Stability Ball Knee Tuck
This month we are fortunate to have Fit 1 member, Kurt Bleuel demonstrating the exercise to notice. The stability ball knee tuck is a great compound exercise for the abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominis. This muscles runs down the front of the body from the pubic bone up to the sternum. The muscle is activated while doing crunches because it pulls the ribs and the pelvis in and curves the back. You may feel this muscle engage when you have a bad cough.
Begin in the all-fours position with your torso resting on the ball; your hands on the floor and aligned with your shoulders, and your feet flat on the floor. Lengthen your legs and stretch your heels to the back of the room.
Take a few deep breaths. Notice how your abdominals want to rest on the ball when you inhale.
Exhale and pull your abdominals away from the ball. Try to keep them pulled away even when you inhale. This is your abdominal engagement.
Once you have established your abdominal engagement, slowly walk your hands forward until your feet come off the floor. Continue walking out until the fronts of your thighs or knees are resting on the top of the ball in a plank position.
It is important to keep your ribcage knitted together and the abdominals strong in order to maintain a rigid torso. Your legs should be very active so that your entire body is straight as a board and aligned parallel to the floor.
Keep your shoulder blades pulling away from your shoulders and toward your hips. Elbows must be straight and hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your legs active.
Curling Phase: Exhale and slowly bend your knees towards your chest. The ball will roll forward as your knees tuck under your torso and your hips lift toward the ceiling.
NOTE: This brings your body into somewhat of a handstand position. Be aware of your shoulder strength and keep the elbows straight.
Ideally, your knees are under your hips, your hips are toward the ceiling and your shins are on top of the ball. Hold this position for a breath.
Lowering Phase: Inhale and straighten your legs, rolling the ball back the plank position.
MODIFICATION: If you are uncomfortable or feeling unsafe with your hips raised and shins on the ball, simply tuck your knees into your chest without lifting the hips.