Workout Wednesday

2 Evidenced-based Core Exercises to Start Your Next Workout!

Abdominal Roll-Out on Swiss Ball

To perform the abdominal roll-out begin in a kneeling position with both knees flexed at 90 degrees and hip-width apart on top of a floor mat. Place a Swiss Ball in front of the knee and hip region, draw-in belly button towards spine, extend elbows, flex shoulders to about 30 degrees, and place both hands on the apex (top center) of the Swiss Ball. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis position, roll out on to the Swiss Ball until forearms are centered on top of Swiss Ball and shoulders flexed about 90 to 100 degrees. Tighten abdominal muscles and roll back to the starting position. (Escamilla et al., 2010)

The prime movers for the abdominal roll-out are the rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, and transverse abdominis. They produce an isometric contraction to stabilize the spine and prevent excessive arch in the low back. The latissimus dorsi performs an eccentric contraction as the arms are moved overhead during the roll-out motion, and performs a concentric contraction as the arms lower and the body returns to the starting position. The shoulders, hips, and triceps are active as stabilizers throughout the motion.

Abdominal Pike on Swiss Ball

To perform an abdominal pike begin in a prone position with both lower legs (at mid-shaft of the tibia) on the apex (top center) of a Swiss Ball and hands planted on the floor in alignment with  the shoulders (resembling a push-up position). Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis position, slowly roll ball inferiorly towards the dorsal part of the feet as the hips are raised. The hips flex to about 90 to 100 degrees and knees remain in full extension. The body resembles an upside-down “V” position. Slowly roll ball superiorly to lower leg region as the hips are lowered, extended, and returned to the starting position. (Escamilla et al., 2010)

The prime movers for the abdominal pike are the rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, and transverse abdominis. Like the abdominal roll-out mentioned above, these muscles also produce an isometric contraction to stabilize the spine and prevent excessive arch in the low back. The triceps brachii stabilize the elbows and shoulders while the serratus anterior stabilizes the thorax (or trunk region). The quadricep muscles (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius, and vastus lateralis) and the adductor muscles (adductor magnus, adductor longus, and adductor brevis) stabilize the lower extremities, maintaining a straight-leg position and legs centered on top of the Swiss Ball throughout the exercise’s duration. Further, the hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas, rectus femoris, sartorius, pectineus, and tensor fascia latae) produce a concentric contraction to perform hip flexion and raise the hips. When the hips are lowered, the hip flexor muscles produce an eccentric contraction as the gluteus maximus produces a concentric contraction to extend the hip flexor muscles.

 

 

 

 

Reference

Escamilla, R.F., Lewis, C., Bell, D., Bramblet, G., Daffron, J., Lambert, S.,… Andrews, J.R. (2010). Core muscle activation during swiss ball and traditional abdominal exercises. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 40(5), 265-276.

 

 

About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering people of all ages (young "kiddos" to the active aging "baby boomers") about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, and rehabilitation aide—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, and corporate wellness program facilitation.
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