From the Trainer – July Advice!
Welcome to another installment of From the Trainer. I hope that you are finding ways to be more active this summer. Take advantage of the hiking and biking trails, play with your kids at the park, swim at the pool, or simply walk your pets. Keep moving and I’m sure the hot weather will remind you to hydrate!
This month’s exercise is the FitBall Pushup. There are two ways to start. The first way is to lie over top of the ball face down and walk out on your hands to the desired start position. The second way is to place the hands on the floor with one leg on top of the ball, and then bring the other leg up after establishing balance. Figure 1 shows the start position. I have the ball under the shins and my hands are slightly wider than shoulder width.
The next step is to perform pushups while maintaining balance and control. Key points of the FitBall pushup include:
- Do not let the hips drop toward the floor because this can cause unwanted stress to the low back.
- A wide hand placement will provide more stability. Narrow placement will be harder.
- Slow and controlled decent and ascent will be more challenging than a faster pace.
- Ball placement will also alter difficulty level. Closer to the hips is easier (under the knees) and closer to the feet is harder, especially when the ball is under the toes (weight on the balls of the feet).
For an advanced move, you can also roll the ball toward the hands by engaging your abs to tuck the knees towards the chest and lifting the hips upward. Perform this move in between pushups when your arms are extended. Try two sets of 12 reps with a 90 second rest in between.
Written by: Ryan Unverzagt