Pilates Ball & Abdominal Exercises

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Crunches, jackknives and other abdominal exercises work even better with the aid of a Pilates ball. See how this common exercise tool can enhance your workout in this free video on abdominal fitness.

Part of the Video Series: Abdominal Fitness
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Jason Morgan with Muscleworx Fitness in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Today, we're going to discuss abdominal exercises using a Pilates ball. There's a ton of different exercises that you can do for your abdominal area utilizing a Pilates ball, or an exercise ball. Two of the most effective exercises that will target the entire abdominal region are as follows: The standard exercise ball or Pilates ball crunch. We're going to perform this by first starting with a ball that's the correct size for your height. You want to sit on the ball, roll down so that your hips come slightly off the ball, and the small of your back is supported. Rest your head in your fingertips, so that you're not pulling on your neck. Squeeze the abdomen in towards the spine, so that your shoulder girdle comes up off the ball and towards the ceiling. You want to come up about 30 degrees, lower, and repeat. These abdominal movements are best done slow and controlled. The second movement we're going to perform is going to target more of the lower abdominal region, but also hit the rest of the core through stabilization. It's kind of a stability ball or Pilates ball jackknife. We're going to start in a modified push up position, with our feet elevated on the ball. Hands down on the floor, underneath our shoulders. You're going to pull your knees towards your chest, so that you create a crunch, or an inverted crunch-like movement. Extend the legs back out, and repeat for the required number of repetitions. Please remember, these tips are just to provide basic information. Always consult with your health care provider and a fitness consultant before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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