This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
The key to this core-crunching exercise is control. Stability ball elbow rollouts are not only about how far you can move the stability ball; instead, they test your ability to control that rolling motion, and reverse its direction, without falling off the ball or grabbing with your legs. Go slow.
Position yourself in a bridge position on a stability ball so that you're supported by the tips of your toes on the floor and your elbows on the stability ball. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet, and your upper arms should be almost perpendicular to the floor. Do not let your lower back arch or your stomach sag. Engage your abs and your lower back muscles to hold the position (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, use your elbows to roll the ball out in front of you. Do this slowly—you only want to go as far as you can control from your center, not so far that you fall. As you roll the ball, keep your feet steady on the floor; you want to control this entire motion through your center, not your legs (see Photos 2 and 3).
- Once you begin to feel that you are on the verge of losing control of the ball, use your core strength to reverse direction and bring the ball back to the starting position (see Photos 4 and 5).