EXERCISE 6: Lower Body Russian Twist
To strengthen the abdominal muscles whilst mobilising the spine in rotation.
If you are very stiff in the spine you will find the amount of movement you have with this exercise is limited. However, practise can increase the range of movement so that you are getting progressively more from the exercise.
Start by laying flat on your back with your legs on the ball pulling it as close as possible to your body.
If you can, try to maintain a slight arch underneath your lower back as you do this and throughout the exercise. Avoid completely flattening your lower back into the floor if you can help it.
Keep your arms out wide with your palms turned up for support.
Starting off slowly and hugging the ball into your body with your legs, drop your knees to one side to the point at which your opposite shoulder starts to lift off the floor.
Pause here and then drawing your belly button in pull the ball back to the centre focussing on bringing your knees to the opposite hip.
Repeat this movement to the other side once again bringing the ball back to the centre.
Try to breathe in as you drop your knees to the side, and breathe out as your draw your knees to the centre.
Repeat 20-30 times focussing on keeping your shoulders pulled back, your chest open and working slowly in time with your breathing.
After a break of 30 seconds, repeat one or two more times.