The exercise ball has many names. Some people refer to it because the Swiss ball, stability ball or a fitness ball. One thing for sure is that you will do not have a shortage of exercise ball exercises to do. You will find loads of different exercises that can be done, how yoga changed my body before and after from beginner to advanced. Almost all of the ball exercises are fun plus some are insanely crazy to do.
The exercise ball is great for building your core muscles, it improves your stability, balance and may offer you that elusive flat stomach, if you work hard enough. Exercise ball exercises are excellent for toning and a total body workout.
Here are 5 popular and effective ball exercises, that you may immediately start with:
The “Seated Wall Roll” focuses on your buttocks, hamstrings and quadriceps. Place the exercise ball between a wall and your back. Keep your back straight and slowly begin to squat, until you are in a sitting position. Go back to your normal standing position. Always make sure you focus on posture and that you retain your back straight.
Abdominal Roll. This can be a great exercise that targets your abs. Lie flat on the floor, together with your back and bend your knees. Keep the feet flat on the ground and place the exercise ball together with your thighs. Roll the ball up to your knees, with the tip of your fingers, like your are doing crunches. Be sure to keep your back flat on the ground and only lift your shoulders. Do as much repetitions as you can, but not a lot more than 10 to 12 repetitions at a time.
Opposite Limb Extension.That is almost just like the superman move. Lie down together with your stomach on the exercise ball and balance yourself with your feet and hands. Lift your left arm and right leg up. Keep your back straight as a plank and contain the position for 2 2 to 3 3 seconds. Go back to your resting position and alternate. This exercise is great for your spine, hamstrings and buttocks.
Balanced Push-Ups. I like this exercise a lot. It could seem daunting at first, but you will get use to it. In a few ways this exercise is a lot easier than normal push ups. The exercise ball exercise will give your triceps, shoulders and abs a good workout. Runners will take advantage of the shoulder workout. Put your hands on the exercise ball and rest your chest against your hands. Your body must form a 45-degree angle with the floor. Make sure your back is always in a straight line. Slowly lift yourself up from the ball like you are doing push-ups. I find these push-ups to be more gentle on the body.
The Superman. This exercise is fun and targets how long you can hold the position. Lie on the ball with your stomach and balance yourself with the end of your toes. Increase your arms up before you and pretend your are flying like superman. This exercise targets on your back and buttocks. The goal is to hold the “superman” position so long as possible.
Now a small disclaimer. Check with your doctor first in case you have any health issues, concerns and back injuries. Please usually do not rush into this and undertake too much. This is usually a common mistake newbies make. They would like to do everything in one day, hoping to see results overnight. Remember it is not a race. Exercise ball exercises must turn into a way of life. It should be part of your day to day routine.
Always focus on form and posture. It helps to help keep your abs tight once you do the ball exercises. One of the best tips I ever got is to do your exercises in front of a mirror. This way you can check if you are doing the exercises correctly.
So what are you currently waiting. Go get yourself an exercise ball and start focusing on your core.
Matt is an avid runner and happens to be training for the 2011 Two Oceans marathon and 2011 Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. He is a father of two, who keeps him very busy, and loves the outside.