How Different Gym Ball Exercises Effect Athletes Core
All 4 groups of the core muscles: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques must be trained in order for athletes to develop great core strength. The transverse abdominis is a muscle which provides great stability to the spine helping athletes maintain a more straight and rigid body position. The transverse abdominis can be worked by performing gym ball exercises such as oblique twists and the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise. The external and internal obliques work to aid the trunk of the human body in rotating and bending at the side. Again, gym ball exercises like the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise, oblique twists, and even more full body movements like the Dynamic Plank Extensions will train and strengthen the oblique muscles. The most glamorous and flamboyant of the ab muscles is the rectus abdominis, which can be seen in a well developed six pack. Along with being flashy the rectus abdominis plays a crucial role is stabilizing the body and helps provide flexion at the hips. The Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise is a great strengthening exercise for this muscle, along with any exercise which shortens and or elongates the angle at the hips and the distance between the trunk and the thighs.
Getting Started On The Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise
What makes the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise one of the best gym ball exercises to perform is the isolation and tension which is placed on the abdominal muscles. In many up and down abdominal strengthening exercises like the KB PowerBands Toe Touch or the Kbands Wide Knee Up, athletes are strengthening their core along with working their hip flexor muscles. Although it is important to simultaneously train these muscles, since they aid each other in moving the trunk and thighs, athletes also need to perform gym ball exercises which isolate the core muscles.
To execute the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise athletes will need a Kbands Training Stability Ball and enough space so athletes can fully extend their legs to the side of their body. Athletes will begin the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise by lying on their back and placing the Kbands Training Stability Ball between their feet and ankles. The closer to the toes the athletes place the Kbands Training Stability Ball the more challenging the oblique twists will be. Athletes needing to build more core strength can move the Stability Ball farther up their legs into the calf region. As athletes continue in their athletic training they should continually challenge themselves by performing the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise with the Kbands Training Stability Ball secured by the feet and ankles.
Once athletes are on their back with the Stability Ball secured between their legs they will raise their legs into the air so there is only a slight bend at the knees and there is a 90 degree angle at their hips. Athletes can extend their arms out to the side to help stabilize the body throughout the oblique twists. Athletes will move from their starting position, Stability Ball between legs and legs raised into the air, and rotate the Kbands Training Stability Ball to the side while maintaining a 90 degree angle at the hips and not rotating the chest or the shoulders to the side. In one continuous motion athletes will rotate the Kbands Training Stability Ball to the opposite side. Athletes will perform the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise for 35-40 seconds before resting for 60-75 seconds between sets. Athletes should perform 3-5 sets of the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise. Athletes should perform the oblique twists for time versus repetitions so athletes can maintain control and move smoothly through the entire set of the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise. A main component in the success of the oblique twists is that the athlete maintains tension in the core for the entirety of the Windshield Wipers Exercise. Athletes who perform the oblique twists for repetitions may find themselves rushing through the Windshield Wipers Exercise and not focusing on controlling the movements of the legs.
Pointers On Completing the Kbands Windshield Wipers
“Control” is what athletes need throughout the Windshield Wipers Exercise. Athletes should be thinking about this word “Control”, as they lower the Kbands Training Stability Ball to the ground. Athletes of different skill levels will be able to lower the ball, under control, to different levels. As athletes rotate their legs they need to take the Kbands Training Stability Ball to a point which is challenging for the athlete, but not past a point where the athlete cannot control the legs with their core. When this happens athletes wIll begin to drop their legs to the ground instead of utilizing the abdominal muscles to control this motion. As athletes continue to perform the oblique twists they should continually try to challenge themselves by attempting to take the Stability Ball lower each time they perform the Windshield Wipers Exercise.
Challenging Gym Ball Exercises
Athletes need to utilize a wide variety of abdominal drills to continually challenge the core muscles. Core exercises to pair with the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise in either a superset (both exercises performed back to back with no rest in-between) or a circuit style training routine should include different tempos and work in a different plane of motion. The Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise is a great core strengthening exercise to pair with other core exercises due to the unique side to side movement of the oblique twists. Simple exercises like Planks, Flutter Kicks, and Mountain Climbers all offer a great change of speed and work the abs in a linear motion versus the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise which works the abs in a lateral motion.
It is highly recommended that athletes perform some kind of dynamic warmup to prepare the body for the oblique twists. If athletes are performing the Kbands Windshield Wipers Exercise in a circuit style training session then utilizing strengthening exercises on other parts of the body athletes should take time to warmup and stretch these muscles and body parts. Athletes can go to the Recovery Section to learn effective warmup strategies by utilizing the Recovery Foam Roller.