Fitnessy Friday – What to Do with a Ball? Part 1

you know you have one of these lurking in the corner of your basement.  they’re usually all alone, looking neglected, serving as a coat rack or something.  it looked fun so you bought it (typically on sale at wal-mart).  but  then you realized you have no idea what to do with it.  so after bouncing on it a couple times you lost interest.  however, the kids still probably kick it at each others’ heads from time to time.

it’s time to learn what to do with this thing.  this thing called a stability ball.  it’s a fabulous tool.  you can work your whole body with it.  and, because it adds a balance challenge to every move, you get a ton of core work in.  we’re going to start with some basic ball exercises today.  next week we’ll add some intermediate moves.  but it’s important to start with simple moves and then work your way up.

beginner stability ball moves

wall squat

Wall Squat 2

– place ball against wall so it rests in the small of your back

– step feet out in front of you; relax shoulders; engage core

– sink down until your knees are at 90 degrees; weight should be in your heels

– push up through your heels to starting position

aim to do 12-15 squats.  too easy?  add weights.

ball crunch

– keeping your feet about hip width apart, adjust the ball so it rests in the small of your back

– place your hands behind your ears and keep you elbows wide (do NOT interlock your fingers)

– fixing your eyes on the ceiling, contract your abdominals and slowly lift up

– return to starting position

aim to do 12-15 reps.  go slooooooow for best results!

lower back lift

– placing your feet against a wall, adjust the ball so it’s right on your belly (not your chest)

– place your hands behind your ears and keep your elbows wide

– slowly lift your chest up until your spine is in a straight line (do NOT go further than this as you will risk hyperextension and injury)

– return to starting position

try for 12 repetitions.

bicep curl

– sit on the ball with feet approximately hip width apart; chest lifted; shoulders back; arms  relaxed by your sides

– engage core, and then slowly twist dumbbells up (keep elbows by your side throughout movement)

– return to start

aim to do 12-15 curls.  no problem?  get yourself a heavier weight!

see that wasn’t so bad was it?  stay tuned for part 2 next week.

happy long weekend!

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