The essence of this exercise is about maintaining low ab engagement and contact of your low back on the mat even as your arms and legs move.
Prior to picking your feet up off of the floor, engage your transverse abdominus by drawing the belly button down toward your spine. In order to bring your low back in better contact with the mat, you are going to move your low spine and pelvis slightly to get into a position that we refer to as imprint (like your low back is imprinted onto the mat). To accomplish imprint, use the obliques to tip your pelvis posteriorly. Imagine that on the front of the body your abs are pulling your pubic bone up like it’s trying to connect to your ribs and on the opposite side of the body your low spine lengthens, low back coming into more contact with the mat.
- Maintain imprint prior to picking up your feet all the way through until your feet are on the floor again when finished.
- Balance a stability ball between your hands and your toes. It is okay if your knees are bent here.
- Slowly remove one hand and the opposite leg from the ball while continuing to balance it between the other two points.
- Keeping your arm long, raise it overhead while simultaneously lowering the opposite leg and working to straighten your knee if it isn’t already.
- Return both arm and leg to the ball and repeat with the opposite side.
Typically classified as an exercise for intermediate or advanced exercisers, this can easily be modified for beginners.
- The lower (more horizontal) your leg goes, the more challenging this exercise will be.
- The more you keep your leg on a diagonal, the less difficult. Higher diagonals will be easier than a lower diagonal.
- Beginners can begin by simply maintaining a strong ab connection with the abs pulling down and in imprint while keeping all four points in contact with the ball. To increase the challenge, lower the leg and arm only slightly off of the ball.
**If your low ribs or abs ever pop up toward the ceiling as your leg and arm lowers, choose a higher angle that you can maintain this abdominal connection throughout.**
Want help discovering an exercise plan for yourself that uses equipment you already have? Schedule a free consultation or call 651-895-0774.
Addie Kelzer is a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. She believes that by making fitness and good food practical, her clients will hold the power to positively change their health and the health of those closest to them.