Abs and Core Exercises

How to Do the Core-Strengthening Supine Ball Shuffle

The supine ball shuffle is the missing piece in your core curriculum.

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Supine Ball Shuffle
Per Bernal

You crunch, you plank, you twist, you raise. Your core program covers all bases. Or does it? Actually, there’s a good chance it’s lacking a key component: antirotation.

The ability to resist forces from turning your body is valuable. For athletes, it keeps them from produc­ing force in the wrong direction when they throw, swing, or punch. It can also help everyday gym rats transfer more power to their big compound lifts and stabilize better during uni­lateral exercises. And if rotational moves like woodchoppers and Russian twists are staples in your abs routine, antirotational moves—like the supine ball shuffle, shown here—can act as a complement.

“Antirotation exercises can strengthen rotational patterns and make them safer because you’re not constantly repeating high­ velocity rotational movements,” says Brian Richardson, M.S., NASM-P.E.S., a strength coach and the co­-owner of Dynamic Fitness in Temecula, CA. Translation: Working antirotation strengthens your ability to rotate.

The supine ball shuffle is a dynamic exercise that combines the benefits of a plank with total-­body coordi­nation. During the movement, your muscles will experience “gradated recruitment.” This means as you get more fatigued, your body will recruit more muscle fibers for the job. Over time, this results in a greater ability to contract the muscles and, ultimately, more core stability.

How to Do It: The Supine Ball Shuffle

  1. Lie faceup on an exercise ball, with feet flat on the floor. Beginners should cross arms and place hands at the shoulders. Advanced athletes can hold arms at their sides.
  2. Slowly shuffle your feet laterally until one shoulder and hip are off the ball. Tense your core and hold that position for 3 seconds, keeping your shoulder and hips square. Do not let the unsupported side drop. Shuffle to the other side and repeat. Alternate sides every rep. Do 2 sets of 5 (each).
  3. Note: If your neck tires, press your tongue into the roof of your mouth. This activates your neck extensors and decreases feelings of fatigue.
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