The exercise ball has many names. Some individuals refer to it because the Swiss ball, stability ball or perhaps a fitness ball. One thing for sure is that you will never have a shortage of exercise ball exercises to do. There are tons of different exercises that you can do, from beginner to advanced. Almost all of the ball exercises are fun and some are insanely crazy to do.
The exercise ball is ideal for building your core muscles, it improves your stability, balance and will give you that elusive flat stomach, in the event that you work hard enough. Exercise ball exercises are excellent for toning and a complete body workout.
Listed below are 5 popular and effective ball exercises, that you can 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 start to squat, until you come in a sitting position. Go back to your normal standing position. Constantly be sure you concentrate on posture and that you retain your back straight.
Abdominal Roll. This is the great exercise that targets your abs. Lie flat on the floor, with your back and bend your knees. Keep the feet flat on the ground and place the exercise ball on top of your thighs. gaiam yoga gloves Roll the ball around your knees, with the end of your fingers, like your are doing crunches. Be sure you keep your back flat on the ground and only lift your shoulders. Do as many repetitions as you can, but not a lot more than 10 to 12 repetitions at the same time.
Opposite Limb Extension.This is almost just like the superman move. Lie down 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 hold the position for 2 2-3 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 might seem daunting at first, but you will get use to it. In a few ways this exercise is much easier than normal push ups. The exercise ball exercise will give your triceps, shoulders and abs an excellent workout. Runners will benefit from the shoulder workout. Put the hands on the exercise ball and rest your chest against your hands. Your body needs to form a 45-degree angle with the ground. Make sure your back is always in a straight line. Slowly lift yourself up from the ball as if you are doing push-ups. I find these push-ups to become more gentle on the body.
The Superman. This exercise is fun and focuses on how long you can hold the position. Lie on your golf ball together with your stomach and balance yourself with the end of your toes. Raise your arms up before you and pretend your are flying like superman. This exercise focuses on on your back and buttocks. The target is to hold the “superman” position so long as possible.
Now a small disclaimer. Check with your doctor first should you have any medical issues, concerns and back injuries. Please usually do not rush into this and undertake too much. That is a common mistake newbies make. They would like to do everything in a single day, hoping to see results overnight. Remember it isn’t a race. Exercise ball exercises must turn into a way of life. It must be part of your day to day routine.
Always focus on form and posture. It helps to keep your abs tight once you do the ball exercises. One of the better tips I ever got would be to do your exercises before a mirror. This way you can examine if you are performing the exercises correctly.
So what are you waiting. Go get yourself an exercise ball and start focusing on your core.
Matt can be an avid runner and is currently training for the 2011 Two Oceans marathon and 2011 Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. He could be a father of two, who keeps him very busy, and loves the outside.