Fitness fads come and go, but every now and then, a trend comes along that actually makes sense. Read one about the fitness ball and core strength workouts.
Probably the most favored tool for core strength workouts is the exercise ball (also known as stability ball, Swiss ball, or yoga ball). Fitness ball exercises are a great way to improve strength, cardio endurance, and balance. By tackling basic moves (like push-ups, squats, and planks) on an unstable surface, muscles get more bang for the buck. Stability ball exercises are also great for getting back into shape after an injury because they can reduce muscle and spinal strain during certain movements.
Squat & Reach
Get your blood flowing with a slow-and-steady squat for arms, abs and legs. Hold your stability ball with straight arms, squat down bringing the exercise ball all the way to the left side, just above the left foot. Hold this position for three slow breaths, then twist and return to standing position. Repeat on the other side.
Lie on the floor with arms extended perpendicular to the torso and lower calves and heels resting on the balance ball. Engaging the glutes and abs, lift the hips up from the floor. Use the outstretched arms for stability, as this is definitely a wobbly position! Exhale and slowly bring the knees in towards the hips, so the feet are resting flat on top of the stability ball. Pause for a few seconds in this position and then inhale, straightening legs out again.
Among the exercise ball workouts, this multitasking move works the arms and the core! Kneel behind the yoga ball, with palms down on top. Slowly use the hands to push the yoga ball forward until the triceps are resting on top of the ball and the legs are almost all the way extended with the knees on the ground.
Remember: A tight core will keep the body moving straight ahead. Feeling pressure on the knees? Place a towel or yoga mat under them for a little extra TLC. Concentrate on maintaining the proper form for 10 reps straight.
V-Sit with Balance Ball
V is for victory – at least in the killer abs department. Lie face up on the ground with ankles resting on the top of the stability ball. With arms pointing towards the feet, roll the torso up so the body forms a V with the hips on the ground. Hold for five counts (long enough for a serious case of the abs-shakes) and slowly roll back down to the ground. Repeat this balance ball exercise for 6-10 reps.
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