Welcome to the final edition of From the Trainer for the year 2013! The holiday season can be your worst nightmare concerning fitness. Excuses are easy to find, but the ten pounds you’ve gained over the previous month will be harder to lose. What’s the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” There’s definitely something to that idiom. I believe prevention is the best medicine rather than taking medicine for prevention. Catch my drift? Be strong and stay focused on what matters. Next to family and friends, your health should be one of the most important priorities in your life. Unhealthy = Unhappy.
I hope this column helps you become or stay healthy. Each exercise provides an opportunity to improve your health. Take advantage of it. I call this month’s exercise the Fit Ball Knee Tuck. It’s designed to strengthen your core, but can offer much more. Stability, flexibility, balance and endurance are all factors that come into play.
Grab a medium-sized ball (65cm) and a mat if necessary. The start position is shown in Figure 1. There are several ways to get there, but I suggest you kneel behind the ball and then lay your stomach and hips over top of the ball. Roll yourself forward by walking on the hands until the ball is underneath your shins. If you have a workout partner, have him or her hold the ball still while you put your legs on top. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart for increased stability.
Next, roll the Fit Ball forward by tucking your knees toward the chest. Lift your hips to further engage the abdominal muscles. Figure 2 shows the correct position. Notice how high the hips are compared to the start position. At this point, your feet should be the only thing in contact with the ball. The majority of your body weight is shifted onto the hands giving your shoulders a workout too. After a brief pause, slowly roll the ball back to the start position. Balance is obviously the major factor during this exercise so keep focused. Try three sets of 10 reps with a one-minute rest break in between.
My challenge from last month still stands: Incorporate exercise as a part of your life even during the turbulent times (i.e. holiday season). Have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year!
~ Written by: Ryan Unverzagt