08 July, 2011
AB Exercises for a Bosu Ball
Bosu balls are an effective exercise tool that can add variety and intensity to almost any exercise. The unstable surface adds a balance component that is important to aid in daily activities such as walking on uneven surfaces. Weak core muscles (including the muscles around your trunk and pelvis) can lead to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries, according to Harvard Medical School. Abdominal exercises are also essential for a well-rounded fitness routine.
Add intensity to a bicycle crunch by performing them on a Bosu ball. Begin by lying face up on the ball with the ball on the middle part of your back so that your upper and lower body are balanced. Place your hands behind your head and keep your elbows wide. Bring your right knee in towards your chest as you twist your torso to bring your left elbow in towards your knee. Repeat on the opposite arm and leg.
According to an article in "Shape" magazine, Bill Whiting, Ph.D. explains that correct exercise technique is essential for an exercise to be effective, so "you need to think about setting up each exercise correctly, then contracting your muscles and breathing properly as you're doing the moves."
A Bosu ball provides additional challenge to a plank because of its unstable surface. For a front plank, either side of the Bosu can be utilized. To use the dome side, place your forearms on top of the dome and balance either on your knees (for beginners) or on your toes (for advanced). Make sure that your body is in line from your head to your knees or toes. Flip the Bosu over and hold onto the side handles while balancing on your toes for another effective plank exercise.
Extended Kick Crunch
Incorporate your whole body with an extended kick crunch. Begin by lying face up on the Bosu ball with the middle of your back on the ball and your feet on the ground so that you are balanced comfortably. Extend your arms over your head and contract your abdominal muscles. From here, bring your extended arms to your sides while at the same time straightening and extending one leg up. Repeat with the other leg.
A double crunch on the Bosu ball requires balance and stability, which allows the activation of more muscles in your core. To perform the exercise, lie face up on the Bosu ball so that you are balanced on top. Bring your knees up to a 90 degree angle by bending at the knee and place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide. Drop your hips so that they wrap around the ball while at the same time dropping your shoulders and head. From here, crunch up with your torso and lift your hips up simultaneously. Repeat.
Supine Open and Tuck
Supine open and tucks are a challenging and effective exercise on the Bosu ball. Sit on top of the dome side of the ball and place your hands slightly behind and to the side of your body. Lift your feet off of the ground, bringing your legs towards your chest, keeping your knees slightly bent so that your upper and lower body create a "V" shape. Keeping your back straight and your neck in a neutral position, extend your legs out while at the same time leaning your torso back. Return to the starting position. Make sure to contract your abdominal muscles throughout the exercise by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
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