Everyone, from the sedentary desk worker to the competitive athlete
needs core stability, whether for correct posture and general back health
or to optimize athletic performance. This exercise requires you to
target the deep core musculature to maintain a neutral spine throughout
the movement and builds core endurance – both integral to good posture
throughout the day and generating power from the legs and arms in sport.
Set Up: Laying on your back, extend your arms and legs towards the ceiling.
Push into the stability ball with your knees and hands and ‘brace’ the
core (to brace the core, imagine someone is going to punch you in the
stomach or cough a couple of times and you will feel the core slightly
Movement: Slowly lower one leg to the ground and simultaneously lower
the opposite arm towards the ground, return to starting position and
alternate sides. Throughout the movement, ensure the spine does not
move. The core should be braced to maintain neutral position, so that the low back does not hyperextend and arc away from the ground. If you are unable to maintain a neutral spine, reduce the difficulty by only dropping one leg or one arm. As you get stronger, you can then progress to dropping one leg and the opposite arm at the same time.
Start with 10 repetitions per side and build up to 15. Remember, the
slower you move, the tougher it is and the better core control you are exerting.