There is a variety of ways to use an exercise ball, depending on what you need it for and what works best for you. Exercise balls are incredibly affordable – many of them are downright inexpensive, and cost less than ten dollars. The results are monumental, especially compared to the cost. You can buy large, small, or medium sized balls, or you can stock up with one of each. The versatility involved is just one of the reasons using an exercise all is so easy. If you're new to this trend or just want to find some new uses, simply keep reading about how to use an exercise ball in several interesting ways!
1. Use It as a Chair
One of the best ways to use an exercise ball is to sit on it. A lot of people use exercise balls in place of chairs, because doing so really strengthens your core. Believe it or not, doing so also aids in weight loss by helping you burn more calories. Your balance improves, your posture gets better, and your spine gets straighter and more properly aligned as well. And all you have to do is sit down on it! What could be better
WebMD has another great way to use an exercise ball: squatting. Squats strengthen your legs and tone your butt, but doing them with an exercise ball works your muscles even more. You need to stand in front of a wall, place your feet forward and slightly parted as you lean against the ball. Position it between you and the wall, your lower spine. Prop your hands on your hips or just let them hang down, then assume the squat position using your hips as well as your knees. With this variation, the movement should place you in a seated position. Make sure the exercise ball stays in place as you bend and as you once more assume your starting position.
Push-ups really tone your arms, give you more core strength, and get your heart going. By adding a medicine ball to the mix, you get a fantastic workout, one that helps keep your spine more aligned, more so depending on the size of the ball you use. In addition, it helps work your abs, your arms, and even your chest. Essentially, you assume the traditional push-up position, with your toes against the floor (if possible; again, that depends on the size of your ball), and place the ball at some point between your ankles and your hips. The closer the ball is to your ankles, the more challenging the workout.
4. Booty Lifts
If you're looking to firm up your derriere, there are lots of effective ways to use an exercise ball. In fact, there's an exercise specifically meant to lift your butt! All you do is essentially sit down and then lie back, so that your head, your neck, and your shoulders are on your ball. Bend your knees and make sure your body is in the classic table top pose. Then, keeping the exercise ball in place, lower your butt and hips down toward the ground. After that, use your glute muscles to push back upward, until your spine is more or less straight and your upper body is relatively straight.
Using an exercise ball while doing crunches is an excellent way to really tone your abs. To do them, position yourself in front of a wall, so that there's a brace when you place your feet flush against the floor. Place your ball behind you so that when you lean back, it supports your back. At this point, the floor should form a parallel with your thighs and torso. After that, it's simple, just do your crunches as you normally would and make sure your abdominal muscles are the only things lifting your upper body away from the ball.
Stretching is always important, because it keeps your muscles supple, smooth, strong, and flexible. You can use your exercise ball to make them even better. You can do lunges with your ball, stretch your spine, or lie on it as you roll across the floor. You can incorporate an exercise ball into your favorite stretches for a warm up or a cool down.
7. Family-Friendly Fitness
There are many wonderful ways to use an exercise ball and incorporate the entire family into the fitness fun. After all, exercise balls bounce, so you can have tons of fun with your kids. Better still, you'll make exercise fun for them, especially if you let them do some of the aforementioned stretches, so they can have a ball rolling around the floor … on a ball! Ha!
8. Pregnancy Exercises
Finally, you can also learn how to use a exercise ball during pregnancy, to get in lots of fun, safe, and effective exercises and stretches. Using a ball gives you more stability, especially when you position yourself against the wall as well. There are many exercises that lend themselves well to the ball, like reverse curls. Just make sure you're using it safely, by not doing anything too strenuous, like push-ups or crunches, and that you don't do anything for too long a period.
There are lots of different techniques involved in using an exercise ball, so it's easy to find a convenient use or an activity that will target your personal problem areas. You can work your core in a number of different ways, which is no doubt why this particular tool has become so popular in the exercise world. It really works, and moreover it can improve the way you feel. What are your favorite ways to use an exercise ball?
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