We’ve teamed up with Jacqueline Cobbe of Wicklow Pilates Studio to show you some exercises you can do at home using the Fitness Mad, Exer-Soft Ball. Available in two sizes, 7″ and 9″, this is a non-slip and tactile training ball designed to assist in isolating and targeting specific muscles. It helps improve strength, endurance, concentration and co-ordination.
Lower Abs and Inner Thigh Workout
- Lie on your back with your legs in table top position or 90 degree angle. Place a pad under your head if your head is not in line with your spine. Place the exer-soft ball between your inner thighs.
- Inhale to prepare and on the exhale gently lift your pelvic floor and draw your abdominals in as if you had a corset around your middle. Watch the ribs don’t pop up – keep them melting down towards your hips and keep your collarbones open.
As you exhale squeeze the ball for 3 counts and as you inhale release the pressure slightly.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
*Progression – as you get stronger you can add a progression to this exercise by slowly lowering your legs towards the floor on the exhale and lifting back up but DO NOT do this if your back is lifting off the floor as this may cause injury.
Ab Prep w/ Ball
- Lie on your back with the Exer-ball behind your back just below the shoulder blades. Feet flat on the floor with knees bent.
- Place hands behind your head and as you exhale slowly curl your spine up and look towards your knees.
- Keep shoulders relaxed in neutral and slide the ribs down towards the hips. This will work your obliques as well as your TVA and pelvic floor muscles.
- As you inhale to uncurl make sure your back does not arch and that you keep the lower abs connected to protect your back.
- Do 8-10 reps
Chest / Upper Back Stretch
This exercise is great for cyclists and those of you working at computers all day as it counteracts Desk Slumping / Bike Hunching or Runners Rounded Shoulders!
- Keep Exer-soft ball positioned as before and lie back over the ball opening the front of your chest.
- Support your neck by keeping head in your hands and focus on opening the chest rather then hanging the head back.
- Do 5-8 reps
Shoulder Bridge & Squeeze
- Place Exer-soft ball between inner thighs and use the glutes to lift your hips up into one long line.
- Keep your ribs down so your back doesn’t arch. Squeeze the ball gently as you lift and release slightly as you lower.
- Repeat 5-8 times.
If you are interested in trying out a Pilates class in the Wicklow area, contact Jacqueline Cobbe
Fb: wicklow Pilates studio
At The Sports Room we stock a range of Fitness Mad equipment that is suitable for your pilates class. We also stock accessories for yoga, the gym and the home gym from skipping ropes to weights, from foam rollers to mini-massage balls. If there is something in particular you are looking for, we’ll do our best to get it for you.