If we were to list the most popular training methods or exercises performed by the majority of people in gyms nationwide, the stability ball might not show up among the first ones.The big bouncy balls that you see around at the gym are there for a reason, fitness. They can help you improve your endurance, strength, cardiovascular health, posture and overall health. They are also called fitness balls, balance balls, swiss balls, yoga balls, Pilate balls, physio balls or exercise balls. You can use them for various exercises such as push-ups, squats, planks, flexibility exercises such as back-bending and much more. You can also use a stability chair instead of a regular office chair and work while sitting on them.
What is a stability ball?
A stability ball is a large ball manufactured with rubber or soft elastic. They were originally developed for physiotherapy purposes, but now we can see them in many gyms and fitness centers. Its size can greatly vary, but the most common diameter ranges between 20-25 inches. Before using a stability ball, proper instructions or training is necessary to avoid injuries. These balls are relatively inexpensive and can easily be found at local sports shops.
Benefits of Stability ball
According to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, using these types of balls improves the stability of your spine and reduces the risk of back pain in sedentary individuals.In one study, 20 inactive people were randomly assigned to an experimental group that performed stability ball exercises twice a week for ten weeks or a control group. The group that used the stability ball regularly noticed improvements in the back. The conclusion of the study: A fitness ball benefits people who spend a lot of time sitting or who are predisposed to back pain.
Functional exercises become more challenging with the stability balls, and your muscles have to work harder for each movement. They can increase your metabolic rate which can help you burn fat faster. They target your core, improve your balance, agility, and stability which can result in enhanced performance at various activities such as Yoga, Tennis, Football, Dance, etc.
Stability Ball Exercises
Overhead Ball Squats
Stand in a squat position while stretching your arms over the head, holding the ball. This position will engage the deltoid muscles and shoulders while you do squats. You can do three sets of 15.
Lie on the floor while your arms are resting on the ground. Place your heels and lower calves on the ball. While keeping your arms on the ground and heels on the ball, lift your hips up. Make sure that you keep a straight up and fold your knees while moving the ball towards your body. Once your feet rest on the ball instead of the lower calves, roll it back to its place. It will work your glutes, hamstrings, abs and shoulder muscles. You do three sets of 10-12 reps.
Squeeze The Ball
Place the ball between your legs so that the center of the ball is in-line with your knees. Make sure that the ball is not touching the ground. Stand upright and get ready to go down in a half-squat position while squeezing the ball for balance. Extend your arms straight, parallel to the ground. Squat down to a 90-degree angle and squeeze the ball to stay balanced. This exercise will work your hips, lower back, and inner thighs. Make sure that the ball is not too large and perfect fit, You can take the help of a wall or a chair if you are not able to balance. Try to stay in this position for as long as you can. In the beginning, you can do three sets of 30-40 seconds.
Core Workout Standing Plank
Rest your elbows and forearms on the exercise ball and take a standard plank position. Try to maintain your stability and stay in this position as long as you can. This workout gives your abs a great workout and improves your balance too. In the beginning, you can do three sets of 30 seconds.
Hold a push-up position with toes resting on the ball. Place your hands firmly on the ground and bring you knees towards the chest until they come under the hips. Extend your knees back to the push-up position. It works your shoulders and abs. It also stretches your lower back and hips. You can do three sets of 10-15 reps in the beginning.
Lie down on a floor and rest your legs on the ball. Stretch your arms up and join them together. Lift your torso up while keeping your arms stretched. Come in a V-position with your legs and torso. It is great for abs, and you can do three sets of 15 reps in the beginning.
Rest on the ball with your stomach. Stretch your arms forward and join them together. Extend your legs behind and rest the toes on the ground. You can take the support of wall if the floor is slippery. Try to stretch the arms backward and looking up the floor. Raise your chest high and try to maintain this position as long as you can. For a beginner, three sets of 15 seconds are enough.
Sit on a ground and place the ball behind your back. Place your hands on the ball while keeping your feet on the ground. Lift your body up while trying not to move the ball and feet. It works your triceps and core muscles too. Try to repeat it for ten times and do three sets. For a full-body workout, you can do the above exercises within 15-20 minutes. You can do it 3-4 times a week and start getting into your desired shape.
Using Stability Ball at your office
You can use a stability ball in place of your office chair. It will help your spine align properly and also improve your attention. With your spine aligned properly during your working hours will result in better health. You could avoid a range of back problems that occur due to spending hours in a sitting job. Here is a list of benefits that you can expect.
Your body will try to balance itself and naturally come into a properly aligned position. You can avoid back problems and improve your spinal health.
You can stretch your body frequently without leaving your place. It will help in reducing the damage that is caused due to prolonged sitting.
It will improve the overall balance of your body.
You won’t burn as many calories you burn at the gym, but you will burn more calories than you do while sitting on a chair. Considering that you have to spend 6-8 hours every day during your work, it can help you greatly in staying fit.
Tone Core Muscles
It will help you in toning your core muscles and build perfect six packs.
Sitting for prolonged hours every day can reduce blood and lymph flow to certain parts of the body. Using a stability ball instead of a chair can help you drastically reduce that problem.
To Sum Up, A stability ball is a great addition to your home gym or office, and you can use it in thousands of ways to improve your health. It can be used to work each muscle of your body. It is relatively cheap and a fun way to work your muscles and stay in a great shape.
Not sure what exercises to do with your stability ball? Find out here! pic.twitter.com/CqlzzCHUYK
— Debbie Powell (@1DebbiiePowell) July 16, 2017