Starting Position: Sit on a mat/floor with your knees bent, feet together, heels on the floor while holding a medicine ball in your lap close to your body. Start with a light ball (2 lb) and increase the weight of the ball as your fitness level improves. Sit upright with your chest raised towards the ceiling and back erect so that your torso is perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and abdominal muscles (“bracing”).
Rotation: Without leaning backwards, exhale and slowly rotate your torso and the ball to one side, keeping the ball close to your body and aligned with the middle of your torso. The ball should not drop towards the floor. Pause briefly at the end range of motion, inhale and then gently exhale while rotating completely to the opposite side. Repeat the movement back and forth.
Exercise Progression 1: As your conditioning improves, you can modify your starting position by leaning back halfway to the floor while keeping your knees bent and heels on the floor. With each rotation bring the elbow close to, but not to rest on the floor. Keep your core and abdominal muscles stiff to prevent any arching in your low back during the exercise. This exercise variation increases the demands placed upon your abdominal muscles.
Exercise Progression 2: As your conditioning levels continue to improve, you can modify your starting position once again by leaning back halfway to the floor and lifting your legs off the floor. Keep your knees bent and feet together during the exercise. With each rotation bring the elbow close to, but not to rest on the floor. Keep your core and abdominal muscles stiff to prevent any arching in your low back and avoid any shrugging in your shoulders during the exercise. This exercise variation further increases the demands placed upon your abdominal muscles.
Intermediate and advanced rotational exercises should only be attempted after completing the beginner exercises.