Exercise balls, which are large, vinyl balls with varying degrees of
inflation, are also known as Swiss balls, physioballs, spine balls, or
theraballs. They are inexpensive, easy to use and, unlike other forms
of exercise and stretching, they can be fun.
Exercise balls are one of the most innovative ways to
exercise. These little balls will catch every one’s fancy due to their
shape and very attractive colors. The real benefit of these balls is a
substitute of support during exercise.
Working out with the exercise balls will strengthen and tone all of the major muscles of the body.
exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal
muscles, back muscles, and the muscles around the pelvis. You can do
many core-strength exercises with a fitness ball. In general, use a
fitness ball sized so that your knees are at a right angle when you sit
on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Do each core-strength
exercise five times. As you get stronger, gradually increase to 10 to
15 repetitions. Breathe freely and deeply and focus on tightening your
abs during each core-strength exercise. If you have back problems,
osteoporosis or any other health concern, talk to your doctor before
doing these core-strength exercises.
How to start using the
fitness ball: Simply sit on the ball and allow your body to adjust to
balancing on the ball. When you are able to accomplish this, try
bouncing on the balls. This actually a lot of fun. Next level is to
bounce as high as you can and swing your arms.
The following are some more simple fitness ball exercises:
Sit on the ball and place the hands on the ball
for balance or place them behind your head (more difficult). Slowly
begin to roll the hips in a circle towards the right, making small
circles and then, as you get comfortable, larger circles. Focus on
contracting the abs each time you roll the ball forward. Repeat for 20
circles to the right and then the left
Sit on the ball with the spine straight and abs
in. Begin a slow march, alternating lifting the right foot and then the
left. As you get comfortable with the movement, lift the knees higher
and march faster. You can also add a bounce on the ball if you feel
comfortable. Repeat for 1-2 minutes.
Sit on the ball and place the hands on either side for
balance or place them behind the head (harder). Contract the abs and
slowly walk the feet forward as you slide the back down onto the ball.
Continue walking the feet forward until you're in a bridge position
with the head and shoulders supported by the ball, hips lifted. Walk
all the way back until you're seated again and repeat for 10-15 reps.
If this feels difficult, hold onto a wall for balance and only walk
forward a bit at a time until you feel more comfortable.
Prop the ball against a wall and position it behind your lower-mid
back. Walk the feet out a bit so that you're leaning against the ball,
feet about hip-distance apart. Bend the knees and lower into a squat,
going as low as you can (no lower than 90 degrees) and keeping the
knees behind the toes. Push through the heels to come back up and
repeat for 15 reps.
Pelvic Tilt on the Ball
Lie at an incline position on the ball with the hips down, head
supported by the hands and feeling a stretch in the abs. Without
rolling on the ball, squeeze the hips up then lower and repeat for 15
Sit on the ball and slowly walk the feet forward until you're at an
incline on the ball with knees bent. Bend the knees into a squat,
rolling forward on the ball. Push through the heels to come back to
start and repeat for 15 reps.
Lie facedown with ball under your hips and lower torso, resting on your
knees. Place the hands behind the head or under the chin. Roll down the
ball and then contract the lower back to lift the chest off the ball,
bringing your shoulders up until your body is in a straight line. Do
not hyperextend. Repeat for 12- 16 reps.
Lie on floor with heels propped on ball. Keeping abs tight, slowly lift
your hips off the floor (squeezing the buttocks) until body is in a
straight line. Hold for a few seconds and lower, repeating 15 times. To
make it easier, place ball under knees rather than under heels. To make
it harder, cross your arms over your chest.