Last weeks supine lateral ball roll kept the feet in the same position, and the body moved in an arc. This week is harder since the feet shuffle from side to side.
- Ideally as the feet shuffle to the side, the hips stay in the same alignment as the shoulders.
- At the furthest point, the spine is straight – this means the hips and shoulders are aligned, and the thighs straight.
- The shoulders and hips are parallel to the floor. To do this, as with the previous version, as you shuffle off the ball, press the back of the arm on the ball onto the ball and squeeze the glute off the ball hard.
- The belly does not bulge upwards. This is lifting through the back. If this happens, the bottom is having a nice rest – and will remain a floppy thing. So lengthen the low back – it will feel as if you are dropping. Tuck the tail under whilst sending your knees away from you. I realise this sounds contrary – essentially what you are actually doing is lengthening the point where the body hinges.
That needs further explanation. Take a moment to think about this – when we bend over, where do we hinge from? Is it the tummy? If you bend over and ponder on this, you will find the hinge point is actually the tops of thighs, where they meet the pelvis. Drop into a squat and again, the hinge points will be the tops of the thighs, knees and ankles. Yes, we can, and do, bend at the waist. And this is fine IF the abs are working well. However if wheat is eaten with any regularity and unfiltered tap water is drunk, then I can guarantee that the abs are not working properly. So for the huge majority, it is safer to bend at the hip joint and knees and keep the back straight to avoid injury. The reason that health and safety quite rightly say to bend the knees when picking something up from a low point is because most people’s abs are not working well and if they bend from the waist, the spine is not being supported properly by the stabilising muscles. After years of sandwich stuffing and bending from the waist, eventually the back goes boinnngg when picking up a pair of socks or emptying the dishwasher – and we totter to the nearest chiropractor/osteopath and contribute to their new car fund. And it is all put down to age and wear and tear.
Anyway, this exercise also strengthens the lats, the big muscle that runs down the back, connecting the arms to the bottom.
So get this exercise right and the bottom will become a lovely pert object worthy of tight trousers – and the lats will strengthen and quite possibly the abs will work better too. Bargain.