Core Training Exercise – Swiss Ball Leg Lowering

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

This core training exercise is a tough one because it challenges your hamstring flexibility and your core strength at the same time.

It’s also more effective at improving your core function because it teaching your to stabilize your core while your legs are “scissoring,” that is one leg moving forward while the other moves backwards – just like walking or running.

So, kinda’ important, huh?

This exercise is simple in principle, but is far more challenging than it looks.

Here’s How to Do It:

First, Get a Swiss ball. Lie down and place the ball on your tummy.

Here’s the safest way to do this to avoid low back pain …
Start with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. [We call this the “crook lying position” in the biz.]

Bring one knee (still bent!) up toward the ball so that your thigh is pressing against the ball. THEN bring your other knee up so that both thighs are now pressing against the ball. THEN straighten both legs.

Breathe normally as you use your arms to press the ball against your thighs while also pressing your thighs against the ball. The pressure should be firm but not enough to alter your breathing or cause undue tension in your neck or shoulders. Got it?

Now, keeping your top leg straight and gently pressing into the ball, lower the opposite leg toward the floor. The trick is to go low enough to challenge your core stability without increasing the arch in your low back.

At the end of your set (we tend to do 10-20 reps depending on the client and their exercise history), you can simply bend both knees then bring your feet down to the floor.


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