Stability Ball Exercises

stability ball exercisesStability balls have been around a long time. They came out over a hundred years ago and were used originally to treat neurological disorders with therapeutic exercises. In the 1990s, the focus shifted and trainers began to use the balls to condition athletes. Their use in fitness quickly spread to the general fitness community. Stability balls are great to use because they encourage proper alignment and balance and engage the core in every exercise. They improve muscle stability and endurance and also encourage safe instability by allowing all the muscles used in the exercise to work together. Stability balls encourage primary and secondary muscles to work together. They are good for stretching before and after the workout because they prevent the user from over stretching their muscles while also providing a light cardiovascular workout during the warm up. Use of a stability ball allows you to move out of various muscle positions quickly and offers benefits alone or in combination with additional equipment such as a medicine ball, free weights or other stability blocks such as a yoga block, foam roller or stepper.

Chest

Wall Push Up

Stand up straight and hold the ball towards the wall. Make sure you hold the ball and your shoulders line up with the middle part of the ball.

Push up on a Ball

Position your body in a prone position, put two arms in front of you and push down to the floor with either the ball on your quadriceps or, as your fitness level builds, on your shins

Back Extension

Put the ball under your hips and torso with your knees bent for the beginner position and then straight for the advanced position. With your hands behind your head or back, roll down the ball, lifting your chest off the ball and keeping your shoulders and chest in a straight line.

Quadriceps and Hamstring

Squat

Place an exercise ball halfway between your back and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your legs into a squat position, keeping your knees from extending beyond your toes and keeping your shoulders level and your hips square. Hold for a few seconds and then gently bring it back up. For an advanced move, try to do a single-leg squat.

For an advanced move, squat with the ball above the head. Multi-joint exercises can also be done with the ball over the head for a triceps extension, a bicep curl in front of the body, or a shoulder raise.

Lunge

Start in the squat position against the wall. Make sure your knees don’t go in front of your toes.

Abs

Place your hands on the ball and have your arms parallel. Pull your stomach towards your spine, tighten your core, and roll forward as far as you can with without arching your back. It is more important to do quality instead of quantity in this exercise. 

Crunch

Sit on the ball and put your hands on your back. Crunch back on the ball and extend only as far as you comfortably can go. For a side crunch, you can  lay on the side of the ball and bend one knee.

Ball Rotation

Lie flat on the floor and hold the ball in your legs and roll it back and forth. Twist side to side and do the same numbers on each side.

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Christina Chapan

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes with fitness for children ( Fit 4 Fun!) and those adults and children with special needs. In addition to attaining her certifications, she is also a certified elementary and special education school teacher with a B.S. in Elementary Education, a minor in Biblical Studies from North Central University, an endorsement in Special Education, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Development from Governors State University. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow. She is available for training, speaking and writing.

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