to sit all the way up). Twist one way (as if throwing a punch across your body) then twist the other way. Inhale as you release your shoulders back toward the ball.

BE CAREFUL OF THESE COMMON MISTAKES: Not keeping you belly contracted throughout whole movements Keep you shoulders rolled back and down away from your ears Keep your feet flat on the floor with the knees bent at 90 for stability Keep your elbows wide throughout - we're not trying to decapitate ourselves. :)


Repetitions: 15 - 18
This is the amount of times you should repeat the exercise in a row.

Sets: 2 - 3
This is how many times you should come back to the exercise after a break or another exercise is completed.

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