As a prop in yoga classes, the exercise ball helps students with their posture and core strength. It can also challenge them with a series of challenging movements such as bridges.
A yoga ball is an inexpensive and easy way to make a yoga routine more interesting and challenging for students. It is important to buy a ball that is the right size for the student so they can sit comfortably on it without their knees being higher than their hips.
Back extensions (or hyperextensions) help strengthen the erector spinae muscles in your lower back. This can reduce lower back pain caused by poor posture and sagging shoulders. Strengthening these muscles can also help prevent back injuries, especially in weightlifters and bodybuilders, whose lower backs are under high load.
Lie on the floor or on a workout bench with your hips and stomach resting on the ball and your legs extended behind you. Clasp your hands together and raise your chest off the ground until it moves past neutral, but not so far that you feel pressure in your lower back or gluteus muscles.
Although some consider back extensions a single muscle exercise, they actually work multiple muscles in the posterior chain, including your hamstrings and glutes. To make the exercise more challenging, try doing alternating supermans by lifting opposite arms and legs at the same time.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
The single leg glute bridge works just as well as the regular hip thrust in targeting your glutes and core, but it does so by using one leg. This makes it a great movement to use to notice imbalances in your posterior chain and correct them.
To perform this exercise lie on the floor with your arms by your side and palms flat on the ground. Flex your knees and push up through your heels until your hips, shoulders and upper back are in a straight line.
To make this movement more challenging try putting your feet up on a box for an extra challenge. This is a good supplemental exercise to add in after doing your big lift of the day such as a deadlift, squat or barbell hip thruster.
Single Leg Bridge
A single leg bridge is just what it sounds like—a glute bridge that only uses one leg. It strengthens the hip flexors, hamstrings and lower back muscles. It also helps with the balance of your body. “As with any exercise, proper technique is the key,” says Kat Atienza, co-owner of Session.
Sit on a stability ball with your shoulders and head rested on the top of the ball and legs hip-width apart, knees bent at 90 degrees, and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips to a bridge pose on the ball for a rep.
Bridge Pose on a yoga ball can be a low-intensity way to work your back and abdominal muscles. Try placing a block under your sacrum and another under your feet for more stability. You can experiment with the heights of the blocks to find the right one for you.
To play a card you must either begin a new meld or build upon an existing meld of three to seven cards. When a player runs out of cards in their ‘Hand’ they must move on to their ‘Foot’ pile.
Standing facing the long edge of the mat, step your left foot a big step back, roughly hips-distance apart and flex your left leg, tracking your big toe toward the front of the mat. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips to fold forward.
Lunge bridges help to build strong, toned legs and glutes by strengthening the hip flexors. They also work the quads and hamstrings of both legs. They are a good exercise for people with knee problems as they don’t put much stress on the joints of the lower body.
Start with your feet in runner’s lunge, with the back knee resting on the ground and the front leg stacked right over it. Reach for your back foot with your opposite hand and draw your hips forward to feel a great stretch through the hip flexor of your back leg and a gentle extension across your back line.
This is a good hip opener and can be used daily to combat the dumping that often happens after sitting for long periods of time!