How do you improve your fitness with an exercise ball? The physio, fit, or gym ball is one of the oldest and simplest types of training equipment that you can incorporate into your daily or weekly workout. It has been part of regular fitness routines, physiotherapy in rehabilitation, spinal health, and lumbar strength support.
To help you make the most of your workouts with an exercise ball, the following guide provides tips to use the exercise ball to maximize your fitness results, how to avoid improper form and the number of reps you should perform based on your training goals.
What is an exercise ball?
Exercise balls are large, durable, and inflatable balls made of vinyl and are popular in fitness and health. These exercise balls are great for improving your core strength, flexibility, and overall balance. It is also a fun addition to supplement a workout or to provide a complete training program. You can use the ball for high-intensity performances or as part of stretching and strengthening techniques to tone and support the muscles and joints.
Exercise balls are also popular in rehabilitation after surgery, accidents, or soft tissue and joint injuries. Because it helps support the body during distinct movements and exercises, it is a popular choice of apparatus applied in recovery. So let’s inspect the benefits of workouts with the exercise ball.
The fitness benefits
Exercise balls are a practical, affordable, and effective way of getting an all-over body workout. It is also a great way to have some fun and change up a weekly routine. You can engage in intense workouts, gentle stretches, or warm-up exercises when using exercise balls.
A major benefit of incorporating exercise balls into your routine is the support it provides for physical balance. It works all of your muscles simultaneously without placing pressure on your joints, provided you maintain the correct form. In addition, because it helps strengthen and tone your core muscles while stabilizing your spine, it is an excellent way to build your core and balance without risking injuries.
Exercise balls can help you improve your posture because it engages the low back, abdominal, and leg muscles. Along with targeting the larger muscle groups in your body, it also helps to target the smaller muscles, ensuring every part of your body is engaged. In addition, you have the option of performing low-intensity movements to stabilize your core and encourage flexibility or a high-intensity routine in which you stretch and strengthen the muscles.
Types of exercise balls
There are many exercise balls, each serving a different purpose regarding your workout routine and goals. For example, the small ones are great for abdominal workouts, while the large exercise balls provide body support during leg and arm extensions, squats, and spine strengthening activities. Fitness balls are also available in original materials, with some being inflatable, while we add weight to others for a more intense workout.
Exercises you can perform with an exercise ball.
Before performing exercises with fitness balls, it is good to warm up to prevent injuries. You can use it to stretch and warm up your muscles by sitting on it and relying on a wall to support your back. Then rotate your hips and move in small circles that encourage your leg, hip, and abdominal muscles. Keep your core tight while warming up and perform at least 20 reps to prepare your body best.
Once you are ready to start your exercise reps, pay attention to your form. Even when using the exercise ball, the incorrect form can negatively impact your back and spine. The purpose is to provide additional support during movements, but you could cause injuries and severe strain without the correct stability and support.
From fast-paced movements to core strengthening techniques, exercise balls are used to aid in recovery and workouts. You also have the option to use an exercise ball chair that helps you maintain balance and posture, especially if you injured your lower back or buttock. If you want to know how to perform the best exercises with fitness balls, we look at simple techniques for everyone to complete.
1. Ball Squats
Using a wall for support, place the apparatus between the wall and the small of your back, hold your hands at your sides, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly move into a squat position while carefully stabilizing it as you bend your knees. This is a great way to maintain your posture during a squat and prevent unnecessary strain on your lumbar joints and spine.
You should perform 2 sets between 8 to 12 reps for beginners and 1 for the more advanced fitness enthusiast. Remember to maintain your posture and stop any movement if you experience discomfort. Use the medium to large-sized exercise balls for squats.
Using exercise balls as substitute exercises offers the best alternative for those interested in changing their daily workouts. You can position it under your stomach with your hands firmly on the ground and move your body forward until your ankles are resting on the exercise ball. You can perform 8 to 10 reps and 3 sets of these advanced push-ups as an alternative to regular push-ups.
3. Arm and Leg Extensions
Place the ball under your stomach and extend your arm and opposite leg while holding this position only a few times. This is a great technique for improving your core strength. Be sure to maintain your posture by supporting your spine during these movements and complete at least 8 reps alternating your arm and leg through each set.
Last word on the exercise ball
From high-level workouts to gentle rehabilitation and toning movements, the exercise ball is a splendid choice. If you desire a supportive and effective way of enhancing training sessions, then incorporating these styles of balls into your daily regime can provide the best results. Use different size balls for performance, core strength, and overall fitness, and you will notice a positive change in your condition and your well-being in a short period.