Aren’t we always looking for things that make working out easier and more fun? Is there an activity more fun than getting exercise while bouncing around on a giant ball in the comfort of your own home? We don’t think so.
Stability balls aren’t new by any means, but they are super underrated when it comes to incorporating them into a workout. Oftentimes your exercise routine will increase strength and endurance, but completely neglect balance. That’s where your nifty little stability ball comes in. You can get a full-body workout that focuses on balance, coordination, posture, body awareness and strengthening your core. All you need is a rubber ball and determination.
Before you get started, be sure to get the right ball (yes, there are differences). The most important thing is getting the right size for your height. The package should have height ranges on it so you can determine if it’s a workable ball for you. Once you have your ball picked out, try out some of these full-body exercises that you’ll definitely feel tomorrow (but like, in a good way).
Warm-up: stability ball march
For starters, you’re going to want to get a feel for the ball and make yourself aware of your posture. Sit straight up on the ball (like you’re working at a desk) and alternate lifting up one leg and then the other, keeping your abs tight and trying not to shift your weight from one side to the other (or fall off). This is good for balance and gets you warmed up for the harder stuff.
Ready to really engage that core? Lie out on the ball with your stomach in the center and your toes on the ground. Then alternate lifting your opposite arm and leg and holding for a few seconds. Alternate faster to get in some endurance training.
Planks always sound awful and, sorry, but this variation will definitely hurt just as much as the kind you do on the ground. Place yourself in a plank position but with your elbows and forearms on the ball. Don’t forget to keep your back straight.
This is an exercise that’s actually more fun to do on a ball than on the floor. Who doesn’t want to add a little bounce to the excruciating pain of doing several push-ups? Start by lying stomach-down on the ball with the the ball positioned near your pelvic area or a little lower. Then lower and raise yourself using your arms while keeping your back straight. Position the ball lower on your legs for more of a challenge and a better core workout.
Hand to foot Pass
This one gets tricky and takes full body awareness to do correctly. We don’t want any pulled back muscles. Start lying on your back, holding the ball with both hands above your head. Then move the ball downward and grab it with your feet. Extend your legs fully, then return the ball to your hands and repeat. Feel that burn!
Freestyle your own stability ball workout by doing exercises you already do but incorporating your ball in some way to improve balance. You can also add in weights or bands to make exercises more of a challenge. Just remember: straight back and engage your core. Happy bouncing!