Balls are one of the earliest toys we play with as kids. Remember the hours of fun you spent at the beach with your rainbow-colored sphere? Or those mini versions of basketballs you and your dad used to play with at home? Those were fun times, weren’t they? It is no wonder, then, that even as adults, we never get over the fun that balls have to offer. Even in fitness.
One of the coolest pieces of exercise equipment ever invented is the exercise ball. While originally used in the 1960’s in physiotherapy programs involving newborns and infants, exercise balls have now become staples in the fitness industry. From general fitness to strength training to Yoga and Pilates, exercise balls can now be classified as one of the most versatile pieces of equipment that any gym or health enthusiast, for that matter, can have.
Exercise balls, usually measuring 14 to 34 inches in diameter, are beneficial for workouts primarily because of their inherent instability. This might run contrary to all logic, but because an exercise ball is never steady, it engages more muscles in the body for balance. Over time, the core muscles of the abdomen, back and pelvis, get strengthened and as a result the body achieves stability, coordination and balance. With a well-developed core, good posture and proper alignment is achieved.
Aside from strengthening the core, exercise balls are also used to build endurance and alleviate pain. As the major muscles get toned and developed through constant ball exercises, fitness buffs are able to do more reps and sets of strength and cardio exercises. Athletes are able to run faster, swim longer and lift better with constant exercise ball exercises.
Flexibility is also developed with the exercise ball. Ball rotation, back extension and ball twist exercises serve to practice the body in moving in and out of different positions. This greatly restores, enhances or develops flexibility. Greater flexibility means smoother movements, lesser injuries and more agility in everyday activities.
And for those on the road to losing weight, working out with an exercise ball is just what you need. Not only are ab crunches and other bodyweight exercises fun to do on the exercise ball, they are also more intense, leading you to develop more muscle. The more muscle you gain, the more fat you lose.
The exercise ball is such a versatile piece of equipment that others have even suggested replacing office chairs with it. Although assertions like balance, spine alignment and core muscle strengthening are also made when one replaces a chair with an exercise ball, there has really been no extensive to prove these just yet. Some quarters do not recommend such due to ergonomic reasons.
Whether exercise balls are beneficial as chair replacements or not, the truth of the matter remains. These versatile spheres have already earned their place in the fitness industry and they are here to stay. They don’t only put the fun back in exercise, they also develop major muscles in the body which are the foundations of a balanced stance, good posture, overall strength, added flexibility and prevention of injury. With an exercise ball in your workouts, you can count the benefits!
Everybody likes the big abdominal exercise ball, also called stability ball or balance ball. These colourful balls do not only look nice, they are great devices to workout your abs.
Exercises for abs are not easily done. A good piece of abdominal exercise equipment helps and that big coloured balance ball is motivating too. In a study of the San Diego State University the abdominal exercise ball exercises are the third on a list of best exercises for abs.
The abdominal exercise ball has to be suitable to your size. For example, you need a ball with 26 inches diameter, if your height is 5’4″. Crunches are effective exercises to stabilize the abs. Take seat on your balance ball, the feet flat on the floor and roll forward until the mid back is placed on the ball. That is a good feeling at the back and you feel the balance. Beginners can set their feet wider apart. That stabilizes the position. Hands to the head you slowly crunch the upper body a little, contract the abs for a second and carefully go back. Try how many reps you can do the first time and work up to 12 – 16 reps for 1 – 3 sets. This kind of abdominal exercises are great to work out your abdominals. Doing the same exercises by putting the feet closer together is a good work out for the obliques. Besides there are a lot more exercise ball exercises you can do with the stability ball.
Some experts recommend using a stability ball as seat in the office and at home. The pro is, it forces you to sit up straight and to change your position often to balance. That strengthens the core muscles and improves the spinal health. Others say the ball doesn’t provide the same support as a chair and the instability could cause injuries.
But nevertheless the balance ball is a great tool for abs exercises. No matter if you are working on six pack abs or you want to strengthen the stomach muscles to get a better and healthier posture. The abdominal exercise ball is nice, inexpensive and effective. You find them in every fitness studio. But it is more comfortable to have your own stability ball at home.
