Welcome friends and ladies to week 11. You are rocking it and one week away from the first three months after childbirth. We are on our way to a consistent 30 minute workout by now which involves 2-3 sets of exercises. You might already have been here from a few weeks back and if not, now is the time to pull out a few more repetitions. This week we are going to continue to build on balance and practicing our deadlift technique. New exercises for this week use the swiss ball to improve your abdominal strength and control.
Swiss ball reverse wheelbarrow
Another exercise that I have loved since I first learnt it. It provides a great abdominal workout and is safe as a regression to normal planks, for building up strength. Begin kneeling with your elbows on the ball shoulder width apart and hands facing forwards. Try get your hips as far forward as possible to get into the ‘plank position’ without hinging your lower back. Then hold the plank and roll the ball forward 3 inches and bring it back in. You’re feel this in your abdominal muscles as they work to stabilise your spine and keep you still.
Swiss ball plank
Walk out over the ball into a full plank with the ball at your mid thighs, just below your knees, or at the level of your feet. The further out you go, the harder the exercise becomes. Hold your balance and then walk slowly backwards. During the 45 seconds you can continue to walk in and out or if you're looking for more of a challenge, stay out for the whole time.
Swiss ball prone crunch variation
If you’re feeling confident in the plank position you may progress to the crunch which involves lifting your hips into the air as you bend your knees to bring the ball into your chest. Then push it back out to return to the plank. You can begin this exercise by performing one crunch and then coming back in i.e. plank - crunch - plank - rest, or you can repeat the crunch at your own pace during the 45 second set.
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds on each side with 15 seconds rest.
‘x’ indicates the number of sets x 1, x 2, x 3
Perform each stretch for 60 seconds or 30 seconds on each side if required.