The exercise ball has long been recommended by doctors, physical therapists, and Olympic coaches for people suffering from back pain. Now Colleen Craig, author of the bestselling book Pilates on the Ball, reveals why the exercise ball is unmatched as a tool for building superb abdominal strength. She presents a selection of over 80 innovative exercises, including some of the key powerhouse-builders from the Pilates Method, all of which she has adapted specifically to the ball. Craig shows how traditional sit-ups and ""ab"" machines actually limit the degree to which abdominal muscles can be trained and can even aggravate lower back pain and neck tension. In contrast, the very mobility of the ball targets underutilized muscles, recruiting both deep and superficial abdominal muscle fibers to enhance results. Abs on the Ballincludes exercises for all ability levels that show how to properly use the breath and how to activate the correct muscles during a workout--from the core exercises of the Waterfall, Oblique Curls, and Full Abdominal Curls to the more advanced Side Twist Plank, the Teaser, and Backward Crunch. The author also offers a 10- and 20-minute workout designed not only to build the abdominal core, but also to strengthen and train deep muscles in the back and hip in order to soothe lower back pain and increase overall body strength, balance, and coordination.
Colleen Craig is a Certified Stott Pilates Trainer and a writer who developed a unique body conditioning technique by adapting the Pilates Method to the exercise ball. She lives in Toronto and teaches workshops throughout the world.
1. Why Another Book on Abdominal Conditioning? The Problem with Traditional "Ab Conditioning" Learning from the Latest Research The Pilates Powerhouse The Ball As Perfect Partner 2. Abs on the Ball Fundamentals The Breath: A Crucial Starting Point The Key Player: Transversus Abdominis Connecting Navel to Spine9 The Pelvic Floor: The "Elevator" at the Bottom of the Powerhouse Neutral Pelvis Inside Out Everyday Abs Quality, Not Quantity 3. Final Points The Right Ball for You Helpful Hints and Precautions One Final Word 4. Basic Abs on the Ball Practicing the Fundamentals Back Breathing - Neutral Pelvis Lying on the Mat - Lifting the Head off the Mat - Connecting Navel to Spine - Pelvic Floor Exercise The Basic Abs on the Ball Exercises Ab Curls with Small Ball - Half Roll-up with Arm Stretch and Tabletop Legs - Small Extensions on Small Ball - Half Roll Down - Rolling Like a Ball - Single Leg Stretch - Oblique Twists - Sidework with Small Ball - Hip Rolls with Small Ball - Hip Rolls with Leg Extensions - Ab Curls on Small Ball - The Waterfall - Hips Rolls on Large Ball - Hip Rolls with Balance - Ab Curls on Large Ball - Walk Up and Down - Rolling from Side to Side - Ball Balance 5. Intermediate Abs on the Ball Practicing the Fundamentals Neutral Spine Sitting - Find the Core Sitting - Knee Lift Stabilizing Exercise on Small Ball The Intermediate Abs on the Ball Exercises Full Roll-up - Double Leg Stretch - Teaser Prep - Lower and Lift - Leg Pull-up and Bicycle - Spine Twist - Leg Circles, Bicycle, and Scissors in Air - On Elbows - Thigh and Ankle Squeeze and Supported Swan - Bend and Stretch - Backward Crunch - Hip Lift - Back Extensions on Knees - Side Raises - Side Crunches - Planks - Side Shell with Kick - Arabesque - Tabletop Balance - Body Openers 6. Advanced Abs on the Ball Practicing the Fundamentals One Leg Standing - Opposite Hand and Foot The Advanced Abs on the Ball Exercises The Hundred - Roll Over - Corkscrew - Side Bridge on Small Ball - Boomerang - Rocking Horse Extension - Scissors - Teaser - Sidebend and Twist - Side-twist Plank - The Pike - Single Leg Shell - Kneeling Side Lifts - The Star - Ports de Bras - Plank with Hands on the Ball - Kneel on the Ball 7. The Short Workouts Fifteen-minute Basic Abs Workout Thirty-minute Basic Abs Workout Fifteen-minute Intermediate Abs Workout Thirty-minute Intermediate Abs Workout Fifteen-minute Advanced Abs Workout Thirty-minute Advanced Abs Workout Resources Ball and Video Ordering Information Acknowledgments