How to Knee Tuck: Techniques, Benefits, Variations

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The stability ball knee crunch is one of those sit-ups that look great. Basically, you do the plank with your feet balanced on the stability ball, then you bring your knees forward toward your chest, pulling them close as you roll the stability ball toward you.

The move is certain maybe fun (if you define fun as challenging), but you must have enough muscle, chest, and shoulder strength to perform the exercise with proper form. You should hold the plank with your feet balanced on a stability ball for at least 30 to 60 seconds before performing the move.

Also known as: Roll back the ball stably

Target: Abdomen, shoulders, chest, triceps, hips

Necessary equipment: Stability ball, yoga mat (optional)

Level: Advanced

How to stabilize the ball knee

The stability ball knee brace requires enough space for your body length to fully extend – roughly the length of a yoga mat. If desired, place a yoga mat on the ground to help cushion your palms. Place the stability ball at one end of the mat before entering the starting position to knee the stability ball.

To start, get into a tabletop position on the mat, knees under hips and hands under shoulders. The stability ball should be behind your feet. Test your form here—your body should form a straight line from your tailbone to the top of your head. Squeeze your belly in, pulling your navel toward your spine.

  1. Place each foot on top of the stability ball so that the ball is somewhere between the top of your foot (at the ankle joint) and the top of your shin (without affecting your head’s ability to bend). pillow). The closer the ball is to your body, the easier it is to keep your balance. Also, adjust the width of the legs if needed. The closer your feet are together, the harder it will be to balance. Separate your legs slightly for more stability.
  2. Inhale when you feel balanced enough and check your form to make sure your center of gravity is engaged and your body forms a straight line from heels to head. Keep your shoulders on your wrists during the entire movement
  3. Press your feet and shins into the stability ball and use your abs to help pull the ball toward your chest as you bend your knees and draw your lower body over your torso. Bring your knees as close to your chest as you can. Exhale as you pull your knees forward.
  4. Hold for a second, then extend your knees, rolling the stability ball away from your torso to return to full plank. Exhale as you roll the ball away from you.
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Complete full reps, then carefully remove feet one at a time from the stability ball, bringing your knees back to the mat. From a tabletop position, stand up and kneel down, then stand. The slower you go, the more controlled and enhanced this movement becomes.

Benefits of stability ball knee pads

The stability ball knee push is a more advanced abs exercise that targets major core muscle groups (abdomen and back). Additionally, your triceps engage to help you maintain a high plank position, while your quads engage to keep your body stable as the ball rolls. So the movement hits almost the entire front chain (front half) of your body.

This move also targets the stabilizing muscles of the chest, shoulders, and hips. These areas are often overlooked, but when the stabilizing muscles are strong, you are less likely to experience unwanted movement in the major joints, helping to prevent injury from overuse or lack of stability. Strengthening these muscles can help with everyday mobility, making you more agile and less prone to falls or injuries.

In addition, this exercise develops anti-rotation core strength. In essence, this means your core has to work to prevent unwanted rotation. Since the stability ball can roll from side to side in addition to forward and backward, your hips, abdomen, and spine are forced to try to prevent side-to-side movement as you pull your knees in. chest side.

Develop anti-rotation core strength that can translate to everyday activities, preventing your spine from moving incorrectly as you go about your daily life. For example, if you step off the curb or walk on the sidewalk, your core is better prepared to engage and protect your spine, ultimately helping to prevent low back pain or injury and improve performance. sports performance.

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Other Variations of Tuck Knee Stabilizer Ball

You can do this exercise in a variety of ways to meet your skill level and goals.

Stable ball

The best variation for ball knee stability is the ball stabilizing board. Being able to master and hold a perfect plank while balancing with your feet on the ball is the ideal precursor to the rolling version of the exercise.

Hold the pose for as long as you can, aiming for at least 30 seconds. If your form fails at any point, release the position, take a break, then try again. It’s better to slowly build up your playing time with perfect form than to compromise on form just for the sake of gaining time.

Pike Stabilizer Ball

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

If you’re looking for an even bigger challenge, try the steady ball game. In this version, instead of bending your knees and placing them under your torso, you lift your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your legs straight.

Common mistake

Watch out for common mistakes when performing this advanced exercise. It is important to perform the knee bend with good form to be safer and more effective.

Shoulder and/or neck slip

You will need to hold a perfect plank position with your feet balanced on the stability ball to perform this exercise correctly. It is more difficult to do a plank with your feet on the ground due to the instability of the ball.

Many people focus on keeping their legs stable while ignoring the upper body. If you let your neck hang between your arms or your chest droop between your shoulders, failing to maintain chest and shoulder stability, you are preparing yourself for possible injury.

Once you’ve balanced your feet on top of the ball, check your upper body. Make sure your neck is in a neutral alignment, so that your body forms a straight line from head to toe, and bring your shoulders to your shoulders as if you were pressing on the top of a push-up.

Hips dropped

If you’re trying to balance on top of the ball, you’re more likely to forget to move your hips, low back, and abs, which can cause your hips to drop and your lower back to sag.

Given that this is an abs exercise, you need to make sure you’re working these muscle groups correctly. Plus, if you allow your hips to drop, you can stretch your lower back.

The most important thing is awareness — once you’ve established your balance on the ball, lift your hips slightly as you pull in your belly and pull your navel toward your spine. Done correctly, this will help you maintain proper balance.

Check your shape in the mirror if you have access — before you begin to bend your knees, your body should form a straight line from head to toe.

Positioning the ball too far

As long as the top of the stability ball is somewhere between the top of your foot and the top of your shin, you’re technically performing the exercise with correct form. That said, the farther the ball is from your knees, the harder it will be to keep your balance.

To start, keep the ball closer to the top of your shin than your foot. This allows you to master the movement with greater stability. Finally, you can put the ball further down from your feet.

Two feet too close together

While there’s nothing wrong with keeping your feet and legs together on top of the ball, this narrow leg stance makes movement more difficult. Just as placing the ball further away from your body makes it harder to keep your balance, a narrow “stand” also makes it harder to keep your balance.

Try separating your legs slightly — about hip-width apart — when starting. This wider base makes it easier to keep the ball moving in a straight line as you roll it to and from your body.

Moving too fast

Rolling the ball in and out too quickly increases your chances of losing your balance and falling off the ball. The slow and steady pace helps ensure you’re focusing on working the deep core, low back, and hip muscles—the muscles that you would like to engage in this exercise — without having to rely too much on unrelated muscles (quadriceps, shoulders, triceps, chest) to help you keep your balance.

Try counting as you roll the ball toward you and away from you, aiming for at least two to three seconds for each phase of the movement.

Safety and Precautions

Pay attention to your form throughout the exercise and keep a slow and steady pace as you pull the ball to and from your torso. Also, consider the type of surface you’re placing the ball on. Slippery surfaces, like brick or treated concrete, can cause the ball to bounce off your feet. Lay down a yoga mat for more traction, or choose a surface with more friction, such as carpet or grass.

Finally, if you have shoulder, wrist or low back pain, this exercise can aggravate the problem. If you feel a sharp pain or a sharp pain when performing the movement, stop the exercise. Crunches or deadlifts may be preferable options that target the same muscle groups in general.


Incorporate this and similar moves into one of these popular exercises:

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