EXERCISE 5: Hip Extension Feet On Ball
To strengthen the upper hamstrings, gluteals and lower back, as well as the stabiliser muscles of the back and core. Cyclists often have weak lower back and hip muscles. This exercise strengthens this area whilst stimulating the body’s stabiliser system. Dependent on which is the weakest link in the chain of muscles involved, you may feel this in the back of your legs, your butt or your lower back.
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This exercise can be wobbly at the start but with practice you will find it much steadier. The more wobbly the ball the weaker your body’s stabilisers are. As you train your stabiliser system with the exercise the ball will seem more stable.
Start by laying flat on your back with your legs on the ball pulling it as close as possible to your body.
Keep your arms out wide with your palms turned up for support.
Push down on the ball with your legs lifting your hips as high in the air as possible.
In the top position you should aim to have your shoulder, hip and knee all in one straight diagonal line. Hold this position for four seconds before lowering your hips back down to the floor.
Repeat 10-12 times before taking a rest for 30 seconds.
Perform 2-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions with a four second hold at the top.
Once you can comfortably complete this sequence with no wobbling you can progress the exercise in two ways, either by moving the ball further away from your body, or by bringing your arms closer to your sides, or even crossing them over your chest.
Make sure you have mastered the basic level of the exercise before you try these progressions.