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Column: Exercise Technique

Prone Torso Rotation Exercise Using a Stability Ball

Fischer, Kim E PhD, CSCS; Rammelsberg, Amanda BA

Editor(s): Graham, John F MS, CSCS*D, FNSCA

Author Information
Strength and Conditioning Journal: February 2011 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 68-69
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e31820283b8
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Abstract

TYPE OF EXERCISE

Core stability and strength exercise with challenge of balance and full body static holds.

MUSCLES INVOLVED

Rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, transversus abdominis, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus, hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), tibialis anterior, trapezius, rhomboids, rotator cuff, anterior deltoids, pectoralis major, and triceps brachii.

Body balance and full body static strength are required, in addition to core strength, to be successful in executing repetitions (reps) of this torso rotation exercise while using a stability ball.

STARTING POSITION

  • Select an appropriate sized stability ball. Determination is based on a person's height.
  • ○ <58 inches in height: 35-cm ball
  • ○ 58-65 inches in height: 45-cm ball
  • ○ 66-72 inches in height: 55-cm ball
  • ○ 73-78 inches in height: 65-cm ball
  • ○ >78 inches in height: 75-cm ball
  • Position the body prone on top of a stability ball with the abdomen on top of the ball and the hands contacting the floor in front of it.
  • Walk forward on the hands and away from the ball until the lower anterior thighs rest on top of the stability ball (Figure 1).
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1:
    Starting and ending positions.
  • The ears, shoulders, hips, and knees should be aligned equally and parallel to the floor.
  • Flex the knees and dorsiflex the ankles to 90° angles. The soles of the feet should face the ceiling.
  • Draw the navel to the spine and inhale fully in preparation for movement into the torso rotation.

ROTATION TO THE RIGHT

  • Keeping the thighs, knees, and legs together and the abdominals isometrically contracted, begin exhaling as the exercise is initiated by rotating the torso to the right.
  • Move fluidly with the breath and continue exhaling fully, rotating the torso in a slow controlled fashion until the legs are parallel to the floor (Figure 2).
  • Figure 2
    Figure 2:
    Rotation to the right.
  • Without pausing, simultaneously inhale and rotate the torso in a slow controlled fashion back to the original starting position (Figure 1).

ROTATION TO THE LEFT

  • Without stopping and keeping the thighs, knees, and legs together and the abdominals isometrically contracted, begin exhaling as the torso is rotated to the left.
  • Coordinate movement with breathing, exhaling fully as you rotate the torso in a slow controlled fashion until the legs are parallel to the floor (Figure 3).
  • Figure 3
    Figure 3:
    Rotation to the left.
  • Without pausing, simultaneously inhale and rotate the torso in a slow controlled fashion back to the original starting position (Figure 1).

ENDING POSITION

  • The knees are flexed and the ankles dorsiflexed to 90° angles. The soles of the feet should be facing the ceiling (Figure 1).

SETS AND REPETITIONS

  • Beginner (person new to this exercise who has developed core strength with less advanced core exercises), 1 set of 8-10 reps in both directions.
  • Intermediate (person who demonstrates correct performance technique as a beginner in this exercise and has mastered 1 set of 8-10 reps), 2 sets of 8-10 reps in both directions.
  • Advanced (person able to perform intermediate number of sets and reps with correct performance technique), 3 sets of 8-10 reps in both directions.
© 2011 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association