Ball Your Way To A Better Body.

4 Mar
Balance Exercise Balls 7-3-09 1

Exercise Balls Are An Inexpensive And Effective Way To Tone Your Body.

I LOVE ‘fitness balls.’ Everyone from Bosu to Golds Gym makes them and you can find one in any price range. I have seen them for as little as $5 and as much as $60. Regardless of the price, a fitness ball is an investment worth making. These balls are great for ab work but even better for squats. The wall squat using a fitness ball is INTENSE, I do it with a 20 pound medicine ball or 2 20 pound dumbbells and my butt, quads and hams hate me the next day. The best thing about a fitness ball is that its portable, you do not have to go to the gym to use it. All exercises can be done at home and if it’s nice out you can even take it to the park or your yard.

Below is a simple, effective circuit you can perform with your fitness ball. To get the feeling of the ball and how it works, start with little or no weight. Keep your core tight the whole time and take it slow, no rush. Do this circuit in its entirety three times and try to do it three times a week.

How To Ball:

-Wall Squats- glutes, hamstrings, quads and core. With your back to the wall and feet shoulder width apart, take your fitness ball and place it between the wall and your lower back. Push into the ball as you squat down slowly until your knees are at a 45 degree angle. Think sitting in a chair. Slowly come back up and repeat 15x.

-Bent Knee Bridge- glutes and hamstrings. Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, knees bent and place your heels on top of the fitness ball. Squeeze your butt and lift off the floor, push your hips towards the ceiling. Pause at top and repeat 15x.

-Trunk Extension- lower back. Get down on your knees and drape your upper body over the top of the ball, with your hands behind your head. Lift your chest off the fitness ball until your spine is straight or slightly extended. Return to starting position and repeat 15x.

-Superman- lower, middle and upper back and glutes. Lie with your stomach on the ball and your body at a 45-degree angle with the floor, balancing yourself with the tips of your toes. Stretch your arms out in front of you on either side of your head as if you’re flying, and maintain the position. This is harder then it sounds, hold pose for 10 seconds and repeat 5x.

-Push Ups- Chest, shoulders, triceps and abs. Place your hands on top of the ball and your body at a 45-degree angle with the floor, balancing yourself on the tips of your toes. Bend at the elbows and lower your upper body to a few inches from the ball, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat 15x.

-Ab Roll- Abs and back. Place your hands on the ball in front of you, arms parallel.  Pulling your belly button towards your spine and tightening your torso, slowly roll forward, rolling the ball out as far as you can without arching or straining the back.  Push the elbows into the ball and squeeze the abs to pull the body back to start. Repeat 15x.

-Exercise Ball Crunch- Abs and core. Lie on the ball, positioning it under the lower back. Cross your arms over the chest or place them behind your head. Tighten your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips. Be sure to keep the ball stable as you lower back down and repeat 15x.

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