Advantages of the Stability Ball
The stability ball is as diverse as it is portable. This piece of equipment can easily be inflated and deflated for transportation, weighing nearly nothing. Take it to your friend’s house, the park, or office. Sit on the ball while watching TV and you will slowly start to see your posture and core muscles improve. Deflate the ball for storage and inflate it again whenever you wish.
As mentioned, a common use for stability balls is in the office. Often used to improve posture, it can also help with various types of back or shoulder pain. The stability ball decreases the pressure put on your spine when compared to the standard office chair. Be sure to consult your doctor if you think a stability ball may assist with your body pain.
How to Incorporate Stability Balls Into Your Workout
You may find yourself bouncing and having the best time on your stability ball, but it can be used as a serious piece of exercise equipment. Here are a few exercises where you can incorporate a stability ball.
Starting with a bit of an advanced move, begin by facing the stability ball. Lay on top of the ball rolling yourself forward until your feet are resting on top of the ball, with your palms on the floor and extended out in front of you. While maintaining balance with your feet on top of the ball, bend at the elbow until your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Push back up.
For this one, you are going to need a flat wall. Place the stability ball between your lower back and the wall, with your feet slightly in front of you. Then perform a squat, keeping your back straight and not letting your knees pass your toes at the bend.
For another workout that incorporates squats and the stability ball. Stand behind the stability ball with your legs far apart enough that you can roll the ball under you. Bend down into the squat position, with your back straight, knees bent, and arms extended below you. As you rise, pick up the stability ball and raise it over your head, maintaining straight arms the entire time. As you bend back down into the squat, lower the stability ball so it touches the ground, then repeat. This exercise not only works your legs and rear with the squat but your targets your shoulders with the stability ball.
Sit on top of the stability ball and roll backward until your middle back just rests on the ball. Then as you begin to perform a standard crunch, notice you have more mobility to move farther back. This extended motion targets your lower, middle, and upper abs like crunches alone never could.
Using a floor mat, lie down on the ground facing up with the stability ball by your feet. Rest your calves on top of the stability ball making your body straight like a board. Your palms should be at your sides and pressed into the floor. Then roll the ball towards you keeping your rear in the air and only bending at the knees. The ball should be moving towards you using only your legs. Then roll the ball back out and repeat. This intense exercise is sure to burn your hamstrings.
Ending with a simpler exercise, hold the ball out in front of you. The ball should be in-between your two palms with arms fully extended. Pretend as if your palms are glued to the ball. Without bending your elbows move the ball in a “steering wheel” motion. Moving your right hand up, left hand below, then left hand up and right hand below. After a few moments, you will surely feel a burning in your shoulders.
Is a Stability Ball Right For You?
There are numerous benefits to the use of a stability ball. Whether you are using it to exercise, improve posture, or decrease muscle and body aches, it is a versatile tool that almost anyone can enjoy. If you are still unsure if a stability ball is right for you, visit your local gym. They are very common and bound to have one or two. Try out some of the exercises mentioned and improve your stability.