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Disc Training Exercises

by
author image Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.
Disc Training Exercises
A blue rubber balance disc on a white background. Photo Credit venusphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Exercise discs come in three varieties. The inflatable, rubber balance discs support balance training exercises, while the wood or plastic rotary discs enhance upper and lower body joint mobility. Gliding discs are similar to slide boards. The discs support lower and upper body strength and coordination exercises. The disc's small size and light weight makes them portable and relatively affordable. Use them for balance training, sport or dance-specific movement or in conjunction with strength training.

Standing Rotation

Physical therapist, Pilates and Feldenkrais instructor Elizabeth Larkham evolved the Pilates technique by adding standing rotary movements on rotational discs. This exercise works the obliques from an upright position. Place two rotational discs on the floor, and place one foot on each disc. Cross your arms and hold them slightly below your chest. This will keep you from using upper body momentum. Stabilize your upper body and rotate your hips to the right. Return to center, and then repeat to your left. Perform 20 repetitions, or 10 to each side. Then, stabilize your lower body and practice rotating your upper torso. Perform 10 repetitions or five to each side, and then put the entire sequence together. Rotate your lower body to the right and your upper body to the left. Repeat in the opposite direction. Perform 20 repetitions or 10 in each direction.

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Turn-Out And Plie

Dancers know that the coveted turn out initiates in the hip joint. People who lack sufficient external hip rotation rarely progress in their careers. Even non-dancers can benefit from hip rotation exercises, which tone the upper thigh and gluteal muscles while enhancing hip joint health. Stand with each foot on a rotary disc. Imagine that you have a ketchup bottle top at the outer part of each thigh, where it connects to the hip. "Open" the bottle by opening your hip sockets. Your feet should turn out, so that your left foot faces left and your right foot faces right. Stay in the turn-out and bend both knees. keep your spine erect, forming a straight line from the top of your head to the base of your spine. Squeeze your inner thighs toward each other as you straighten your legs, and then close the hip sockets and return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions.

Gliding Disc Lunge

Gliding discs come in two models. Some are suitable for wooden floors, whereas others work best on carpet. The gliding disc lunge works the leg and gluteal muscles. Stand with one foot on each gliding disc. Keep your feet parallel. Slide your right leg to the side, bending your left leg. Contract your inner thigh as you bring the leg back to center. Perform 10 repetitions on each leg.

Gliding Disc Push-Up

The gliding disc push-up is a compound exercise, which combines the chest size enhancing benefits if a push-up and the cleavage enhancing benefits of a chest fly. Place the discs on the floor and place one hand on each disc. Assume a bent leg or straight leg push-up position. Begin with your hands together. Bend your elbows, lower your body toward the floor and slide your hands apart. Contract your pectoral muscles and extend your arms, sliding your hand toward each other. Perform 12 repetitions.

Quadruped Balance Disc

The quadruped balance exercise assesses and improves balance, while working the core and gluteal muscles. Performing the exercise using two inflatable balance disc adds challenge. Kneel on all fours, placing one disc under your right knee and the other under your left hand. Simultaneously lift and extend your left leg and your right arm. Avoid leaning to the opposite side. Perform eight repetitions, and then change sides.

Balance Disc Squats

Standing balance disc exercise may strengthen your ankles, improve your balance and enhance your proprioception, which is defined as your body's awareness of its position in space. Stand with one foot on each disc. Bend your knees and sit back, as if you were about to sit on a chair. Extend your legs with control. Try to keep your weight centered on each foot. Perform 10 repetitions.

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References

Demand Media