Finding the C-Curve for an Effective Abdominal Workout

The C-Curve position is used in a variety of abdominal-focused exercises. Understanding how to find the position aids in the effectiveness of an exercise; thus, achieving maximum results. The FLX Ball helps to achieve correct alignment in this position and working against the instability of the ball's surface forces the muscles to respond with increased effort for a quicker, more efficient workout. 

Here are some key tips and cues when performing abdominal-focused exercises in a c-curve position:

FINDING A C-CURVE POSITION

  1. Sit on your sitz bones with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Take the FLX Ball and place it at your lower spine.  
  3. Rock off your sitz bones, creating a C-Curve, while maintaining contact with the FLX Ball.  
  4. Place your hands behind your thighs to assist in creating the C-Curve.  

 CUES

  • Concentrate on activating your abdominal muscles.
  • Emphasize your abdominals.  While maintaining the flexion of the upper spine, tuck the pelvis in a posterior tilt and sink the abdominals in.  Use the FLX Ball to assist in the deepening of the curve of the spine.
  • Feel your ribs “fold over” your stomach.  
  • This is an active working position rather than a static resting pose.  Feel your navel constantly pull in and up.  At the same time, you are working to fold forward, feeling a scooping or rounding position of the spine.  
  • Breathe into your spine to complete the curve and assist in hollowing out the abdominals.

Advanced FLX Ball exercise: twist and switch

FLX Ball twist and switch

SETUP:

Begin by lying on your back and place the FLX Ball at your upper back in between your shoulder blades. Legs are bent and feet flat on the floor. Place hands behind your head and keep elbows wide.

ACTION: Lift legs to a table top position and pull the abs in.

Slowly, twist to the right as you bring left elbow to right knee with left leg reaching out on a high diagonal.

With control, twist to the left bringing right elbow to left knee.

Pull the abdominal muscles in to deepen the twist.

Repeat 20 times.  3-5 sets.

CHALLENGE:  Both legs are straight and scissor as you twist.

CUES:  Sink belly button in towards spine and with the help of the ball, feel the rib cage fold up and over the stomach.

Hug the inner thighs as you scissor the legs. Watch out from rocking side to side.

Need an Abdominal Boost? Try this Ballerina-Inspired Ab Series!

 

Repeat the entire series 3-5 times. 

  1. Press and Hold: 10 counts.
  2. Knee Walks: 10 walks.  CUE: Thighs stay pressing into the elastic center as you walk. 
  3. Hip Lifts: 5-10 reps. 

CUES FOR THIS ABDOMINAL SERIES:

  • Hold the Flexistretcher by the elastic center, shoulder width apart and pull to a tension for the duration of the series.
  • As you curl your torso up, press the center of the band into the legs and the legs into the band.
  • Up for a challenge? Repeat the series with legs straight up towards the sky.   
  • Needs to modify? Complete the series with head on the floor.

For the full length FLX Strength Workout, click here: http://bit.ly/1wlmXQv

 

Plank with the FLX Ball

The plank is an isometric exercise that targets your abdominal and back muscles, and it’s used for developing core strength, balance and endurance.


FLX Ball Plank

SETUP: Come on your hands and knees, place the FLX Ball under the tops of your feet and press your legs and feet together. Walk your hands out to a half plank (with knees still bent) or out to full plank.  

ACTION: With the tops of your feet still pressing into the ball, straighten legs.  Shoulders should be over your hands.

Hold for 10 counts, walk hands back, and rest.

REPETITIONS:  Hold for 10 counts up to one minute.

SETS:  3-5 sets.

CUES:  Tuck pelvis slightly under to engage the abdominals and take any strain out of the lower back. Pull up on the thighs to activate the quadriceps. Make sure to keep head in line with spine.

MODIFICATIONS: Bend the knees to the floor or come onto your forearms to perform a forearm plank.

CHALLENGES: Lift your pelvis towards the sky and return to your plank position, 10 times.

FLX Ball plank and pushup

Add hip twists by dipping the right hip bone towards the floor and then the left hip bone, 10 times.

Perform small push ups by bending the elbow in to your sides, 10 times.

TARGET MUSCLES: Rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis.

DANCER FOCUS and BENEFITS: Strengthens the core and upper body and is used as a core warm up. A stronger more stable core can help to improve turns, jumps and balances.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Injury to the arms, back or shoulders.


LEVEL: Intermediate