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Side Plank on Ball

This is an excerpt from Dance Anatomy-3rd Edition by Jacqui Haas.

Side Plank on Ball


  1. Lie on an exercise ball on your left side. You can place your feet against the floor and wall to help stabilize you. Feel as if your hips and waist are supported by the ball.
  2. Once you have found your placement, place your fingertips behind your ears. You should already begin to feel your core working to stabilize your spine on the ball.
  3. Inhale as you begin to move into a right lateral side-bend, focusing on the transversus abdominis and the left internal oblique. You will also be using your multifidi and left quadratus lumborum.
  4. Hold and exhale for an isometric contraction of 3 to 5 counts before slowly returning to your starting position. Practice this 8 to 10 times before going to the other side. As your skills improve, try holding for longer than 3 to 5 seconds to challenge your core and stabilizing ability.

Muscles Involved

Transversus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, multifidi, quadratus lumborum, pelvic floor, gluteus medius

Dance Focus

A strong core is important for all dance genres, but let’s focus on break dancing. Break dancing—also called b-boying, b-girling, or breaking—requires agility, strength, and balance skills. There is an artistic and athletic element to break dancing. Criteria judges at break-dancing competitions and championships are looking for clean and sharp foundational skills, musicality, style, and execution of high-level power moves, to name a few. Break dancing has an element of danger to it, which makes it exciting to watch. Core exercises can help to prepare the body for the challenging skills required for break dancing. Your muscles and nerves make up your neuromuscular system; exercising using a stability ball utilizes your neuromuscular system, engages multiple muscles, and improves balance skills. All the tricks, flips, or head spins in break dancing require neuromuscular control, core strength, and exceptional balance skills.

Dance Focus

More Excerpts From Dance Anatomy 3rd Edition