Wait, wasn’t this a fitness website? What’s all this about a ball?
Stability balls (or exercise balls) are the new black. Not only will they take you one step closer to fitness, but they’ll also improve your posture, increase muscle strength and help you with your balance. Hence, an exercise ball workout is a well-rounded approach to your health (pun intended).
How Do I Use An Exercise Ball?
Sit and Bounce:
Sitting on your butt is beneficial for a change. Dedicate half an hour from your day to sit on an exercise ball and bounce consistently. 30 minutes of hopping without falling off or losing your balance in any way will rectify your lower spine position. It’s ideal to start bouncing on a carpet so if you Humpty-dumpty, you’re not injured. Sit on the ball and round your back slightly. When you’ll start hopping, your spine will find it’s natural position on its own. Remember to hop lightly to avoid strain.
‘Ergonomic’ lifting is associated with comfort but it’s advisable to do it after the guidance of a spine specialist. It requires keeping a ball between the wall and your back and squatting. This helps you with mastering the correct lifting technique and your squatting posture as well.
Workouts, yoga poses, stretches, pilates, you name it and it’s centered around a stability ball. Your muscle strength, as well as activity, will get a boost if you read what comes next (and implement it) with dedication. This post is a 12 minute routine with the exercise ball to work your body.
Sizes. Wait, There Are Sizes?
Yes, there are. Your height will determine the diameter of your ball. The ball chooses the (correct heightened) master, Mr. Potter. If your hips or knees are 90° relative to the floor, you’re good to go. Your body shouldn’t be leaning towards one direction, balance is key. The balls are adjustable by air pressure but take an informed decision before buying them.
There are 5 general sizes for different body types. Weight is also a factor to be considered.
- A 45 cm ball is suited to a person who is 5 ft talk (or less).
- A 55 cm diameter is made for somebody between 5’1 and 5’8.
- A 65 cm ball goes with an individual who is 5’9 or 6’2.
- Similarly, a 75 cm ball is perfect for someone between 6’3 and 6’7.
- To the 6’8s and above, 85 cm is your size.
A Workout Regime
12 minutes are all you need to work your muscles.
Start off with the sit and bounce. 1 minute of hopping will warm your body up and give you a sense of balance too. You will get familiarised with the ball. Deflate the ball slightly if you’re a beginner to balance easily.
Sit ups are up next. Plop yourself on the ball with your soles flat on the floor. Now walk forward until the ball is supporting the middle of your back. Your feet should be 90° relative to the floor. 1 set of 10 sit-ups will take you 1 minute. Doing sit-ups on the ball prevents lower back injury and the soft surface makes your movements sharper.
Rest for 10 seconds.
Let’s bird dog! Start with lying on top of the ball so you’re folded over it. Now raise and extend your right arm, head and shoulders. Simultaneously raise and extend your left leg behind. Hold the position for a moment. Repeat the process with your left arm and right leg. This exercise will torch your core and shoulders. One set of 10-12 reps is a good target. This will take you approximately 1 minute or 1 minute 30 seconds.
Rest for 10 seconds.
Squatting it is. Stand straight and sandwich the ball between your lower back and the wall. Now begin squatting. Squat until your legs make 90° angles relative to the floor. The ball should roll from the lower back to between the shoulder blades. Stand up slowly. This is one rep. One set of 10 reps is ideal (1 minute 30 seconds).
Rest for 15 seconds.
Hamstring curls! Lie down on your back with your arms by your side. Elevate your legs and rest your heels and lower calves on the ball. Engage your core and lift your hips off the floor. Slowly crunch your knees towards your chest. Your heels will be flat on the ball. Hold the pose for a couple of seconds and then push back. One set of 10 reps will take you 1 minute 30 seconds.
Rest for 10 seconds.
A stability ball gives a one up to the regular push up by adding the task of balancing. Place the exercise ball under your knees and get into a high plank pose. Start your push-ups. The ball is under your shins as your torso goes up and down. Doing this pushup can be fairly tough so it’s completely alright if you begin with 3-4 only. You may also try holding the high plank to work your abs. 4-5 push-ups per set and 2 sets a day are advisable. Rest for 10-15 seconds between each set. (1 minute 30 seconds+ 15s rest = 1 minute 45 seconds)
Rest for 10 seconds.
Plank it out. Rest your forearms and elbows on the stability ball and extend your legs behind. Tighten your core, balance well. 2 sets of 30 seconds will get you sweating profusely. Rest for 10 s between each set. Your abs will get burneddddd.
After a 10 s rest, let us move on to back extensions. Put your hands behind your back and lay facedown. Prop your feet against a solid surface for balance if you need help. Lift your torso up from the waist and hold for 2 seconds. You’re doing it wrong if your lower back hurts. Then gradually come down. This is one rep. Go very slowly. One set of 5 reps should take you a minute.
Remember to breathe evenly throughout the routine and check your form. Now your body should feel like a wrung cloth!
Okay, But Which Ball Do I Use?
Here’s the fun part- you have options to choose from. These are among the best balls available. Choose any of these balls and you are good to go!
- URBNFit Exercise Ball: It’s available in 10 pretty colors. You get an inflation pump and workout guide with it. And it’s eco-friendly! It can support up to 2000 lbs of weight. Buy it on Amazon.
- Live Infinitely Exercise Ball: This one has a wider size range (55-95 cm). Also, this ball too comes with a hand pump, exercise guide, and a one year warranty. It claims to support up to 2200 lbs of weight. Buy it on Amazon.
- Trideer: Amazon’s Choice again. The size range is 45 cm to 85 cm. 1-year warranty, inflation foot pump, and 18 colors! What’s not to love? Even this ball can support up to 2200 lbs of weight. Buy it on Amazon.
So, add a twist to your routine with a giant ball and maybe it can make your regular exercises more fun to do.