Reform: Side Stretch with Small Ball
And now for yet another of my favourite Small Ball exercises (I love working wih the ball). If you don’t have this particular ball, any other ball of a similar size (22cm / 10″) will do. This is a great side stretch, but it will once again target your deep core muscles in a way that is impossible without a ball. It’s a tricky one to master and find your balance, but once you have it, you’ll love it too!
Starting position: The starting position and placement of the pelvis and legs is very important. If you don’t get it right it will be nigh on impossible to get yourself up. So sit with your left leg bent in front of you and stretch your right leg out to the side (if this is uncomfortable, you could bend your right lower leg to the back). Important 1 – your left knee needs to be ‘outside’ your frame, in other words don’t place it in front of the pelvis, but further out to the left. Important 2 – do not sit on two buttocks, your right knee and top of your foot should be facing forwards not up to the ceiling. You are basically sitting on the outside of your left buttock.
Your spine is now in a slight lateral flexion to the right and you will have to contract your abdominal and back muscles to hold you here. Place the ball next to your left hip. Your right arm is out to the side, and your left arm is reaching forwards.
Movement 1: Breathe in and very slowly lower yourself over the ball, you’re making a lateral flexion (side bend) to the left – let your head lead. Keep the left shoulder off the mat and don’t collapse on to the ball. The right arm is drawing an arc over the ceiling and along the wall to your left. Feel the stretch along your right side once you’re in position over the ball.
Movement 2: Breathe out slowly and as though someone is pulling you up by your right ear, move slowly up and back to the starting position. The right arm draws the same arc in reverse.
Repeat 10 times on the left, and then change sides.
- Keep the foot of the extended leg on the floor, it will move slightly, but try not to lift it.
- Move slowly and gracefully; use long slow breaths to help you.
Have fun! You WILL feel this 48-hours after you’ve done it for the first time!
Til the next time!