Roll-ups focus on developing strength and stability in the muscles that flex the hip and stabilize the lower core. Beginners should perform these exercises with their elbows on the floor and progress to the straight arm roll-ups depicted below.
- Assume a push-up position with arms straight, hands on the floor and knees on top of a SB
- Set the abs, tuck (pull) the knees under the chest and pull the SB forward.
- Roll ball back to return to the starting position, and repeat.
- Keep the back flat and head up on the way up and maintain a straight line from shoulders to feet on the way back to the starting position.
Roll-outs can be performed using a roller, barbell with rolling plates or stability ball (SB). Beginners should start with SB roll-out and gradually progress to an ab-roller or barbell roll-outs.
- Kneel on the floor or mat facing a SB at arm’s length.
- Place fists of both hands on a SB with thumbs up.
- Set your abs, push your hips out and roll forward on the ball until you reach full extension.
- Keep a straight line between your knees and shoulders and don’t let you head sag or look upward.
- Keep elbows nearly straight throughout exercise
- Pull with your hands and return to the starting position.
- Movement can be made slightly easier by performing exercise on a larger ball or harder by working on a smaller ball.
Bridge (Straight leg)
Bridges work your glutes and to a lesser extent your hamstrings and lower back. Beginners should start with knees bent and feet on the floor and gradually progress to the straight-leg bridges depicted below.
- Start by lying face-up on the floor with your arms at your sides and your heels on a stability ball.
- Keeping your legs straight and your toes pulled toward your shins, contract your glutes to raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from ankles to shoulders.
- Pause at the top for a two count, return to start and repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
- Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels, keeping your torso engaged throughout the movement.
This is a good transverse plane exercise that develops stability and strength in the muscles that rotate the trunk.
- Sit on a SB with your feet flat on the floor and lean back at a 45-degree angle.
- Hold a MD ball or weight plate in front of the chest with the arms extended.
- Slowly tuck your tailbone under, curling the spine and walk your feet away from the SB until your head, shoulders and upper back are resting on the ball.
- Your knees should be bent to 90 degrees and your thighs and torso should be at or near parallel to the floor.
- Your knees should be hip-width apart and your feet should be facing forward with your weight evenly distributed through both feet.
- Set the abs, pull your shoulders down and back to make firm contact with the SB.
- Keeping your arms fully extended over your chest, slowly twist right as far as possible, then twist left as far as possible.
- Keep your hips and trunk parallel with the floor and avoid the tendency to let your hips drop down.
- Push your feet into the floor and hips towards the ceiling to help maintain stability and control.