Fitness 101: How To Do A Stability-Ball Pike
By Michelle October; Photography: Igor Polzenhagen
You’ve seen the workout vids on Instagram – and fallen on your face trying to emulate them. Well, dust yourself off because we’re going to show you how to ace this core-sculpting move yourself!
Here’s something you probably didn’t know about having strong abs: the lazier the are, the higher risk for back injury. In fact, a strong core means less lower-back pain – one of the most common complaints among adults. Enter the stability-ball pike: “It not only serves as a core-strengthening exercise, but also doubles as a stability and agility move,” says Tanya Roux, a trainer at Huba Functional Fitness in Cape Town. In one motion, you’re engaging your quads, triceps, lower back, butt and chest. But there’s a catch: you have to work your way up to this move, because it requires existing core strength.
To get there, start by doing longer planks, then use your stability ball and tuck your knees into you chest. Once your core feels stronger, go for the pike. To get onto the ball, place your torso on the ball and slowly roll it underneath you until you’re in a high plank with your hands shoulder-width apart and your shins on the ball. From there, squeeze your abs, legs and butt to roll the ball forward.
Signs you’re doing it wrong
You’re sinking your hips
This puts pressure on your back, when really it’s your core that needs to do the work. Use your abs to keep your hips up and use the mirror to check your form.
You’re not activating your core
If your arms are wobbling too much, you may be putting too much emphasis on them. Make sure you rely on your core – you should feel your midsection fire up as soon as you’re on the stability ball.
Your feet are sliding around
Keep tops of your feet firmly on the ball and allow the ball to roll onto the tips of your toes.
You have a shoulder injury, lower-back pain or a weak core.
Got it, but you’re arms are feeling a bit weak? Get sculpted, toned arms by nailing the basics like the biceps curl.