Helping Baby Boomers get fit … get well … and live longer!

Get on the Ball

  • 1st March 2011 |
  • Author: Iris

The exercise or fitness ball is a great way to get a good workout!  Including the exercise ball as a fitness tool in your workout routine will be a great way to build variety and build muscles. This fitness ball is non-impacting and renders varying levels of intensity.

The following exercises are will give you a good workout that will strengthen, tone and shape your upper and lower body. As with all exercises, be sure to check with your doctor before you decide to incorporate the exercise ball into your routines, especially if you are plagued by chronic back pain.

Crunch

     

  • Sit on ball and slowly move feet forward until lower back is resting on ball.  Place hands on ball while getting into position for balance.
  • Let head hang down toward the floor and stretch abs.
  • Place hands behind head loosely, being careful to not pull on your neck.
  • Exhale … slowly curl torso forward rolling shoulder toward hips.
  • Keep head and neck aligned with spine.
  • Hold crunch for 1 count.
  • Inhale … slowly return to starting position.
  • Be sure to allow abs to fully extend until you feel a stretch between repetitions.

Crunch with Obliques

     

  • Sit on ball and slowly move feet forward until lower back is resting on ball.
  • Let head hang down toward floor and stretch abs
  • Place hands behind head loosely, do not pull on neck.
  • Exhale … slowly curl torso up, twisting shoulders to the right (left elbox should point up toward ceiling).
  • Inhale … slowly lower torso back to starting position and repeat on opposite side.
  • Keep lower back pressed into ball and elbows pointing out to the sides during exercise.

 

Squat and Rock

     

  • Sit on ball and slowly move feet forward until entire back is resting on ball.  Place hands on ball while getting into position for balance.
  • Roll forward into a squat position keeping lower back pressed into ball.
  • Hold squat for 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Slowly roll back until buttocks are on the ball and shoulders are off the back of the ball.

Pelvic Tilt

     

  • Sit on ball and slowly move feet forward until shoulder and upper back are on the ball.  Place hands on ball while getting into position, for balance.
  • Cross hands over chest and slowly lift hips and pelvis until body is flat.
  • Hold 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Relax and repeat.

Prone Walk-out

     

  • Lay with shins on ball and hands shoulder width apart on floor.
  • Raise upper body until body is perpendicular with floor, keeping back flat.
  • Slowly walk hands backward until hips are on ball, keeping legs elevated and body in a line.
  • Slowly walk hands forward again until shins are on the ball.

Back Extension

     

  • Lay with stomach and hips supported by all.
  • Hang your head and shoulder down toward floor.
  • Keep legs straight balancing on toes.  Place hands behind back.
  • Keeping lower body and ball stable, exhale and slowly raise torso toward ceiling.
  • Squeeze lower back and glutes at top of movement.
  • Inhale … slowly lower torso back to starting position.
  • Hang for one count and repeat.
  • To increase intesity, place hands behind head.

Basic Bridge

     

  • Lie on back and place feet and calves on top of ball, feet close together.
  • Place arms out to sides for stability.
  • Lift hips off floor until body is in a line, legs straight.
  • Squeeze with abs, glutes, and lower body to hold position for 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Slowly lower hips for 1 count and repeat.
  • To increase intensity and challenge stability, place arms across chest.

Wide-Stance Bridge

     

  • Lie on back and place feet and calves on ball.
  • Separate feet so they are slightly on side of ball, toes pointed out.
  • Squeeze ball with heels.
  • Place arms out to sides for stability.
  • Lift hips off floor until body is in a line, legs straight.
  • Squeeze with abs, inner thighs, and glutes to hold position for 5 – 10 seconds.
  • Slowly lower hips for 1 count and repeat.
  • To increase intensity and challenge stability, place arms across chest.

Exercise balls are awesome tools to use to target specific trouble spots.  As you move through these exercises, you will feel it in your chest and core muscles.  There are so many ways you can use the ball to get fit and strengthen those core muscles for a total body workout.  In upcoming weeks, we will be testing and posting some more fitness ball exercises we think you will enjoy and find very beneficial.

So, get on the ball and get moving toward a healthier and fitter you.  If you already have a fitness ball and you exercise with it regularly, please share some of your favorite exercises with us in the comment section below.  If you do not have an exercise ball yet, you can get one here..

2 Comments

  1. I am a Chiropractor in Reno, NV and I really enjoyed this blog posting. I recommend swiss ball exercises to many of my patients and they always want to know what types of exercises they should do. I have written down your blog address and plan on giving them this information so they can see all of the pictures of the exercises and how to do them correctly. Thanks for the great information.

  2. Iris says:

    Christopher,

    I’m glad you found my blog post informative and please feel free to share these exercises with your patients. The exercise ball is a wonderful way to get a workout without impacting the joints. I think your patients will find these exercises very easy to do and very rewarding, too.

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