Stability Ball Exercises

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Stability Ball Exercises

Some fitness experts tout the stability ball as the best thing to happen to strength training since the exercise mat. You not only can use them as a substitute for a weight bench, but you also can do dozens of exercises using just the ball and your body weight. These exercises strengthen and tone every major muscle, especially your "core" - your abdominal, back, and hip muscles.

Here are some stability ball exercises to try:

Wall squats: stand with an inflated exercise ball between your back and the wall, so the ball is supporting you from your hips to your shoulders. Your feet should be slightly out in front of your body. Keeping your torso erect, and eyes facing forward, bend your knees and squat down rolling along the ball toward the floor until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold that position for 5 seconds; then return to the starting position.

Calf raises: stand a few feet away from a wall with your exercise ball between your abdomen and the wall. Lean forward into the ball so that your body forms a straight, angled line from your heels to your head. Exhale, and rise up onto the balls of your feet. Pause, inhale and lower yourself back to the starting position.

Ball push-ups: lie face down on an inflated exercise ball with both hands on the floor. Walk your hands out, allowing the ball to roll beneath your body until the ball is under your shins. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders, so it looks like you're ready to do a push up. Keeping your torso straight and abs contracted (concentrate on pulling your belly button to your spine), bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor. Stop when your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause, and return to where you started.

Stability Ball Exercises:

Stability ball twist (beginner level):
Lie back on a stability ball with your feet on the floor. Hold a medicine ball at chest level and extend arms.

Keeping your butt on the ball, slowly rotate your torso to the left until your knuckles are pointing to the wall.

Return to center and repeat on the other side.

Roll and Curl (intermediate level):
Begin in a full push-up position with tops of your feet resting on a stability ball, hands on floor shoulder-width apart.

Keeping your abs and glutes tight, bend your knees to roll ball in toward right side of chest.

Extend your legs to roll ball back to start; repeat to the left.

Medicine ball twist (advanced level):
Lie face up on floor holding a medicine ball in both hands overhead, knees bent 90 degrees, feet on floor.

Crunch up, twisting shoulders to the right while bringing ball to right side of thighs; at the same time, bring knees toward the left.

Return to start and switch sides.



6/19/2007 7:11:17 AM
gerald greenblatt said:

About wall squats:
Be sure that when your knees are bent they are not further forward than your toes.If they are, you are putting stress on the shin muscles.Rather, move your feet out from the wall a bit so that when your knees are bent they aren't out beyond your toes.


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