Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exercise of the Week: Swiss Ball Jackknife

A lot of people are confused about what it takes to get a flat stomach. First, six-pack abs are the result of a well-conditioned workout routine involving cardio, strength training, flexibility, and good nutrition. Hate to break it to you if you've been doing 500 crunches a day and not seeing any results, but your best bet is to do exercises that involve core stability and isolation. That's why this week's exercise is the Swiss Ball Jackknife.

The Swiss ball Jackknife is great movement for targeting your lower abdominals. Plus, since the ball is unstable, your entire core has to work to maintain the position of your body.

Start by getting into a pushup position with the tops of your feet on a Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from your toes to your shoulders with your hands positioned just slightly wider than your shoulders.

Keeping your back flat and abs tight, bend your knees and roll the ball toward your torso. Squeeze your abs for a second and then roll the ball back to the starting position. Try to do 3-4 sets of 20-25 reps with only about 30 seconds of rest between sets.

One other tip: Keep the movement smooth and be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position. You should not feel like your hips are dropping.