If you are looking for an exercise that will help you whittle away the sides of your waistline, then the exercise ball twist is it! This exercise will work all parts of your core, from you abdominals to your obliques. For this exercise, all you need is an exercise ball and some floor space.
The Right Size Ball
Make sure you have the correct size exercise ball before beginning this exercise. Despite what you may think, bigger is not necessary better. Sit on the center of the ball with your legs out in front of you with feet hip-width apart. You will want your knees to form a 90-degree angle when bent. Additionally, an under inflated ball requires less work. Therefore, to maximize your workout experience, make sure your exercise ball is fully inflated.
Begin the exercise ball twist by sitting on the ball in the middle. Your legs should be out in front of you, knees bent, with feet approximately hip-width apart.
Walk forward on the ball so your hips drop down and then lower your body down onto the ball. Your shoulders and head should be hanging off the ball. The weight of your body should be supported in the middle of your back. You can bend your hips slightly so they are resting on the curvature of the ball and slightly hyperextend your back so your whole upper body contours to the ball.
Place both hands behind your head with elbows bent and fingers interlaced.
Contract your abdominal muscles and raise your upper torso up a few inches off the ball.
After you have risen up a few inches, rotate your body so that you bring your left elbow towards your right knee. Rise up a few more inches to complete the crunch.
Lower back to the starting position and then repeat by bringing your right elbow towards your left knee to complete one repetition. Complete 10 total repetitions.
To make this exercise more difficult, hold a weighted plate behind your neck or hold a dumbbell with both hands against your chest.
This exercise targets your oblique muscles and also works your rectus abdominis. It is an isolated exercise because it only involves one joint movement. The exercise will help strength and tone the muscles in your core.
Additional exercises that will work your core muscles, specifically your oblique muscles, include twisting crunches, crossover crunches, side crunches, reverse twist, cross crunch and side planks.
Individuals should aim to complete at least two 10-minute abdominal sessions a week to help with toning and strengthen of the body’s core. Combining abdominal training, strength training and cardiovascular exercise is an excellent way to lose or maintain weight, strengthen your heart and increase lean muscle mass.