There is a myriad of core exercises out there today. The main goal of any core exercise is to challenge your trunk strength in a variety of positions. Each person will have a different breaking point. Today’s exercise technique is not for everyone right off the bat, but it is something that everyone should be able to build up to, given enough practice.
This exercise is both static and dynamic in nature. It is all about core balance. It combines the static iron cross position, with the dynamic motions of tossing/catching a medicine ball and the dynamic motion of an unstable surface. Although this exercise is fun to attempt, it is not the only type of core exercise you should be focusing on. Rather an exercise like this is a good check in on how your static and dynamic systems are operating together, particularly when in a c-sit dependent position.
If you notice in the video below the little shaking John experiences tells us he is right on the edge of his ability. You can see he maintains great form, throughout each rep and is able to compensate statically for the dynamic components of this exercise.
This is fantastic because this shows me he is has fluid control of both static and dynamic systems. It is a simple check-up exercise for how his core is operating when in the c-sit position. This is great, but only if his technique stays on point.
We could write a book on the importance of proper technique, but for the sake of time I’ll be brief. Regardless of what exercise you are focusing technique is always the #1 key component. If your technique is off, you will not get the full benefit of the exercise, fatigue faster, work different muscle groups than intended, and ultimately put yourself at risk for injury. For this exercise, maintaining a c-sit position where your hips are tucked so your low back is neutral is crucial.
If your alignment fails at any time during the exercise, stop, reset, and go again. Minimal reps will be needed when completing a full body exercise like this. When attempting this exercise for the first time, do one rep then stop, reset, and go again. You may only get 4-5 reps total per set. That’s okay. Make a note of it and next time try to get a 1-2 more. Overall, 10 or so reps will be plenty.
Additionally, only a light weight medicine ball is necessary. In this video we were using only a 6-pound ball. The goal of this exercise is not for upper body strength improvement, but for dynamic core stability. If the exercise gets easier add a few reps or start throwing the ball harder so you’ll have to cushion the catch more instead of jumping up in weight.