Up an Down with a Tennis Ball:- Start Position
- Stand sideways to a wall, and place a tennis ball between your ankles just below the
- Form your foot arches, and keep the insides of your feet parallel.
- Find and maintain pelvic neutral.
- Clench your buttock muscles.
- Long spine.
- Anchor the scapulas.
- Long back of neck, tuck the chin.
Up an Down with a Tennis Ball:- Action
(You will need to look down to check knee alignment)
- Breathe in, and zip and hollow.
- (Breathing out): Rise up onto your toes.
- Breathe in.
- (Breathing out): Slowly lower back down. Once your heels are on the ground,
continue down by bending your knees slightly.
- Repeat five to ten times. Do not hurry
© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
- The person in the diagrams has failed to clench the
buttocks, and demonstrates the result: He is in swayed back alignment, with the back of the
shoulder blades behind a vertical line drawn through the back of the buttocks. This is a
potentially harmful defect in body positioning(2,3). If possible,
do this exercise watching yourself in the mirror. This will help you to check for sway back
and ankle and knee alignment.
- This is a great exercise to do if you have been desk bound for a long period.
What it does
- Aids alignment of the legs. What it especially does is prevent the knees
from looking inward toward each other (hip medial rotation).(1)
- Teaches the foot arches and buttock muscles to work together as nature
designed them to do(3)!
- Prevents sway back (but see point  under comments).
- Teaches some of the movement patterns associates with healthy walking(3).
- Keep lengthening upward throughout.
- Remember to clench the buttocks to help prevent "sway back".
- Shirley A Sahrmann: Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes;
Publ. Mosby 2002
- The Official Body Control Pilates Manual Available from: http://www.bodycontrol.co.uk/
- Bruce Thomson: Engage Gluteus maximus!