Oblique Abdominal Exercise With Exercise Ball
Submitted by: Dr. Alan Weidner
The primary objective of this exercise is to increase the tone and strength of the oblique abdominal muscles. We have previously discussed the toning of the main (rectus) abdominal muscles. This exercise is very similar, but with a little twist.
Like the main abdominal exercise, you prepare for this exercise by sitting in a normal folding style or kitchen chair. You then place your exercise ball (also known as a therapy ball) on your lap. If the exercise ball is properly sized for your body, the ball should allow you to extend your arms over the top of the ball without without too much upward deflection. Now separate your knees about 8–10 inches to help stabilize you while doing the exercise. You may be surprised to know that a lot of folks fall off the exercise ball the first time they use them because they are not used to balancing in a seated position.
Now, place both of your arms over the ball keeping your elbows
extended (which means straight) and your arms shoulders-width apart. With your arms over the ball you are ready to start the exercise and strenghten your oblique abdominal muscles.
Step One: Take a deep breath in.
Step Two: While slowly letting your breath out, try to touch the left elbow and the right knee. Of course, you won't be able to touch, but the idea is to move the left elbow and right knee toward each other. Just keep the arm and elbow locked straight; now raise the right thigh and knee up on an angle toward your left elbow. Try to steadily breathe out the entire time you are squeezing the ball.
Step Three: Rest for two or three breath cycles.
Step Four: Repeat on the opposite side.
Step Five: Repeat 5 – 8 times for each side.
(If you would like to see pictures of this exercise, please go to www.home-rehab-supply.com and click on the "Exercise Tips" section.)
This abdominal exercise should be comfortable for the low back.
If you encounter shoulder pain, you can try bending your elbows
This exercise should be preceded and followed by the Abdominal
Pre/Post exercise stretch to warm up the tissues and prevent injury.
Warning: Therapeutic exercises should not significantly increase pain during the exercise. Increased pain or symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition and you should consult your health care professional for guidance.
About the Author: Dr. Alan Weidner graduated summa cum laude from Southern California University of Health Sciences. His website, www.home-rehab-supply.com , offers home exercise help, including exercise balls and rolls.
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