A growing number of training programs count on all sorts of exercising ball models for personal performance. In some instances, the exercise ball has become an accessory that individuals purchase since it’s fun and functional at the same time. It is really impressive to see how big the ball offer is on the net, where you’ll be able to have your pick for design, size and purpose. How then select the correct exercise ball? For starters, the dimensions and the level of quality of the ball are extremely important.
For example, an anti-burst or a burst proof exercising ball is made of plastic elements better than the ones used for normal ball design. Then, the dimension of the exercising ball must complement the user’s height. Most goods have dimension specifications either in inches or in centimeters, but you’ll want to bear in mind to look for such particulars. Hunt for these details if you purchase the exercising ball online. The net may also allow you to pick a good brand name, for the reason that premium quality goods bring not just great features but hand pumps and posters with exercises also.
Training with an exercise ball may seem childish but everyone who comes to try it, really enjoys it. This means that the fitness regimen could be a great deal more entertaining. Another label for the exercising ball is Swiss ball, fit ball or physio ball. This sort of ball offers fantastic stretching out and strengthening body advantages, and even seniors or expecting mothers can work with it. Plus, aside from body conditioning, the exercise ball in addition plays a role in strengthening the user’s balance and core stability.
The exercising ball has therefore grow to be part of the standard products you will find in physical fitness classes, and some trainers actually insist on its use. The overall flexibility of the ball explains in reality the popularity it has acquired. The novelty and the improvement in technique is rewarding if we take into account the reality that a simple exercise ball can change a normal squat or a biceps curl into a total body workout.
The muscles of the core are the first to become harder when working with the workout ball as part of the workout routine. The deep pelvic, back and ab muscles become tighter and better to control, and the same can easily be said about movement, balance and posture. For that reason, within the guidance of a specialist, those with some post-traumatic physical impairment might significantly increase their mobility and joint flexibility.
Ever gone to the gym and noticed that large inflated rubber ball in the corner? The one that people are working their abs on? That’s called the ab exercise ball, and it really works to target the abs. The truth is, you’ll get a much better workout, in less time, using the ab ball than you will by doing crunches and other ab exercises on the floor. The abs are perfectly aimed at due to the give the ball affords your body as you lean on it. You’re able to press your back into the ball, for example, to really crunch your abs together. When on the floor, you can’t move at all, so you can only crunch them so tightly. That’s why an exercise ball ab workout is the preferred way for obtaining the strong core that’s so essential for overall fitness.
There are lots of exercises that you can do on the ab ball. A lot of people think you are able to only work your front abs. That is incorrect. It may not seem it, but that big ball is very versatile. You can use it to work your lower abs and your obliques as well, and you’ll work them better and faster than floor exercises.
The nice thing about an exercise ball ab workout is you won’t need to do them as often. You’ll notice such a burn when you do the ab exercises on the ball that you’ll be able to do shorter workouts, yet get far better results than if you were doing a floor exercise routine.
Whether you buy your ab ball , or you have your gym’s, make sure the ball is inflated properly. The ball shouldn’t be so tight that it doesn’t give at all, but you wouldn’t like it too deflated, either. You want a decent balance. You ought to feel steady on the ball. You mustn’t feel like you sink to the floor, as that means the ball needs a little more air.
Now lay while having your back on the ball and your feet on the floor and your hands behind your head. You’re in crunch position, just as you would do on the floor. Slowly come up and crunch your abs together. Many people are surprised at just how much of a burn they get, and quickly, with the ab ball as compared with ab machines or just doing them on the floor. That’s because it’s so effective for working your abs to their maximum capacity.
An exercise ball ab workout is what you truely need to obtain those flat, toned abs and solid core that you’re searching for. You won’t believe the ab workout you get. And it’s also fun to play around with various exercises so you never become bored.
While using an ab exercise ball, there’s no limit to how many exercises you can do if you’re creative enough. You may work every part of one’s body with the ab ball; though the abs are what it’s best for. Get one for yourself and you’ll see why they’re so recommended by many of the fitness experts.
The point of an exercise ball workout is to help strengthen your core muscles. This includes all the hard-to-get muscles like the Erector Spinae and the Transversus Abdominis muscle. These easy to do exercise ball exercises also improve your balance significantly, as well as your overall coordination. From beginner to advanced, every level of fitness is covered through exercise ball workouts. It’s never too late to start. Here are a few simple exercises for a beginner using an exercise ball.
