Swiss Ball Bridging and Curls
If my experience counts for anything, and I think it does because I’ve been doing this for a long time 😊, I know that when most trainers and athletes first see a picture of this exercise, their first thought is going to be, glute and hip strength.
That isn’t wrong.
This exercise does do a great job of building solid hip and glute stability and strength if done correctly, and also integrates the hamstring muscle group in a challenging way.
But that ISN’T my primary reason for including this in volume 1 of this course. (The same will hold true as it relates to the other joints which we hinge with, the shoulders, for the next exercise in Level 3, Ab-Wheel Roll Outs).
So, what is the reason?
When athletes typically do exercises like Swiss Ball Bridging and Curls, the focus is usually ON the muscle group that is thought to BE the focus of the training. In this case for this kind of exercise, it would naturally be the hips and glutes and hamstrings, right?
Well, from my point of view, that isn’t where the focus should be, at least not initially.
The focus is first, on what provides the foundation for the hips. In other words, it should be on establishing a solid, stable and stiff core, SO THAT the hips CAN MOVE and thus DO what we want them to do. Which is hinge.
Hinging at the Hip!
When we hinge at the hip as you learned in the basic glute bridge in RESTORE: The Foundation, we’re building core stability. And yes, we’re using our hips the way that they’re intended too, which WILL improve how they function!
But it’s important to first remember that the core IS THE anchor for the hips. The core is your foundation. (Sound familiar? I hope so!).
Hip hinging, because it involves rotation of the pelvis anteriorly, optimally loads the entire posterior complex (glutes, hamstrings, etc.) and thus reduces the stress on our lumbar spine (low-back).
The point is, the hips can’t be who they’re supposed to be (from a movement perspective) unless the core provides the solid foundation IT needs to.
Think about it: there was a reason after all, as to why I taught you these skills in Circuit 1 of Restore: The Foundation – How to Establish a Neutral Pelvis. Rewatch that video if you need to, as it might mean much more to you now, having come this far in your core stability and strength journey!
Beyond the Core:
Yes, without a shadow of a doubt, this exercise is a great hip stability and strength builder. That’s a bonus benefit on top of building increasing strength and stability of the core.
A stable and strong set of hips ON TOP OF a stable and strong core = a durable athlete!
Let’s get to work, shall we?
Listen in and watch the video carefully for the not-so-obvious errors which will be tricky yet important to avoid. Watch yourself. That includes video and a mirror. Do it. 😊