How to Ball Crunch
You Should Feel This: Abs
Exercise Families: Trunk Flexion
Equipment: Exercise Ball
Trainer: Ashley Steele
Lie with your lower back draped over an exercise (stability) ball, you should feel a mild stretch in your abs. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Support the weight of your head with your hands. Be sure not to pull on your head during the crunch.
Exhale, contract your abdominal and core muscles and flex your chin slightly towards your chest while slowly curling your torso towards your thighs. The movement should focus on pulling your rib cage towards your pelvis (the neck stays relaxed while the chin is tucked towards the neck).
Your feet, tailbone and lower back should remain in contact with the floor at all times. Continue curling up until your upper back is lifted off the ball. Hold this position briefly.
Gently inhale and slowly uncurl (lower) your torso back towards the ball in a controlled fashion keeping your feet, tailbone, and low back in contact with the ground.
The abdominals connect the rib cage to the pelvis so the movement should focus on bringing these two body parts closer together while keeping the neck and shoulders relaxed.
Proper form is important for this exercise to prevent excessive stress on your low back. Performing a crunch too rapidly will recruit your hip flexors more and engage your abs less. This tilts the pelvis anteriorly, increasing the stress on the low back and should be avoided.
- You should feel this working the abs and core.