What fun exercise tools do we have for you today in our workout regime? Well, let’s give you a clue. Its round, made of vinyl and can be used for a wide variety of exercises. It even has the word exercise in its name. Here we have “The Exercise Ball!”.
STABILITY EXERCISE BALLS
Exercise balls come in a variety of sizes and colors. Before you rush off to buy your favorite color though, note that the color often denotes what size the ball is. You want to pick the appropriate size ball for your height (ideally you want your knees to be level with your hips), so choose your ball by size versus color selection.
While most everyone has heard of exercise balls, they are also known as Swiss balls, stability balls, yoga balls, balance balls, and even birthing balls. Just by the name alone, you can tell that the soft spheres obviously come in handy for a wide range of activities. In general, they are made of PVC and inflated with air to a desired firmness, depending upon your weight and chosen activity. They were originally created in 1963 by a plastics manufacturer to work as a puncture-proof physiotherapy aid with infants. The potential for stability balls in other venues was readily apparent though, and before long they were in other activity centers much farther afield.
WHAT MAKES EXERCISE BALLS SO SPECIAL?
Why should you consider adding an exercise ball into your regime though? Exercise balls come in handy for a wide range of activities. Birthing mothers often sit on them to help the baby descend into the pelvic channel more smoothly, as well as providing a gentle rocking motion during contractions while stretched over a bed. Runners use them to help stretch muscles and workout other core muscles that are not activated during regular running routines. Physiotherapists understand the value of adding them into a rehabilitation program as well, as they add an element of instability that forces your body to counter-balance and in turn gain more muscular strength back. In fact, anyone benefits from this process, as exercise ball workouts increase muscle strength, flexibility, and improve balance and coordination. All via a relatively lightweight ball that can be easily moved and stored when not in use.
WORK OUT YOUR CORE ABDOMINAL MUSCLES
Let’s look at one of the major benefits of using a stability ball; strengthening your core muscles. It can be difficult to work out all of your core muscles in any one exercise, but adding an exercise ball into your workout is a great start. The instability of the exercise ball automatically forces core muscles to contract in order to better stabilize your body. It takes work not to fall off a round moving ball and the bulk of that work takes place in the core. When you add movement into your workout, such as balance push ups, back arches, or even simply sitting on a stability ball and gently rocking back and forth, you will be challenging your core muscles to work against the instability that the exercise ball introduces.
WORKOUT WITH YOUR EXERCISE BALL
A great start for anyone that is new to an exercise ball workout is to simply sit on it. Your body is immediately working harder to keep you upright and that alone will improve your posture. Try lifting one foot off of the ground and then the other. As you get more stable, lift your legs higher and march a little faster. You will be surprised by how much effort this actually takes.
Try walking the plank. Place the exercise ball under your waist with your hands and toes touching the floor. Carefully walk the ball forward and back between your chest and toes. Don’t forget to breathe.
Exercise ball sit ups are another great activity to do on the ball. Lie down with the exercise ball located in the middle of your back. Slowly lift your head up using your abdominal muscles. If you want an additional challenge, place the exercise ball lower down on your back or try intermittently lifting one fit and then the other off of the floor while lifting your head. Now you are getting warmed up!
The beauty of exercise balls though is that they can really be added to any workout. You can lean into them while doing squats, use them as a support while lifting weights, add them to yoga routines, or whatever else you can think of to add a little more challenge to your workout. The benefits to your core are well worth the sweat and fun you will have with your new exercise ball workout. Get bouncing your way to a fitter you!
WATCH THIS VIDEO OF AWESOME SIT-UPS USING AN EXERCISE BALL
WATCH THIS VIDEO OF A POWERFUL LEG WORKOUT WITH AN EXERCISE BALL
Here at Premier Fitness Camp in Utah, we are committed to teaching you how to get the best and most effective results on your weight loss journey at our world-class fitness boot camp. We do the research on how to maximize your every move and make your workouts powerful!