Purchasing your own gym ball (also known as a Swiss ball, exercise ball or stability ball) is a great idea if you have scoliosis and you want to build up your core strength by performing stretches and exercises at home. Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, we've seen countless scoliosis sufferers make astounding improvements simply by following a specially-tailored exercise regime, and we very often use gym balls as part of our ScolioGold treatment courses.
If you have a curved spine and you'd like to work on your back muscles at home, here are 3 simple, beginner-level gym ball exercises for you to try:
Straight Leg Gym Ball Bridge
This exercise can be used to activate your gluteal (bottom) muscles and strengthen your core.
- To begin with, lie on your back with your legs straight and your feet resting on a gym ball. Ensure that you are lying in a straight line. (See image above left.)
- Engage your core muscles: try to draw your navel in towards your spine.
- Slowly lift your hips up towards the ceiling by squeezing the muscles in your bottom. Lift up until your body is in a straight diagonal line (see image above right). Be careful not to arch your lower back or flare your ribs.
- Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat 10 times
Walk Out Gym Ball Bridge
This is an alternative exercise to the commonly-completed floor bridge.
- Start by sitting on a gym ball with your arms out in front of you.
- Slowly walk your feet forwards and allow the ball to roll so that your upper body comes into contact with the ball.
- Keep going until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your body is in one straight line. You should now be lying with your back on the ball, looking up at the ceiling.
- Squeeze the muscles in your bottom and be sure to keep your hips up and your pelvis tucked so that you do not arch your lower back.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds, then slowly walk your feet back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Gym Ball Balancing
This exercise can be used to work on your core stability and postural balance.
- To start with, sit on your gym ball with your feet hip-width apart and your knees in line with your hips. Place your hands on your hips. (If possible, perform this exercise while facing a mirror.)
- Elongate up through your spine to ensure that you are not slouching. Check in the mirror to make sure your body is in a straight alignment. Engage your core muscles by drawing your navel to your spine.
- Try to lift one foot up from the floor without letting any other part of your body move. Ensure that your pelvis does not rock from side to side. Keep your shoulders level.
- Try to hold this position for 5 seconds, then change sides. Repeat 10 times on each side.
More Scoliosis Exercises:
Disclaimer: The above information should not be treated as medical advice and the scoliosis exercises described may not be suitable or beneficial for everyone. You should not begin any exercise routine without consulting a qualified health practitioner, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, elderly, or if you have any chronic or recurring conditions. Any application of scoliosis exercises suggested is at the reader's sole discretion and risk. Scoliosis SOS accepts no responsibility or liability for any loss or injuries caused directly or indirectly through the performing of any exercises described. If you feel any discomfort or pain during exercise, stop immediately. Always consult your own GP if you are in any way concerned about your health or anything associated with it.