1. The Back Extension: With your knees straight, position the ball under your hips and lower torso. With your hands behind your back, roll down the ball slowly. Then lift your chest and bring your shoulders up so that your body is in a straight line. Be sure that your body is aligned properly (your head, neck, shoulders, and back should create a straight line). It is important to keep your abs pulled in and to avoid hyper extending your back, that means being precise.
2. The Ball Balance: With your hands on the floor and your legs straight, position the exercise ball under your hips and abs. Keeping your abs pulled in, hold your body in a straight line and keep that position for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly raise your right arm out to the side and hold that position for a few seconds while keeping your balance. Switch to the other arm and repeat as many repetitions as possible. This one strengthens the arms dramatically and improves balance.
3. The Butt Lift- Position your head, neck, and shoulders over the ball as you lay on it with knees bent, your body in a table-top position. Raise your hips toward the ceiling without rolling the ball. Be sure to squeeze your glutes and align your hips to be in a straight line with each raise, just like a bridge. For more intensity, you can add small weights on your hips. Just make sure you press through the heels and avoid using your toes for support.
4. The Hip Extension: Prop your feet (the heels) on the ball while you lay your head down. While keeping your abs tightly tucked in and squeezing your glutes, slowly lift your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line. Hold and lower. Repeat as needed. For added intensity, lift your hips while taking one leg off the ball at a time. This is for a little more advanced balance.
5. The Ab Roll: Place your arms parallel to each other on the ball in front of you. Without overreaching and straining the back, pull your belly button towards your spine and tighten your torso while slowly rolling forward. To start over, push your elbows into the ball and squeeze the abs to pull your body back. This is an exercise to avoid if you have experienced back problems.
There are plenty of smaller exercises to do with an exercise ball. To go along with the routines above, there is also the ball rotation and the ball twist. You can also get some video tapes to help direct you better, especially when you become more advanced. You can get any size exercise balls from small, medium, to large. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your balance and health and try some of these exercise ball workouts today.
The exercise ball. You have seen people using them on the work out programs, but you wonder how an exercise ball can possibly help you to get in better shape. It is just a ball and you are really not impressed.
An exercise ball has more benefits than one realizes upon first glance. An exercise ball can help you to maximize your workout by helping you to build a strong core. It works by building up several muscles all at one time. Working out with an exercise ball will not only improve your midsection strength, but in doing so will benefit you by improving your body’s balance. When you build up your body’s balance you are gaining valuable benefits that will help you to perform other day-to-day activities in your busy lifestyle. You will find that you have more strength, endurance and even your posture will improve.
For a low cost piece of equipment the exercise ball can maximize your workout tenfold. For a person first starting out with an exercise ball there are some important things to remember. First, choose a ball that is not too firm. The exercise will be more difficult depending on the firmness of the ball. For a beginning ball user choose one that is a little bit softer and under inflated. Exercise balls vary in size as well. The correct ball for you will depend on how tall you are. Locate the manufacturer’s information and choose a ball that is the correct size for your height.
An exercise ball gives your body a total workout. It involves using your arms, your chest, your back, your legs, and your abdominal muscles. You can maximize your workout by putting your routine into full swing with an exercise ball by adding more movement, such as in doing jumping jacks. This will give you the additional benefits of a cardiovascular workout as well. You can also invest in a exercise ball workout program like Chalene Johnson’s Get on the Ball.
If you have weak back muscles a ball will help to support your back as you workout. Physical therapists recommend the use of an exercise ball because of this. The midsection of your body is your core. It has three muscles, the deep muscles (transverse abdominus), the muscles in your back that support the spine, and the lower back muscles (quadratus lumborum). These three muscles are difficult to build up, but with a workout ball this can be accomplished.
You can look on the Internet or in your local bookstore for further, more detailed information on workouts that you can do with a ball and how it can maximize your workout to best benefit you.
The benefits that an exercise ball gives back to your body make it a worthwhile investment. The effects of working out with an exercise ball will give you the ability to be stronger and healthier while enriching your body in other ways as well.