As kids we have often played with balls but have you ever thought of a ball as an excellent workout tool? In fact the ball exercise are often the most effective exercise to cut and tone your belly fat due to extra effort required by your core to maintain stability .
On the ball exercises are the panacea to gym woes and are cheap on the wallet. You don’t need any fancy- schmancy equipment; all you need is an exercise ball. You need to decide on the size of the exercise ball as too big or too small may seem ineffective. Try out the ball sizes and choose the one that is the right fit .Here are a few tips to decide upon the ball size
When you sit on the ball your feet should be flat on the ground so don’t pick up a ball where your feet don’t touch the ground.
You can also choose the ball as per the following chart but keep in mind that the ball will compress when you sit on it so you may want a size up.
|Exercise ball diameter||Person’s height|
|45 cm||5′ and under|
|55 cm||5’1″– 5’8″|
|65 cm||5’9″– 6’2″|
|75 cm||6’3″– 6’7″|
|85 cm||6’8″ and taller|
Choose a ball that seems the right fit for you(Pressure ) – A firmer ball means a tougher workout so decide how soft or firm you want the ball to be
A bigger ball may be beneficial for people with back problems.
Once you have chosen the size and the color (very important – A cheerful color is another motivator), you can literally have a ball. Here are a few ball workout routine exercises you can incorporate into your workout.
Before beginning any workout it is always advisable to consult your physician and start off with a warm up routine which includes stretching and light cardio to get your heart rate up.
You may also want to invest in some dumbbells to up the ante in your workouts.
Exercise Ball Workouts
Trust me you will meet new sore muscles you never even knew existed .The only precautions to take here is not to jerk up and down and lay down on your middle back – not too low and not too high, so that you don’t fall. Like all crunches you should not lift with your neck but utilize your core
- Lie down on your back on the exercise ball. Find a stable spot on your back.
- Using your core pull up slowly to a sitting position.
- Again reverse from a sitting position to a lying down position
- You can attempt side scrunches
- Another crunch variation can be attempted where you lie flat on your back and your shins are resting on the ball (your lower half is raised). Slowly pull the ball back up so that your knees come to your chest. Reverse.
- Try the Pilates 100 by first lying on your back and then slowly grasping the ball between your legs and raising your legs .Raise your torso and try and move your arms palm up, and then palm down .Release and repeat.
The planks are tough enough on their own but using an exercise ball amps it up.
- Assume the normal plank position so that your elbows rest on the ball rather than the floor and hold the pose .This is an excellent core exercise as it engages your abs and makes you work to maintain stability. Release and Repeat.
- Lie on your tummy on the ball and roll it back to your legs so that your elbows are touching the ground and your legs are resting on the ball. Your body should be in a straight line. Hold, release and repeat.
3. Standing Work:
These are excellent to work your arms and core and may be done in case of any back problems.
- Squats – Stand with your feet hip width apart and raise the ball with your hands and squat (sit back as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair with your knees bent)
- Overhead Squats – Hold the ball above your head and squat.
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and raise the ball with two hands and lean to one side keeping your arm to your ear and repeat for the other side.
Here you perform bridge using an exercise ball. The exercise ball is an integral part of Pilates and with breath control; you can shed the flab faster.
- Assume the bridge pose where your back is flat on the ground and your feet are lying on the ball. Exhale and raise your hips, hold for a beat and inhale come slowly back down.
- You can mix it up by raising one leg when you raise your hips.
These are just some of the exercises that you can incorporate in your workout with ball. Feel free to mix and match.