What’s the one item that’s definitely needed in your gym equipment repertoire that you may not already own? A stability ball! Inexpensive and ultra-effective, they’re one of the best ways to get an incredible workout—including improving your balance and strength all while toning your body.
It’s not only helpful for exercise either—it’s also a great way to alleviate back pain according to Fitness’ 101 on stability balls: “Physical therapists love the ball because it strengthens the deep muscles of the spine. One recent study found that subjects who used the ball regularly improved muscular endurance (the number of consecutive reps you can do) by 57 percent in 10 weeks.”
With a million ways to incorporate them into your workout, it’s important to know the basics that will help get you started out strong and ready to improve your body.
First, what should you look for when finding an exercise ball that’s best for you? There are a few things to keep in mind, like making sure it’s the right size for you, as there are typically five different options based on your height. Here’s a handy guide to help you out.
Next, identify the types of results you want to see—and discover the exercises that fit your needs. The ball has myriad benefits, so there are many different ways to make it work for you. Highlighted below are four different ways that the stability ball can be added and the first step to get you going.
1. To Strengthen Your Core
A more fit tummy? Where do we sign up? Core strength is literally the basis of your ability to reach peak performance and up your fitness game. Strengthen from the centre out with this basic move:
Link: The V-Pass
Step 1: “Lie face up on the floor, holding a stability ball overhead with both hands, your legs together, extended straight on the floor.”
2. To Improve Your Balance
Everyone can benefit from better balance. A stability ball is a great way to improve without a whole lot of effort. Try this tip:
Step 1: “Lie down with your back on the floor with your legs stretched straight out on top of the exercise ball.”
3. As a Lower Body Workout
Get the behinds in shape! The ball allows so many different kinds of workouts for your bottom half. Here’s a favorite:
Link: Wall Squats
Step 1: “Position the stability ball between the wall and your lower back. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart and about 12 inches out in front of you.”
4. To Get More Fit Upper Body
Don’t forget the top of you! See how many different areas you can work with just one ball. Get a more toned upper body by incorporating this exercise:
Link: T’s, Y’s & I’s
Step 1: “Lie face down on the ball with your arms stretched forward. (Just the torso will be on the ball.) Keep toes down and knees bent, but lift your knees slightly off the floor.”
Finally, enjoy! There are so many new ways for you to workout. Whichever route you choose to take, you’re sure to find that a stability ball will quickly become your new favorite piece of equipment— light, fun and oh-so-versatile there isn’t a downside to this incredible way to get more exercise and improve your body and overall health.