Exercise 4.   On the Ball Straight Leg Side Stretch

of the

Level 1. Beginners  Program 

Introduction Routine


The Intrinsacore Method

This exercise focuses on the active stretching of the hamstrings, the contraction and activation of the abdominal muscles, and the core activation of moving, stretching and  transitioning your body while sitting on the ball.

This exercise is not challenging in the obvious ways. Its challenge lies  in its activation of your balance and mind-body control nervous system, known as your  neuromuscular proprioception.

It does this by a combined group of actions, being executed with the body weight being placed on the ball. The focus on the position of your head, spine and hip movements offers a true full body activation challenge. In other words, many joints are moving in several directions at once with the ball as a support. But at the same time the ball is also challenging to your balance.

So let’s begin.

1. Place the ball on a safe, stable, nonslip surface. Sit on the ball in a wide knee squatting position. Check your knee to ankle alignment, your knees should be directly over your  ankles. Raise your hands to eye level, lift and straighten through your spine and look forward and keep your head up and straight forward.

2. Now straighten your left leg. While straightening the left leg, pull the toes up and feel the ball slightly roll so the upper half of  your left hamstring rolls on to the ball. This is the effect of  the leg straightening action. Keep leg straight and toes up and active. At this point you should lift and extend upward through the spine, giving a rising sensation to the chest and head, with hands at eye level. As you bend forward, hold the extended spinal position and push your chin and chest outward and forward, as you bend into the hip contraction. Bending forward happens at the hip only.

3. As you Extend and lift the head and chest, rotate your shoulders toward the straight left leg. This spinal extension coupled with a spinal twist, creates a strong activation of the core spinal and torso muscles. Rotate until your chest bone or sternum is in line with your straight left leg. Then with the rotation and lift in the chest and head, bend from the hips toward the straight left leg. You should begin to feel a strong hamstring stretch. Bend forward  from the hip as far as possible, without rounding your back. This will feel like you are looking forward while bending forward over your straight left leg. You should feel a strong hamstring stretch at this time.

4. When you reach the end of your stretch comfort in the hamstring, with an extended spine, let the spine round forward and touch your hands to the left raised toes. Hold for a short moment. Then look up straighten spine again but leave the contraction angle in the left hips. Pull hands back up to eye level and contract the bottom of your shoulder blades together. This helps the forward-looking spinal extension.

5. Now raise up unfolding from the hip-joint, while maintaining a straight spine and raised head posture. Rotate your shoulders back to the straight forward, wide knee squatting, sitting position and check that your hands are at eye level. This is a good time to take a deep breath in (inhale).

Repeat to the Right Side steps 1-5

Straighten right  leg. Pull right toes up. Feel the ball change location to upper hamstring. Extend up through spine, rotate from shoulders toward straight right leg, bend from right hip forward. Extend from spine through neck and head into hamstring stretch, as far as comfortable. Round forward from back. Touch toes and exhale. Reactivate extended spine. Unfold from hip, raising up.  Turn back to center.

Repeat to left

Start with 5 to the left than right, when this is easy and coordinated as a smooth connected action, move up in repetitions.

Exhale as you fold forward

Inhale as you rise.


Intrinsacore in the Park ends for the season

It has been a very enjoyable, educational and inspirational practice of the Intrinsacore Method in the Park, primarily Level One. But now due to a combination of events, some well known as the weather, others less known as the juggling of life, business and personal growth, I will be discontinuing my biweekly class at Roland Moore Park, which was practiced on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Feel free to follow this page, as I will continue to put up weekly tutorials of the individual exercises of the Level One Beginners Program of The Intrinsacore Method. It was a true honor and extremely enjoyable to work with everybody who came and joined us on Mondays and Wednesdays. I am of course staying in Fort Collins and my wife’s  and my  business  will continue with the great enthusiasm and focus we are known for.  I am present and available for private tutorial and training in the Intrinsicore Method, and can be reached at the MYO-Arts Therapeutic Massage and Bodyworks website myoarts.com or by phone at 1-970-210-8236 or 1-815-353-7237.

Thank you all again for your participation  in intelligent training  and We look forward to a productive summer, enjoying all that is right in the world.

Tad Howard



 The Intrinsacore Method – Level 1 Beginners program Introduction Routine.

Ball to the Wall Squats with Over Head Reach.

This exercise is a ball to the wall , assisted jumping Jack without jumping . This exercise offers the range of motion of a jumping jack with the support and protection of the ball against the wall. With the ball against the wall and your back resting  over the ball, with its natural curve,  The ball allows you to sink down, deeply into the squat and adjust your wide knee position , while protecting your knees. This allows you to get a greater stretch in the inner legs and the hips at the bottom , starting position , in the wide knee squat.  You can touch the outside of your knees , reach down to the middle of your cavs or if you’re flexible enough, bring your fingers all the way to the ground.  If you’re trying to bring your  fingers all the way to the ground, you must take care to continue to round and contact your back to the ball , and maintain contact as you rise lifting your arms until they touch over your head . When your hands touch overhead, this is the end position and it should be the end of your exhale .

In the squatting starting position, when your hands touch the ground , lift your chest and keep your eyes directly forward, as if you were in the catchers position . If you reach for the ground and touch it with your fingers and you are looking at the ground and your chest is facing the ground and you cannot straighten your torso, raise your chest and look forward.  You are not flexible enough, to go this deep into the squat.  If this is the case, bring your hands back up to the middle of your cavs or to your knees and start from there .

Now in the starting position with your hands touching your knees , cavs, or the ground, take a deep breath and then rise up , lift your heels ,straighten your legs and spreading your arms out as far as possible to the sides . Continue to rise, lifting your arms until they touch over your head. This is the end position and it should be the end of your exhale when your hands touch.

This jumping Jack motion without jumping, is done in time with your breath . As you sink down inhale deeply as you rise up Exhale fully. As your hands touch your legs or the ground in the low starting  position, inhale and at the end of your exhale your hands touch overhead.

To add more strength and conditioning to this exercise lift your heels and stand on the balls and toes of each foot. Hold this raised heel position for the entire exercise, keep the heels raised while squatting down and keep the heels raised while extending up.

In the beginning do only 3 to 5 reps of this exercise. When you feel you understand the exercise and can pace it with your breath , then feel free to increase your repetitions, and the depth of your squat.