Whether you are a dancer, athlete or avid exerciser cross training and strengthening the abdominal muscles not only gives you a desired washboard aesthetic, but will enhance your balance and stability.
Many movements originate from the center of the body and the abdominal wall helps to stabilize the entire body. Having strong abdominals can enhance complicated movements, such as the ones required in ballet technique along. In addition, it can help with everyday movements and daily tasks such as walking up a steep flight of stairs, rebounding from a fall or carrying a heavy bag.
Researchers have noted key benefits such as:
- Improved posture
- Alleviated back pain
- Better athletic performance
- Improved balance.
Increased abdominal activation and awareness promotes improvements in qualities necessary for ballet movements such as balance, turning, holding extensions and jumps. Body coordination is required to successfully accomplish many of these movements and learning to recruit strong abdominal muscles to perform complicated movements will result in noticeable advancements.
Dance Anatomy, asserts that with the rise in “extreme choreography dancers must now take their bodies to the extreme and their conditioning to the next level.”
Try this exercise utilizing the FLX Ball. Implement it into your training routine and see results in your dancing and everyday movements. FLX Ball exercising targets the abdominal muscles that are essential for stability and are often not accessed when exercising in a fixed position or on a static piece of exercise equipment.
WARNING: Side effects include a more ‘chiseled’ abdominal area resulting in a washboard effect!
ABDOMINAL FLEXION EXERCISE:
SETUP: Place the FLX Ball at your upper back between your scapula. Legs are bent with feet flat on the floor and hands are behind your head with elbows wide.
ACTION: With slow controlled movements, lift the upper torso gazing in at your belly button and return to a slight spinal extension.
CHALLENGE: Add a twist. Fold up as you twist to the right. Roll back in the twist, rotate to center as your upper back extends over the ball. Fold up as you twist to the left. Roll back in the twist and rotate to center as you move into a little extension.
Repeat 20 times.
Now try an added challenge with a different arm variation:
SETUP: Legs are bent pressed together with feet flat on the floor and arms are straight over head with fingers interlaced and index fingers pulling arms straight behind head.
ACTION: With slow controlled movements, lift upper torso gazing in at your belly button and return to a slight spinal extension.
Repeat 20 times.