Strength (Video) - Oblique Twists With An Exercise Ball

Dick Moss

This exercise develops the abdominal oblique muscles - those muscles on the side of the abs. It is especially useful for sports that involve running or other forms of forward propulsion, such as skating or nordic skiing.

In these sports, the torso must rotate slightly to counteract the offset push of the legs- but at the same time, the core must remain stable in order to provide a solid base for the legs to push against.

How to Perform
The only equipment required is an exercise ball. The athlete lies on his back with knees bent and feet on the floor, holding the ball at arm's length.

The athlete performs a partial crunch, until the shoulders are off the floor at about 30 degrees. Then, holding this position, he moves his arms - and the ball - sideways, until the right shoulder points to the left knee. He then moves the arms in the opposite direction, until the left shoulder points at the right knee.

This continues, back and forth, until 12-15 repetitions per side have been performed.

The head remains still and it is important that the buttocks do not lift. If you see the athlete's entire body rocking back and forth, tell him to keep both cheeks firmly on the ground.

Once the exercise becomes easy, resistance can be increased by using a medicine ball instead of an exercise ball.

See the video below for a video demonstration of the exercise,
as presented by Tony Scott and Dave Harris.

References: From a workshop with Tony Scott (RMT & Certified Flexibility Therapist)-a private stretching consultant and massage therapist, formerly with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays), of Newmarket, Ontario; and Dave Harris, (BSc in Kinesiology), Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, Aurora, Ontario.


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