Many of the clients and patients I see struggle lumbo-pelvic stability. Imbalances and injuries often lead to poor core control and the inability to maintain a level pelvis in single leg support. For higher functioning clientele, this type of advanced exercise is effective for eliminating weakness and facilitating core and hip stability.
Execution: Begin lying on a stability ball with the cervical spine and shoulder blades supported by the ball. The feet should be at least shoulder width apart. Find a neutral spine position by lightly contracting the glutes and flattening the spine and maintain the table top position.
Holding this position, slowly march in place, lifting the right foot just a few inches above the floor. Bring it back down and repeat the maneuver on the left side. Alternate legs and repeat for 5-10 repetitions.
For the clients who are able, progress to an alternate leg extension exercise. Now slowly extend one knee, pause at full extension and then return to double leg support. Repeat on the other side. Perform 5-10 alternate repetitions on each leg. Due to the difficulty of this exercise, I suggest spotting clients as they may lose balance and fall off the ball.
Discontinue the exercise (rest or regress it) if form is lost at any point in time.
1. Double leg isometric stability ball bridge with alternate leg heel raises
2. Double leg isometric stability bridge with arms pressed against each other and hands pointing the ceiling for time
3. Double leg isometric stability bridge with arms folded across the chest for time
Application: This exercise is an effective tool for improving hip and core strength/stability in all clients. It is particularly effective for those with poor pillar stability, asymmetrical hip stability and those in need of better anti-extension and anti-rotation core control. This can be used as a pillar prep exercise or as part of the normal stability training program.
Important notes: Due to the high demand of the activity, you should choose appropriate clientele and spot them at all times to prevent a sudden fall from the ball. I suggest being in half-kneeling position at or near the head/shoulders of the client. In many cases, I will actually hold the stability ball to minimize perturbations until I am sure they have enough stability to control the movements.