Crunch With A Ball

Add a little more oomph to your regular abdominal crunch by using a small ball held between the knees. The ball could be a small rubber ball, soccer ball or a pilates ball (these are weighted with sand). If you don’t have anything like that you can use a folded towel. Lying on your back, with your feet flat and knees bent, place the ball or towel between your knees. With your hands behind your head, keep the elbows wide and the lower back pressed into the floor. As you exhale lift your shoulders as far off the floor using your ab muscles AND squeeze the ball with your legs at the same time. As you lower back to the floor, release the squeeze on the ball and inhale. Repeat this 20-30 times. The extra squeeze of the ball forces the contraction of the abdominals all the way down their length right into the pelvic floor (its all connected). This will help strengthen the lower abs and pelvic floor muscles (important for urinary continence) and will also tone the inner thighs.

 

Notes: Keep breathing throughout. Inhale as you lower your shoulders and exhale as you lift the shoulders. Keep the belly button pulled into the spine. Imagine a tennis ball between your chin and chest while looking at a spot just past your knees to avoid straining your neck.

Harder: Do more reps; use a medicine ball (weighted); lift your feet off the floor but keep your knees over your hips (the further from your chest, the harder as you need to use more of your lower abs to stabilize).

 

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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