Our Stability Ball Workout Series continues this week with back extensions and lumbar stretches. Here is a quick refresher on our previous moves and combinations:
Week one: Ball squats and forward extensions.
Week two: Rotations and pectoral and hip flexor stretches.
Week three: Sit-ups and back stretches.
Week four: Ball push-ups and spinal stretching.
Movement One: Back extension.
What it does: Strengthens the spinal extensors, rhomboids, and lumbar.
How to do it: Lie on the ball with the ball under your hips, abs, and rib cage and with your legs open slightly wider than your hips. Inhale and lower your head and extend arms in front as if you are diving. Exhale, and open your arms out and around as if you are pushing through water. Extend the arms to the sides and lift the chest, extending your upper thoracic spine and head. Inhale, and release yourself forward. Exhale, and lift back up with the arms around to the side. Repeat eight times.
Movement Two: Spinal extension and rotation.
What it does: Strengthens the rotators and lumbar lats.
How to do it: From the spinal extension in Movement One, keep the arms up and wide like the letter “T,” then rotate to the right and exhale. Inhale and rotate to the left; exhale on the return to center. Repeat the side to side rotations slowly, eight times.
Movement Three: Lumbar and spinal stretch.
What it does: Stretches the back extensors and lower lumbar.
How to do it: From the “T” position in Movement Two, lower your arms and wrap them around the ball. Bend the knees carefully to the floor. Inhale and exhale 3-5 times slowly to stretch.