The Supine Lateral Ball Roll.
The Supine Lateral Ball Roll (SLB) is what Paul Chek refers to as a "Big Bang Exercise"; an exercise that requires force generation in multiple planes of movement and also challenges multiple biomotor abilities (such as balance, coordination, strength and power) at the same time. In other words, you are getting a lot of bang for your buck with this exercise, due to the large number of muscle groups and nervous activity required to stabilize and perform this exercise.
As the SLB is performed in the supine position (lying on your back) we are able to develop some pretty serious strength gains, with a minimal risk of injury or compression to the spine. If you have a serious back injury, please have it assessed before trying this, but if your spine is otherwise healthy, give it a try. It is a great rehabilitative exercise for those who have had a recent back surgery, it works great for improving posture as well as developing a lot of core stability, due to the unstable nature of the SwissBall.
Here's how it's done:
- Place your head and shoulders on the Swiss ball, so that your spine is neutral, head is supported and the fattest part of the ball is roughly under the sternum.
- Elevate your hips, so that your torso is flat and your knees are over your ankles.
- Swallow and keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth, so as to turn on the muscles in your throat.
- Stretch the arms out, palms facing up and if you have a wooden rod, place it across the collarbones to help keep you in alignment.
- Keeping this alignment, shuffle your feet and roll out to the side of the ball, maintaining contact with your shoulder. This might only be a couple of inches of movement and your focus should be on maintaining alignment, not on how far you can roll. Don't allow your hips on either side to drop and try make sure the rod stays parallel to the floor. If you are doing this right, you should feel a line of tension from one hamstring running diagonally up the spine and over to the opposite shoulder.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and then shift to the other side.
- When shuffling to the opposite side, it is ok to break your form. The exercise really begins, when you find that end position, form is correct and then begin your hold.
- 3 second holds, 10 reps each side for 2 sets with a 45 second rest period is a great place to start. This can be manipulated depending on your goals, but for core reconditioning or postural improvements, this will do the trick.