December 13th, 2013

Health N

Staff Report

Health N
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As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to

The winter season is upon the Louisville area, and the ice and snow make it hard to be outdoors to stay active during the holiday season. Yet, there are a few exercises that can be done in a home, gym or even office to maintain physical stability for activities and sports. The exercises will help any age person maintain core strength for activities for the winter or upcoming spring season.

Core strength is an important part of many rehabilitation programs as well as sports specific training programs.  The exercise ball (Swiss ball or physio ball) is a helpful tool to incorporate in a core strengthening program.  The unstable nature of the physio ball forces certain muscles to respond to maintain the body’s balance. 

When the exercises are performed correctly, the muscles responding are your core muscles- abdominals, low back muscles, and hip muscles. Perform 30 repetitions of each exercise except the plank.  Do not perform any exercise that causes pain and consult a physical therapist or trainer if you are unsure about proper technique.

1. Bridge: lay flat on the mat with heels on the ball.  Lift hips up as high as you can without pain and lower back down.

2. Hamstring Curls:  raise hips up to a bridge position and bend knees in, keeping abdominals tight.

3. Back Extension:  lay face down with hips on the ball and hands on the floor.  Using your low back muscles and gluteal (butt) muscles, lift both legs up keeping knees straight. 

4. Abdominal Crunches:  lay with the small of your back on the ball.  Cross arms in front of your chest or behind your head.  Lift upper body towards the ceiling- avoid straining your neck by pulling forward.

5. Plank #1:  lay face down with legs on the ball and hands on the floor.  Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.  The ball can be as low as ankle level for a more difficult exercise or as high as hip level for an easier exercise.

6. Plank #2:  prop elbows on the ball and toes on the floor.  Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.

*You can find an illustration of each exercise by searching the exercise name along with “stability ball” on the Internet.

DeSales High School John Mingus comments about the importance of core strength for activities:

“Strengthening your core muscles leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. Most sports and other daily physical activities depend on stable core muscles,” said Mingus.

Louisville Orthopaedic Cilnic and Sports Rehab Center                                                          

4130 Dutchman’s Ln, Ste. 300 

Louisville, KY 40207                            

Ph. 502-897-1794   


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