Ok so remember a few years back when everyone was buying a stability ball? They were all the rage but now most of them are collecting dust in your local gym or in your garage. But no more! The stability ball is a great tool to tone and shape all of your muscles, so get it out and get to work.
You can do this workout anywhere, all you need is the stability ball. Let’s cover some basics first, then get down to business.
Posture! The stability ball is an excellent piece of equipment to work on establishing a neutral spine & improving your overall posture and strength of the spinal extensors which help you to sit up straight. Does the picture of the left look familiar? What about the one on the right? Try sitting up as straight as possible as pictured on the right – draw your abdominals in tight and move your arms to the sides, to the front, over your head. Add weights to your hands if you want to make it more challenging but no matter how you move your arms try to keep your torso still, extending up as tall as you can through your spine. This will teach your postural muscles to remain upright instead of compressing down like the picture on the left. So unattractive!
Legs: Perform squats with the ball lifted up directly in front our your chest to add weight to your arms and a challenge to your balance. Sink your hips back and down as you reach your arms in front of your chest with the ball. Change the positioning of the ball to over your head or to the right or the left to change it up and keep your body guessing!
Abs & shoulder strength: plank it out! Perform plank roll outs on the ball as pictured to the left by hiking your hips up and rolling through your spine back then leaning forward to come into a full plank pose. Or just try holding a plank with your elbows on the ball for 90 seconds. For added challenge in the hold, lift one foot a few inches from the floor and hold it there. Next, try placing the ball between your feet for a side plank, as pictured in the center. Try lifting your hips up six inches and back down to work deeper into the side of your abs which is closer to the floor. Finally, try abdominal crunches on the ball as pictured to the right by tipping your hips up and contracting your abdominal muscles (especially the rectus abdominis) to bring your lowest rib closer to your hip bones.
Here are some simple ways to start challenging your whole body using the stability ball! There are many other variations and possibilities, I have just listed a few to get you started. You can try doing pushups with your feet on the ball, hands on the floor. You can hold the ball while performing squat jumps or lunge jumps to up the intensity. You could place the ball between your ankles while laying on the floor, then lift and lower the ball to engage your lower abdominals and strengthen your inner thighs. There are so many different things that you can do with this one piece of equipment, you just need to get started!