Our Stability Ball Series featuring “stretch and strength combinations” continues! This week, we highlight ball crunches and back stretches. To catch up, visit our introductory, Week 1 post (touching on ball squats and forward extensions), followed by Week 2 (explaining rotations and pectoral and hip flexor stretches).
Movement One: Ball sit-up.
What it does: Strengthens the core.
How to do it: Place your mid and lower back onto the ball, so you are “sitting” on a bit of an angle. Put your hands behind your head and widen your elbows. Inhale, exhale and begin the sit-up, making sure not to strain your neck and drawing your navel to your spine. Inhale while lowering your back onto the ball again, stopping when the tip of shoulder blade touches the ball. Repeat 12 times.
Movement Two: Back stretch on the ball.
What it does: Stretches the upper thoracic spine, lumbar and pectoral muscles, and subscapularis.
How to do it: From your sit-up position, lower your arms to the side and carefully extend your legs straight in front of you while opening your chest. Inhale then exhale slowly, five times.