Category Archives: ball exercises in work

Back strengthening exercises should include stomach exercises – active sitting program part IV

Back strengthening exercises should include stomach exercises. Why? Most people who suffer from back problems have a muscle imbalance between the muscles of the front of their body and the muscles of the back. Their stomach muscles tend to be week and lacking tone while the muscles of the back tend to be tight. So, if you want to exercise for your back it is important to do stomach ecerises, too.

In the previous posts you were introduced to simple stretching, mobility and strengthening exercises. Please be sure to review the general guidelines about back strengthening exercises and stomach exercises before continuing with the next set of exercises.

Stomach Exercises while sitting:

stomach exercises and back strenghtening exercises - active sitting

Start by sitting upright on the ball.

stomach exercises and back strengthening exercises - active sitting

1. Tighten the muscles in your stomach by pulling your stomach in. Clench the cheeks of you buttocks together and hold these muscles tight throughout the exercise. The buttocks muscles are an important part of your back muscles. Engaging them by clenching them is an important part of any back strengthening exercise program. Make sure you keep breathing throughout theses stomach exercises.

2. Start rolling the ball forward as you curve your lower back, moving your lower back towards the ball. Make sure you curve the lower back onto the ball as oppose to leaning your upper back backward.

3. Bring your upper body back a little bit. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds while breathing normally.
• Repeat 3 to 5 times


Variation for more stomach strength:

stomach exercises and back strengthening exercises - active sitting

To make above exercise more strenuous, you can let go of the table top and bring your hands to the shoulders. To push it even harder bring the hands behind the head and/or straighten the arms towards the ceiling. As before ensure you are breathing normally throughout the exercise.

• Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times

Neck stretches – great exercises to do while sitting in work – active sitting program part II

The following set of neck stretches will help you relax you neck muscles. They will also mobilize your neck. Moving your back and neck reduces the adverse effects of inactivity through prolonged sitting. The neck stretches and the exercises in our active sitting program mobilize your joints, strengthen your musculature, stretch tight and tense muscles and increase your overall level of energy. The exercises are easily done and can be repeated frequently during the day. The more you engage in the simple routine the less likely you will suffer from the effects of continuous inactivity.

Spinal movements should be unilateral, the movement should only take place in one direction. We should for example avoid twisting and bending the spine at the same time. This applies to exercises as well as daily movements. Exercises or movements to ‘loosen up’ such as rolling the head can cause damage rather than being helpful and should be completely avoided. Be sure to review the general guidelines which apply to neck stretches as well as all the other exercises you will find on this site.

Spinal movements should also avoid hyper-extension of the back, you should not curve the back backwards. Again, some exercises such as dropping the head back should therefore be avoided.

When exercising on the ball, sit upright and allow the spine to be in its natural curve and in good alignment. Breath normally during all neck stretches. Tighten the muscles in your stomach (simply pull your stomach in) as the musculature supports the lower back, stabilizes the hip and makes the exercise more effective. Hold on to the edge of the table or rest your wrists on the edge of the table, unless instructed otherwise.




1. Push the head forward, as far as possible, while keeping the shoulders back.

2. Pull the head back, keeping the chin down. Hold your head in this double chin position, then push it forward again.

• Repeat exercise 3 to 5 times

The above is a mobility exercise to improve joint functionality. To use it as one of our neck stretches

1. push the head forward as before.

2. Then pull the head back and down again and hold this position for about 10 seconds, feeling a stretch in the back of the head and neck. • Repeat stretch 3 times

Head Turn

neck stretches

1. Keeping the shoulders straight and still and rest your hands in your lap.

2. Turn your head as far as possible, looking over your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Compare the two sides and see if you have equal mobility when turning your head.

• Repeat 3 to 5 times


You will find Part III of the Active Sitting Program and more neck stretches in the next post.


Active sitting – deep breathing exercises a set of simple exercises you can do while in work

In our active sitting program we introduce deep breathing exercises into our working day.

What does active sitting mean? The active sitting program is an exercise program that will loosen our often tight and sore muscles. The exercises will make you joints work better again by lubricating them. As well as that they will strengthen and stretch our muscles. This helps us to maintain a good posture. All exercises are done sitting on the exercise ball. The ball on its own is a good way to keep the otherwise passive position of sitting relatively active.

deep breathing exercises, back strengthening exercises, good posture, good sitting posture

Many people sit for a long period of time each day. Many of us sit in work. We also sit while we take our meals. We sit when we travel. We sit while watching television or a movie. The list is long. When you add up all the hours you sit every day you might discover you sit for most of the day.

