For moms who feel a little off balance after having baby, invest in a stability ball! Women who used the rotund objects during labor can just dust theirs off once they get their doctor's OK to exercise. Our friends over at Equinox set me up with Amy Fiske, NSCA-certified personal trainer who is helping me get back in shape. Here are some of the exercises she has me doing. She said:
Body Weight Wall Squat. It works the quads, calves and glutes. Hold the ball behind you and stand so that the ball is pressed between your back and the wall. Place your feet in front of your body about hip distance apart. The center of the ball should be against the lower back. Keep in contact with the ball and lower your body by bending your knees until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold down there for one to two seconds and then return to your start position.
Rollout. This is for core stability. Get on your knees behind the ball. Place your forearms on the ball, your back should be naturally arched and your abdominal pulled in. Slowly roll the ball forward, keeping your abs braced, extending the arms out straight and not allowing the back to collapse. If you begin to feel it in your back you have either gone too far or lost control of the abs. Use your core to pull the ball back to the start position.
To see the rest of the exercises,
Opposite Arm/Leg Lift or Deadbug. This is for core stability. Lie in a prone position on the ball with your hips and belly on top of the ball. Feet and hands should be grounded. Engage the abs, glutes and lower back and raise the right arm and left leg until they are in alignment (straight line from finger tips to toes). Hold for one to two seconds. Return to starting position. This exercise can be continued by going back and forth between opposing sides or sticking to the same side for required repetitions.
Seated Overhead Press With Bar. It works the shoulders and core. Sit on the ball with your torso upright, draw in the abdominal muscles, chest should be lifted, shoulder blades pulled down and feet flat on the floor. The bar should be held with an overhand grip just beyond shoulder width apart and held at clavicle level. Press the bar straight overhead keeping the biceps in-line with the ears and the barb is directly over the shoulders. Don't allow the torso and ball to sway by keeping the abs braced. Keep the lower back arched naturally. Then return to original position.
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