1 Abdominal ball crunches
Start by positioning the ball in the small of your back, then tighten your buttocks and abdominal muscles and in a slow and controlled fashion, lift your trunk and then slowly lower it again and repeat. Build up to three sets of 20 repeats.
You can start with the normal plank, with feet and arms on the ground and simply tightening your buttocks and abdominal muscles and holding your trunk parallel to the ground for 30 seconds. Once you get the hang of that, move on to lifting one leg, then lifting one arm, then lifting one leg and the opposite arm. Build up to three sets, holding each position for 10 to 15 seconds.
3 Double and single leg bridge
Start with both heels on top of the ball and knees bent to approximately 75 degrees, tighten your buttocks and lift your trunk forming a straight line between your shoulders, hips and knees and then lower your trunk and repeat. To make this more difficult, place one heel on top of the ball and keep your other leg in the air. Build up to three sets of 15 repeats.
4 Single leg BOSU balance
This exercise is going to require some practice, because if you’ve never used a BOSU ball before, you’ll need a few sessions simply to learn to get your balance right. Once you’ve got the hang of it, practise balancing on one leg and then move on to keeping your balance on the ball on one leg. In order to maintain this position for 30 seconds or more, you’re going to have to use muscles from your ankles all the way up to your neck – and remember to use your arms! As runners, we often forget that our arms balance us during a run, so use them. Build up to two sets of one minute on each leg.
5 BOSU hip flexor lifts
Start with your arms straight, straddle the BOSU ball and get your body into a plank position, then rapidly lift your knees toward your chest and back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. This is a great drill that works key core areas required for running: Hip flexors, glutes and abdominals. Build up to three sets of 20 to 30 knee lifts.
6 Single leg ball bridge
Start by positioning the ball underneath your shoulders, with both feet flat on the ground and the knees bent at 90 degrees. Then tighten your buttocks and abdominal muscles and slowly lift and straighten one leg. Keep those muscles activated in order to maintain your balance and hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other leg. Build up to two sets of 15 seconds per leg.
7 Side raises
You’ll need to find the pivotal point where your legs remain on the floor and you have enough leverage to lift and lower your upper body. Be sure to keep your upper body in a straight line as you lift and lower yourself. You may have a tendency to bend forward or backwards if there is a muscle imbalance, but focus on keeping your upper body straight. Build up to three sets of 15 repeats.