Unfortunately many people slouch while they sit. Combine that with the fact that most people sit so much we soon realise that their bad sitting posture can causes them back problems.

A good indicator of the state of our posture is our breathing. A posture which enables us to take a deep breath is naturally upright and straight. As we slouch our breathing becomes shallow. Our chest becomes restricted, depriving us of one of our main sources of energy. As the breathing is shallow the body accumulates high levels of carbon dioxide causing us to get tired. Internal organs can be compressed and blood flow to these organs can be restricted. As a result their functionality can be reduced.

Sitting upright enables us to breath more deeply allowing our body to work more efficiently. Likewise deep breathing exercises can improve our posture. Deep breathing exercises can therefore help people with back problems, too.

Deep Breathing Exercises:

deep breathing exercises, good posture

1. Slowly take a deep breath and as your chest rises, feel how your thoracic vertebrae start straightening up without the conscious use of any other musculature such as your back muscles.
2. Exhale and let the shoulders, torso and chin fall down and forward a little. Repeat the exercise a few times.
3. We can enhance this simple exercise when sitting on the ball by gently rolling backward when inhaling and forward when exhaling. By rolling back and forth on the ball we mobilize the entire spine during this exercise. By simply focusing on our breathing we can thereby achieve an improvement in our sitting posture. Try to correct your posture in this way as often as possible during your working day. Allow your spine to be more upright, assuring good breathing and thereby increasing your energy levels.

You can also try another variation of the above deep breathing exercise. Again make sure you sit upright before you commence the activity.

1. Place one hand on you chest. Place the other hand on your stomach.

2. Take a deep breath. Notice which of your hand rises as you breath in. Notice how your chest and/or stomach drop as you exhale.

3. On the next inhalation try to let your breath make your stomach rise.

4. On exhaling pull you stomach in and get a sense of squeezing the air out with your stomach muscles.


Are you looking for Back Strengthening Exercises?

On this site you will find a comprehensive back strengthening exercises program. Next to back strengthening exercises we include stretches and mobility exercises for the back in particular stretches for lower back pain and neck tension. We have been teaching this program for over fifteen years. Our back strengthening exercises have helped our program participants to reduce and eliminate their back problems.

We also have found in order to get rid of back pain and other back problems people need to know what causes them. When you know how your back problems are caused you can learn to prevent them. You will also know what kind of back strengthening exercises are good (see our movement and exercise guidelines). You quickly realise that some so called back exercises are not so good. Unfortunately there are a lot of back damaging activities and exercise programs out there claiming to be good for the back. Once you know how to avoid back damaging activities you can re-engage because you will know how to do these activities in a way that they don’t cause you problems.

Back strengthening exercises are a really good idea and a lifestyle choice if you have an otherwise sedentary lifestyle or are engaged in activities that caused your back problems. Sometimes it takes as little as 15 minutes of our back strengthening exercises every couple of days to balance out the acitivities of your life that might have caused you problems before.

All our participants have successfully got rid of their back problems. they are using our back strengthening exercise program. With it they have regained good core stability.

Core stability describes the correct functioning of those muscles, mainly the hips, stomach and back musculature, responsible for uprightness and stability of the upper body.

If muscles in your stomach are weak and/or your back muscles are tense and tight weakness in these areas can result in misalignment of the spine. This can cause discomfort and pain, often in the upper and lower back. It can also lead to increased wear and tear causing irreversible damage to the in the spine and nervous system.

Therefore a central part of the program we do is to provide exercises to re-establish and maintain a good muscle balance.

However, we strongly believe it is important to learn about good movement practices. That way we can ensure that not only is our exercise program is done correctly — but any other activity we engage in, too!

•information about the source of back problems and the structure and functionality of the spine

•simple guidelines on how to move in a back friendly way on a day-to-day basis and during exercising

•a comprehensive set of back strengthening exercises to re-establish a healthy musculature which supports the spine

Our back strengthening exercise program is for men and women of all ages. We use an exercise ball for many of the back strengthening exercises. Just sitting on a ball, much like you would sit on a chair is a back strengthening exercise.

active sitting - stomach exercises and back strengthening exercises for the ball

active sitting – stomach exercises and back strengthening exercises for the ball