Stability ball workouts can be the perfect personal trainer plan for individuals who need a low-impact yet challenging workout that strengthens core, improves muscle tone, and increases balance and stability. Personal trainer programs that utilize stability balls can be modified to benefit all ages and fitness levels from the new beginner to the seasoned athlete. Stability ball workouts can even be used by individuals who are rehabilitating from an injury or new moms looking to return to fitness with a fun post-partum fitness plan. Here are a variety of exercises that you can do with a stability ball:
1. Crunches. Crunches are twice as effective when performed on a stability ball, or yoga ball. You have to engage more of your core strength to stabilize the hips and contract the abdominal muscles. Strengthening the core and engaging the entire abdominal region can help improve posture and decrease chronic lower back pains.
2. Toe Taps. Core and oblique muscles are activated doing toe taps with a stability ball. Sit on the floor and hold the stability ball at eye level. Tap your toes to the ball alternating one leg at a time. If you are unable to tap your toes to the ball, go as high as you can without straining, and lower them back down again. The more consistent you are with your stability ball workouts, the easier the exercises will become and you’ll be able feel the progress as you meet new goals.
3. Plank variations. Starting in a high plank position or high push-up position, place the stability ball at your feet. Doing a basic plank will feel more supported with the stability ball and may be easier for anyone new to performing a plank. From that plank position, you can add a variety of modifications to make the exercise more challenging such as pulling the knees in and back out again or rotating the hips from side to side in a sweeping motion. These challenging planks engage the core muscles and tone the body.
4. Wall sits. Stand up and lean against a wall or smooth surface with the stability ball at your lower back for support. Lower yourself down into a squat or seated-like position and hold for ten seconds before coming back up to starting position. You can make the movements more challenging by holding the position longer or by doing more repetitions of the exercise. You can make it easier by holding the squat for less time or by decreasing the number of squats you do. Wall sits strengthen the lower body and improve posture.
These are just a handful of stability ball exercises that you can do at home. If you need help getting started or want someone to watch your form to make sure you are doing the movements safely and correctly, you can reach out to a private fitness instructor to show you a few exercises and ways to make modifications with accommodations. Stability workouts can provide a full body workout that is safe and effective for every type of exerciser.
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