A ‘dead belly’ leads to a lazy back and a lazy back, unfortunately, leads to back problems. Where does a ‘dead belly’ come from? Well, sagging into the chair or couch while watching TV, working on the computer or playing video games is one of the most common causes.
How to eliminate a dead belly and lazy back? The Pilates ‘Short Box Exercise Round with Ball’ is a great way to keep our belly alive and at the same time give our back a break. So, why not?
I help my belly and back!
How? By moving our spine segmentally we help our abdomen and back. We do this by organising our deep muscles – our powerhouse – to either bring the 2 parts of our upper body (our chest and pelvis) towards each other or away from each other, without moving our arms and legs.
For the Pilates freaks: By articulating our spine in the concentric contraction of our deep muscle corset system in a closed kinetic chain, we create our healthy belly and back;)
Now, this is how we do it …
Embrace a large exercise ball. Sit upright on the box, extend your upper body vertically out of your pelvis to counteract your horizontally extended legs and the force of gravity.
Breathe in to prepare. Breathe out and activate your ABC principle
A – powerhouse
B – shoulder girdle towards pelvis
C – chin to chest.
Repeat this principle continuously, rolling your pelvis and spine sequentially on the box. Then inhale reflexively – this means that you let your inhale come as a result of your thorough exhalation. Then exhale and roll back up using the ABC principle. Repeat the exercise 7 times.
Let’s watch the video now to get a good picture of the assisted ‘Short Box Exercise Round with Ball’.
Use our coaching keys to help you perform the ‘Short Box Exercise Round with Ball’. I say them and visualise them.
- I roll from my pelvis and not from my head – my pelvis leads;)
- I keep lengthening my legs while I roll down.
- I avoid sinking prematurely into my chest while rolling downwards.
- I keep my powerhouse activated when rolling in both directions.
Why not use the video to practice the coaching keys? Mental training is really valuable because it helps us to sense what we do. By the way, what do we sense in the ‘Short Box Exercise Round with Ball’?
What do we sense where in our body?
We feel a coming together – a convolution – of our inner thighs, the glutes and the ribcage area.
Why the ball?
Better grounding and deeper contraction
The purpose of the ball – our kinaesthetic learning prop – is manifold. The ball
- supports our kinaesthetic awareness in order to support a release in our back.
- makes it easier to ground our pelvis via our pubic bone.
- supports a deeper shortening (concentric) contraction of our abdominal wall and
- is a counteraction to the downforce of gravity.
These functions are reinforced by the stability concept of the closed kinetic chain, which means that our limbs rest on a solid surface during movement. This provides stability because it gives our body the feeling of security.
Addtionally, using the ball as a kinaesthetic learning prop helps us to thoroughly anchor our upper body towards the ground. This prevents negative work in our shoulder joint and favours positive work in our shoulder girdle. Jejeje!
Try it & fly with it!
Here we go to the Short Box with Straight Back, which also noticeably contributes to the invigoration of our belly and relaxation of our back.
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