This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
You probably think of push-ups as primarily a chest and shoulder exercisewhich it isbut the plank position also strengthens the core and abs. This exercise takes that potential to the limit, as you to use your abs to pike up from a plank position with your feet on a stability ball.
Take up a push-up (plank) position, with your hands under your shoulders and your back flat, but with a stability ball under your legs. The ball should be beneath your shins and the tops of your feet, with your toes pointed. Engage your abdominals so that your hips do not droop toward the floor (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, use your abdominals to fold your body upward, pulling your hips and buttocks straight toward the ceiling. Keep your feet pointed, so that the ball comes under your toes as your hips rise. At the top of your lift, the ball will be held under your pointed toes, and your back will nearly be in a straight line with your arms. Your shoulders should remain above your hands or slightly behind themnever in front (see Photos 2 and 3).
- From the top of your lift, lower your hips as you press the ball back carefully with your feet, allowing it to be captured by the tops of your feet as you return to the starting position. Do not allow your hips to dip below a flat line with your shoulders and feet. Repeat for a set of 20 pike-ups (see Photos 4 and 5).