Pendulums are an excellent stability ball exercise which will work your core muscles, including your obliques, your hips and other abdominals. These are all vital for good posture and strengthening them can correct back pain. They can also help you to develop a trim, toned stomach.
How to Perform Pendulums with a Stability Ball
Try to use the correct stability ball size for your height. When you sit on the ball, with your feet on the ground, your thighs should be parallel to the floor. If your knees are too high your ball might be too small, if they are too low it might be too big. However, for this exercise, if you have trouble keeping hold of a ball, you might want to try a different size to see if that is easier.
- Lie down flat on an exercise or yoga mat with the stability ball between your legs. Grip the ball between your calves, bending your knees slightly. It’s important to have a good grip on the ball, so try moving your legs around a little to make sure you have it securely.
- Keep your back flat on the floor with your shoulders relaxed. You should be looking straight up at the ceiling. Stretch out your arms until they form a T with your body with your palms flat on the floor. Your arms should also be relaxed.
- Now, lift your legs, still gripping the stability ball, until it is being held directly over your hips. You should try to keep your back flat and only move your legs, which should stay in line with your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent, but otherwise extend your legs to the ceiling.
- Lower the ball to one side in an arc, keeping your legs extended. Use your arms to keep your balance but try to use mostly your leg muscles to perform the exercise. Lower the ball as close to the floor as possible. It should be at a right angle to your torso. Don’t try to lower the ball too far if it causes you pain. You can work up to greater mobility.
- Raise the ball to the center, over your hips, then lower to the other side. Return to the center again and repeat as many times as you want. You should move slowly and smoothly to get the most out of the exercise.
How to Increase the Difficulty of Pendulums
Pendulums are already quite difficult and require not only strength but a lot of flexibility. Increasing the amount of repetitions and sets should be enough of a challenge for most people. You should try to get the ball as close to the floor as possible on each repetition, without causing yourself discomfort. If you are pausing at the top of the swing, for increased difficulty you can try making the whole movement from side to side without stopping.
Pendulums are quite a challenging exercise, but well worth the effort. They help to target difficult muscles in your hips and sides and also loosen up these areas for increased back support and good posture.